Which English is to Follow? American or British, or Australian....?

Which English is to Follow? American or British, or Australian....?
TeacherTONY Jan 19, 2013 18:17


 My Video on box ( easy to send to any one through email)



Dear perspective employer, 

I've been in teaching field for more than 18 years.Teaching is my passion and , learning & experiencing new things are my thirst and hunger. Because of these reasons I prefer teaching in different countries. I've taught in different level of institutions from Primary to University and Adults at training schools in China,India and Nepal. 

Being a non-native speaker I know very well how a person can learn to speak good English. I know where one faces difficulties and requires help to improve, upgrade and polish one's language skills.

 Regarding to Teaching, learning and speaking English: Learning and speaking English is easy but to speak good English is very difficult since English is the combined language of French, German, Hebrew, Latin, Spanish and other several languages. It has been difficult to learn and speak good and correct English due to the mixture of several languages in the course of time.The pronunciation of a word even having the same spellings has two or more for example;

 'Tear' (i) Tear /tIə(r)/ - n. drop of liquid overflowing the eyes. (ii)Tear /teə(r)/ - v. make/change something in to pieces. 

Chamois: (i) Chamois(sorry, I could not use the phonetic symbols due to font of this webpage)

British has one pronunciation whereas American has another. In my opinion there is about 20-30% difference in pronunciation of the words between British and American whereas about 10-15 % difference between British and Australian (+ New Zealand).

Here, I recalled an anecdote, once during the Summer Camp in Guangzhou of China one Australian teacher, one Canadian Teacher, Wayne Campbell (Canadian)and I were sitting on the lounge in a hotel waiting a vehicle to move for the classes. The Australian teacher said to me,"Tony, will you go to my I(according to his pronunciation)class? Can we exchange our classes?"  I could not understand him and asked Wayne who was sitting beside me."What does he mean?" He told me that he might have told you to exchange his "I" number class with your'D'number class. Then I went near him to clarify. He showed me by writing on my palm " A" and repeated "Will you go to my 'A' class?" I was astonished and looked at the other two Canadians. He pronounced the letter 'A'/eI/ as the letter 'I' /αI/. 

I accept that It was difficult for me to understand since I was non-native speaker but why the other two Canadians could not understand him? This clearly shows that even native speakers of English can't understand themselves then what happens to other non- native speakers?

 Dear perspective employers, do you have answer of this question? Do you think all Chinese can speak good Chinese? or Korean or Japanese? Definitely not. There are some reasons why they can't. 

You can't/shouldn't be assured that all the native speakers can speak good English. Some of them have mumbling sound while some others have quite different and strong regional accent which are below standard and quite difficult for non-native students to learn and understand.Wayne Campbell used to tell me that I spoke better than other two native speakers (one Canadian and another Australian. It is not my words but a native speaker's). 

Some employers have absolutely wrong perception that all the white skin people whether they are from Russia, Latvia, France or Germany can speak and teach English but a black skin American is thought to be poor speaker of English and ,therefore, rejected or less preferred. This is really unfair treatment. Here, I don't mean that they can't speak English. Some of them are very good speakers of English. 

I agree that the employers want to recruit white skin people due to less aware customers' choice. It is the responsibility of an Educationist to aware their customers (people/ parents/students, etc) about the right and wrong, eligible and ineligible, experienced and inexperienced. 

Being educators, I feel, this is our responsibility to aware and reform the less aware people and society. It's your responsibility to select the right and eligible candidate for your institution whether he/she can teach your students properly or not, your students can learn well or not, he/she can teach correctly or not. 

There are thousands of words which are difficult for non-native speakers (students) to pronounce and to understand British,American, Australian, Irish and South African accent and pronunciation. To master such types of words, pronunciation and accent is really a tough tasks.Definitely, it requires a lot of practice with the knowledge of phonetics and phonology. 

All these things are included in my teaching of English language to speakers of other languages since these are very important to understand people from different countries with their English of different accent. I practiced,worked hard, researched, studied and experienced a lot to master all these things. It was difficult for me and definitely it took a long time but I have made it easy for my students. I make them learn easily with fun.

Tags:Which English Is to Follow?


