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David Crystal - Which English?

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It's essential that English learners know about what is going on in English language around the world. For the simple reason that English is not a single variety, it's a conglomeration of different varieties, dialects, if you like there is British English, there is American English, there is Australian English, and so on. Now, these different variaties of English are different in the sense that there's different vocabulary, different grammar, different pronunciation, different strategies of discourse. And one of the biggest problems affecting any language learner, and indeed any language teacher, is which variety do you teach? And what happens when you teach one variety and the students comes up to you and says: "But please teacher, I've heard this yesterday from a native speaker of English. You told me that we don't say this" And it turns out to be an American usage or an Australian usage, or something like that. The more the student can become aware that these variations exist, the better They will learn one variety of English as their primary mode of communication, of course but to know that there are these alternative ways of expression is absolutely essential, otherwise credibility dissapears from the classroom situation. Now, the thing that has happened over the las ten or twenty years is that a once clear scenario of British English vs. American English has been complicated by the arrival of other forms of regional English from around the world. Australian English, for example, New Zealand English, South African English, and so on and so forth And as a result the teaching situation has become more complex, there are more variants out there which you should really ought to be advised about. Now, you can't everything, but the very least you can do is warn students that these variations exist explain why they're there, and, in other words, give students a general sense of what is happening to English as a global language.

Video Details

Duration: 2 minutes and 58 seconds
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Views: 341
Posted by: paulapazosv on May 8, 2012

Which 'English' should we teach our students? Global English with Professor David Crystal. Another innovative feature of Global - Macmillan's new course for adult learners of English.

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