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When the ad says "native" speakers only!
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sumisan9



Joined: 31 Jul 2004
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 7:55 pm    Post subject: Just wanted to add something more ... Reply with quote

Glad to note the discussion generated by my "native speakers" comments. Taking into account all the comments, I must say that my accent is so Americanized that I slip into my British accent only when I am very angry!! :D People from my country of origin look at me and brand me "American" -- looks and accent. Unfortunately, my name is still a giveaway, it seems.

There are so many variations of even the American accent, how can they lump it all into one? A Bostonian probably hasdifficulty understanding an Alabamian, etc. If you haven't already seen it, there is a very good program called, "Do You Speak American?" You can find it at this web-site -- www.pbs.org. (Was originally shown on public tv about a year ago.)

Since I posted my original item, I have been teaching Management and Business Communications, among other subjects, at the MBA level at another university. And, I see an appalling grasp of the language, grammar, punctuation, etc. among many of my students -- all Americans, of course.

The words of encouragement are heartening, but most of the time, one doesn't get to the stage of convincing the would-be employer. More's the pity.
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HenanMike



Joined: 16 Jun 2005
Posts: 32

PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 11:00 pm    Post subject: American dialect variations Reply with quote

Sumisan opined:

"There are so many variations of even the American accent, how can they lump it all into one?"

Actually, nobody is trying to lump it into one. Educated Americans tend to moderate their accent toward "Standard CNN" if you will -- good examples being the Arkansas Clintons and even Bush when he's not trying to sound like a redneck.

The fact is that there are, in North America, about 200 million speakers (out of 300 million) of standard American English. Last time I checked, there were about 10 million native speakers of R.P. (Received Pronunciation) Br. E. That's less than the number of speakers of Australian!

American English is by far the pre-eminent world dialect. All you BBC'ers out there better get used to it.
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Gerry



Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 12:17 pm    Post subject: You are all avoiding the real issues Reply with quote

A native speaker is a person perceived to be culturally and genetically from any particular country. (This is the view in Asia and many other parts of the world)

This means that I am considered to be a native speaker from England because I am, Anglo Saxon, blond and blue green eyed.

If my school wants a native Japanese speaker, then I can assure you that we expect a Japanese person to turn up and not someone from the West Indies or Mexico ie. someone that fits our perception of what a Japanese person looks like. If I said that I was Japanese everyone would laugh at me - why because I dont look Japanese. Whether or not I can speak Japanese fluently is irrelevant. The school I work for has just hired a girl born in Hong Kong, of Chinese origin, but is now a citizen of Australia with nearly perfect English.
The Koreans merely laugh at her and ask me is she really from Australia, and of course they dont perceive her to be Australian because she looks Chinese and therfore she cannot be a native speaker. It's a fact of life!
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SarahSh



Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Standard CNN"???? Thatīs a good one... most of them are Canadian. Very Happy
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canuckophile



Joined: 11 Feb 2005
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 12:33 pm    Post subject: Blondes and all that Reply with quote

I understand the comment about hiring a Japanese teacher and expecting to get a real live Japanese person. Japan is highly homogenous, however, and there ain't no such thing as a white Japanese (they have citizenship of the blood only).

Problem is that so many ESL hungry countries (such as Japan/Korea/China) don't seem to understand that the west (US/Britain/anyplace really) are now multicultural / multiethnic (whether melting pots a la the US or mosaics a la Canada) and we ain't all white.

My college has 3 white Americans - I asked my students what they would think if they had a black American teacher. They thought a moment, and then one girl bravely said: Well, I wouldn't care but I think it would bother my mother.

At least she was honest...

In Korea, there's a sudden interest in hiring Kyopos to teach English (Kyopos are Korean Americans or any Korean born in an English speaking country) - This is after years of discrimination AGAINST Kyopos, so that's some small improvement, anyway.

However, as I understand it, a lot of them don't work out either. the Koreans expect them to be fully fluent (they often have only a smattering of Kitchen Korean, although they'd obviously learn Korean faster than most of the rest of us) and most of all, expect them to be "culturally Korean", and of course a lot of them simply aren't.

Even if they have more understanding of Korean culture, Kyopos are often just as baffled/annoyed etc. as any of the other foreigners here at some of the things that happen to us "waegooks"/foreigners. In fact, the teaching experience in Korea often "cures" the Kyopos of any desire they might have had to work in Korea long-term.

So the issue of unfair hiring (discrimination by race/looks etc.) is more complex than it looks at first blush, I think.
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Gerry



Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 2:27 pm    Post subject: People think differently Reply with quote

Yes you are right , Japan issues passports (citizenship based on blood). Germany has done this in the past and so do other countries as well. In answer to your posting, why is it that we in the West always assume that other countries should understand our way of thinking and doing things. Why don't we understand their ways?

Britain has only had large scale immigration since the 60s and therefore many people around the World still see British or English life and people in a certain way. When I look at South Africa for example, a native South African is black not white. The United States has a large white and black population, but they are not native.

I lived for many years in Saudi Arabia, and was treated exceptionally well (better than my own people) but I was told - no Christian worship ( I am not religious anyway) abide by our laws etc. - and if I didnt like it, I should leave.