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I hesitated but now would share you what I know about language schools and Shenzhen as you seem a good guy trying to make a difference. Shenzhen is a mecca for local chinese who made it rich and are getting ready to send their children abroad. I bet you most of your clients in Putian are wealthy guys living around the Nam Shan area. Unlike Beijing or Shanghai there are more institutionally supported students like employees of big corporation. In Shenzhen are indivisual wealthy mom and pop. So when the speculative real estate and stock tempered down in the 2010, then the problems begins. Meanwhile, the local language licensing agency tends to maintain a choke on these schools by issuing somewhat ambigous approvals. Almost temporary so long as the banquets and Hong Bao flows. You can just imagine these school operators must have felt the crunch of high rentals and operating cost and these oppressive tempo licenses. Bangs then private Mom and pop operations goes down the drain. Outfits like Wall Street made their money by promotion and promotion maintaining a high visibility so that their stocks portfolio in the USA could be sold to gullible investors who are holding the bag. It is not unusual to expect their employees to guarantee a monthly intake of staggering enrollment. Many gullible trainees works tirelessly for free giving away flyers in Metro stations or join pressure social group just to get enrollment in. The writing is in the wall....this will get worse and not better. This was why I suggested to get connected thru twinning University channel that you may hope to end up with institutionally supported enrollment such as in Beijing or Shanghai. However, there is a pocket of opportunity in Hong Kong like I said where parents of expatriates or local wanted to maintain the relative fluency in English as many public schoolings in Hong Kong have turned completely Putonghua. Perhaps influenced by someone else outside the enclave, Anerican Schools, British and Australian schools are not getting the government support to allow more enrollment so many expatriates face a dilemna of waiting for vacancy while enrolling in local private schools which nonetheless requires more Putongua content. So that is where you come in to cater to this niche of extra-curricular English. I know a buddy of mine who started as an ice rink instructor in Festival walk (Kowloon Tong) and ended with massive enrollment because this was done in English and Kowloon Tong has so many private schools nearby. I hope it helps. I am free these days as the Lunar New Year grinds busness to a halt so I am free...After end Feb I would not be active so good luck.

Jan 27, 2013 10:15 Report Abuse



Hello again! Many thanks for your reply. I'll be honest and admit that my main problem is that I have no degree or TEFL certification. I left school at 18 and have worked ever since. This makes it awkward when looking for alternatives in China. Putian is small enough for the government offices to accept an obviously forged certificate and the school are aware of this situation. I haven't had problems obtaining a Z visa, but there was an issue with my school regarding their own foreign employment paperwork, so the process ground to a halt with regards to residency - as it wasn't possible to register properly at the local police station. Having said this, I still have faith in my school. I have worked there two years - the first fully legally - and they are not criminals. The boss is reasonably honest and I think she is as much a victim of Chinese legislation as I am. I hope she can solve the problem and am sure if she throws some money and Chung Hwa at the right official it will all be good again. I'm not so interested in bigger cities and more money - I have a stupid loyalty towards my school and would like to build a career there. Although I haven't the qualifications required technically, I have no problem in saying I am a very good teacher - in many ways better than those with degrees. My focus is long-term, not just a year abroad and a working holiday. As a result of this I am a little frustrated with the whole pantomime of Chinese employment. I'm good. I'm ready to go, but regulations are stopping me. Oh well. Life goes on and things may change. Enjoy the Chinese holiday!

Jan 27, 2013 23:22 Report Abuse



It takes time for you to be loved by your students. Once they love you, they hate you go and will be on strike to get you back when replaced with some unqualified native.

