Re: (teach) Re: Firstly, secondly
- Nancy, I am glad you found it humorous, but it really is like that here. One thing that other posts have reminded me of is the over use of "...and so on..." which appears in almost everything written by Chinese kids.
Something we should remember is that China will eventually have its own version of English, just like most other parts of the world. In time it will evolve into a way of writing and speaking which will be instantly recognisable as Chinese English, and Chinglish will come of age.
We should try to teach them English as we know it, but with a mixture of Englishes being taught, it will all go into a melting pot and something unique will come out. Being British, I teach English the way I speak it for the Chinese market which is as close to BBC English as I can make it. I have trouble with Chinese who speak American English, and find it very hard to understand what they say.
A few days ago, I had a call from a girl who told me she had a document I had sent her regarding my court case. I did not recognise the voice, and from the name she gave me, I thought it was the girlfriend of an American friend. The confusion arose out of the American inability to pronounce "t". Her name was Kitty, but pronounced Kiddy, which I confused with Kiki.
This is not a short coming of those from the ex-colonies, but just the way speech has evolved. similarly in writing, the numerous miss-spellings are simply an evolution of British English into American English.
I have to use the text books supplied by most of the schools I work at, and I find a mixture of spellings and references which mix up British and American English. Due to weight of numbers, I expect American English will prevail, but there will be bits of British English which will become common usage and therefore "right" in the future.
Whatever we do, and however we correct the spoken and written language to our own, Chinglish will be the language most people learn, and it will take its place alongside all other Englishes. It will be interesting to hear what it sounds like in 20 years from now.
In the very near future, I will stop general teaching and add it to my "been there, done that" list. I intend to teach advanced learners Real English as it is spoken. I do not mean London cabbie English, or Geordie, but "normal" English. I find myself having to tailor my use of words and phrases so much when talking to Non-British, that I think there is a place for this. So many times I want to use a phrase like "the last straw", but I can't because nobody knows what it means. When you try to think of an alternative to the phrase, things tend to get long winded and off the point. Much of this is so common that natives use these phrases and words without even thinking, and there are so many. The best part of all is that there is absolutely, definitely no translation so the damn electronic translators are useless - Woo Hoo!!!
- I think all IELTS examiners would agree that this drives us mad! Candidates clearly think that the more "discourse markers" they use in their writing, the more marks they will get - wrong!! As Dick says, the real problem is that they use them willy-nilly without really understanding their real meaning and purpose. Also, for me there is a difference between "at last" and "lastly". "Lastly" is the correct word to use in structured writing whereas "at last" means that you never thought you would get there - maybe correct for IELTS examiners reading them!!!!
----- Original Message -----
From: "fshdt" <tibbetts@...>
> --- In TEFLChina@yahoogroups.com, Nancy Buswell <nancybuswell@y...> wrote:
> > Terri asked several questions about preparing her students for
> > standardized exams. One thing that caught my attention was her comment
> > on them using "firstly and secondly". I've been wondering about that
> > myself. It doesn't sound right to me, as an American, but I have seen
> > it so often, that I just assumed it was British.
> No, it's not British. It's the result of teaching with a mistaken (I
> think) view of the nature of organisation in essays.