It's as simple as that! You are who you are, and if some countries around the World want the people they want - so be it!
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Thomas W G



Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 3:32 pm    Post subject: sumisan9 "Are Americans the ones who need..." Reply with quote

YES, I travel a considerable amount and spend too much time in hotels watching local news on television. Local television personalities could use some help with their "English". But then again maybe they are trying to appeal and attract the masses! TWG Laughing
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wdedrick



Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 3:50 pm    Post subject: "Native" English Reply with quote

I'd like to invite you to my workplace which is a Telecommunications company loaded with Engineers who are NATIVE English speakers and who can neither SPEAK or WRITE in ANY sort of English !!!!!!!

So perhaps our methods of "qualifying" people to teach has some holes in it.

For example, I tutored a young Hispanic ninth grader at a local high school here in Raleigh, NC where I currently reside. I realized he needed a dictionary and asked if there was one in his regular Remedial Reading classroom. He said he had not seen one. I asked his white-haired FULLY CERTIFIED teacher if there was one in her classroom and her reply was:

"I think there is one back in the closet".

Hmmm...

Wayne[/b]
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wdedrick



Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 3:52 pm    Post subject: Correction Reply with quote

That should have read ".....neither Speak NOR Write...." lol (embarrassed here for not proofreading my own work).

Wayne
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Gerry



Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 4:08 pm    Post subject: and? Reply with quote

I know Spanish speakers who cant speak Spanish correctly, Germans who can't master German etc etc etc

if you aren't a native speaker - go home and do the ironing

What would happen if I applied for a Spanish teaching job in Argentina as an Englishman who can speak fluent Spanish - get lost
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Dixieland



Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Posts: 1
Location: Mississippi

PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unfortunately, I have to agree. This is very sad, but true. I have noticed this myself on many occasions in the region that I live, which is the Gulf Coast area of Mississippi. I personally do not think it is a trend isolated to just this region. I have a teenage daughter who is adverse to reading. This is not at all unusual in regards to her contemporaries. I cannot understand a generation that would prefer watching TV or playing video games to reading....so very bland and mundane. They appear to think that English in school is a waste of time. They go to chat rooms, reducing words into abbreviations that are rather like an alien language. I can understand the concept of this in certain circumstances due to time and space; however, they tend to carry the practice over into daily situations simply because of laziness. There are many born and bred in America unable to speak or write in complete sentences. I am not only speaking of teenagers in this instance, but of highly educated physicians that I transcribe for.

As a matter of fact, I have frequently found individuals from foreign countries with whom I communicate to have a better command of the English language than most born, educated and residing in the United States. I realize that no one can claim to be perfect, but this is very distressing.
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Ian



Joined: 04 Feb 2006
Posts: 18
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 10:38 pm    Post subject: native speakers and americans Reply with quote

Unfortunately I too have found many americans (please excuse the small 'a') whom cannot even speak or write one language properly. This is sad and unfortunate, especially when this is supposed to be the nation leading the rest of the world. I believe this is their government's way of controlling and exploiting their own people. It seems to be working - albeit to the detriment of everyone and the entire world!

It also appeals heavily to pop and "mainstream" culture. I think this could be contributing to the deterioration of the language.
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'Be the change you want to see.' -- Gandhi
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Ian



Joined: 04 Feb 2006
Posts: 18
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 10:56 pm    Post subject: native speakers and English language Reply with quote

Another thing, Canada's education system is following close behind the languishing american's. I work in education like many of you and many schools are now pumping BET into Canadian school classrooms via cable tv. As disgusting as this sounds, this spells the sure failure of many a student and future adult reader, learner and "leader". Canada and Canadians - I can boast - have had a near stellar rep. (excuse the abbreviation) throughout the world for being very well-educated and responsible citizens. Though I cannot shoulder all the blame on the u.s. - I do see follow-fashion pattern has been occurring over the past number of years. All these abbreviations these kids use on msn messenger and chat rooms negates accurate spelling and keeps them from learning anything relevant to a nations or country's survival. I truly feel we're all in trouble if we don't start educating our kids ourselves. Most kids don't "want" to learn, and BET and tv doesn't help.
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'I believe in karma and destiny, and that is all I need to know.'
'Be the change you want to see.' -- Gandhi
'Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.' -- Albert Einstein
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jonathanB



Joined: 22 Jun 2006
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 12:28 am    Post subject: Native speakers Reply with quote

It was good to read your post. I am a 'Native Speaker', I was born and raised in the UK, however I have now worked in Korea for 3years, and in 3 different Elementary Schools, each one after one year, has refused to resign my contract, always stating "that I do not have an American Accent", and they only wish to learn the American English.
This confuses and hurts me, as I teach correct English, and thought that as a Native Speaker my accent would never become a problem. It just goes to show you that even us the 'Native Speakers' come across problems of our own.
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HenanMike



Joined: 16 Jun 2005
Posts: 32

PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 6:13 am    Post subject: point taken! Reply with quote

Well, Ian proved the point, didn't he? His second posting is riddled with grammatical errors and, no, I'm not going to let him have a pass just because he claims to be a native speaker. Vlada, on the other hand, is NOT a native speaker but his postings are grammatically perfect. I can readily understand the NNES's frustration.

Aside to Ian: Next time you post on the net, could you try to be a bit more careful or, at least, not tell people you're a Canadian? It's really embarrassing, eh? Thanks.
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