Jan 26, 2013 12:17 Report Abuse



Tony and RoseGarden, *Sorry for the lack of paragraphs. This here thing doesn't allow them! Firstly, it's "prospective", and not "perspective." I think it matters not what accent a person has. All teachers of ESL should speak clearly at all times. Clarity of pronunciation is fundamental. If a teacher speaks clearly then the accent should not play too much a part in any proceedings. Your Canadian friend was speaking out of class in an informal environment, so perhaps could be excused when letting his true accent slip. I personally believe non-native English speakers to often be technically better English speakers than the native variety. They are more aware of the structure of the language, having studied English themselves as a second - or even third - language. Grammar rules are learnt more "scientifically." I have had students that could wipe the floor with many of my English friends when it comes to understanding the correct use of English. Sadly, many native speakers bring bad habits with them and have a nasty shock when corrected by a student. I have taught in both China and Colombia and am a firm believer in accents. An accent is a person's identity. An accent can be intriguing - even sexy. An accent lets people know where you are from. I dread the day when the world speaks English with an awful, homogenous Disney American twang. There is something beautiful about a language that has so many different variants, yet still enables it's users to communicate. Sadly there is a belief - particularly in China - that white means right. I have seen many good, professional teachers, mainly of Filipino origin, passed by because of their skin colour. I have seen them being replaced by lack-lustre and unprofessional white teachers. I am also aware that often this is undertaken by a school too worried about the perceived commercial implications, and too spineless to employ quality over colour. I have witnessed teachers with ten, fifteen years solid experience in tears because they have been told the pupils/parents will not accept them in a class due to their ethnic origin. It's sad, but it's a fact. Concentrate less on accents. Work with vocabulary and confidence. These are the two things that will carry a student further than an accent from a Coca Cola bottle. Many words are spelt differently depending on whether they are US or UK variants. Teach both, but teach consistency. Gray is a color, grey is a colour, but never gray is a colour. Finally, RoseGarden. What's your take on the residency issue? I have just returned to England following a frustrating year chasing visas and residency permits. What's the story? Take care, the pair of you! Peter.

Jan 26, 2013 03:25 Report Abuse



Pedro, unfortunately China is getting more prudish in allowing foreigners of questionable value or intentions. There are the overstaying brethrens from the Dark Continent that gets into the nerve of Guangzhou. Your U.K. and Australian compatriots do make negative P.R. with their rowdiness. There are exception, I see them doing better as blue collar in Hong Kong where they are still welcome. Come with recommendations from Craftmen guilds like Mason, plumbers, fitters metal workers through the majors like Gammon, Jardines & Tao Koo. Hong Kong gives auto 90 days visa to commomwealth passport holders. I see lots of them living in New Territories such as Tai Po which is rather pleasant and inexpensive. If you insist on going at it again in China then come with recommendation from twinning institutions from UK to say Beijing U or Shanghai Xiatong U then you can get ahead and eventually get lucky. If you stick with Shenzhen or Guangzhou and work for blood suckers such as Wall Street you have to be ready to do sexual favors and party all night for what they referred to as "bonding".In Canada, they would be arrested for secual harassment and indecency. Wall Street would be on the hit list in the future for closure. Other than that Peter would be better than Pedro which is Hispanic. No offence meant. Cheers. Bon Chance a vous..Va a con Dios.

Jan 26, 2013 11:29 Report Abuse



Hi, Pedro and Rose, After reading both of your comment I couldn't stay aloof without extending the words of appreciation for being realistic and pragmatic. I really like both of yours' views on "Teaching English ......." I perceived that both of you have good knowledge over English and it's periphery. Thanks for sharing such important and practical comments. With Regards, TONY

Jan 26, 2013 17:36 Report Abuse



Hi, Pedro and Rose, After reading both of your comment I couldn't stay aloof without extending the words of appreciation for being realistic and pragmatic. I really like both of yours' views on "Teaching English ......." I perceived that both of you have good knowledge over English and it's periphery. Thanks for sharing such important and practical comments. With Regards, TONY

Jan 26, 2013 17:37 Report Abuse



No problem, Tony. There are some of us that try and treat teaching English as a craft - and not as an easy year abroad.

Jan 26, 2013 22:03 Report Abuse



I had it good for a while. A nice school in quiet Putian. Classes of varying ages and ability. No complications with pay. No pressure to party and "bond." In my first year I had a Z visa and residency permit. All was good. My second year was much the same, except for one important detail. I couldn't get the residency permit. This meant walking the well-worn path to HK for numerous tourist visas, and also working illegally. Eventually the school admitted they had lost their foreign employment certificate - reasons unknown by myself. This was - and is - a real shame, as all was rosy in the garden prior to this. I'm hoping they can sort this out, as I'd happily go back. I'd ideally like to stay at this school and help develop their English department; make a career out of all this. We shall have to wait and see, but I am loathe to place my faith in the myriad of charlatans and con merchants operating under the veil of "teaching." Finally, for clarification, my name IS Peter. It's just Pedro on here. A residue from my old Colombia days!

Jan 26, 2013 22:14 Report Abuse



Oye Peter. Creo la opportunidaded en Hong Kong mas mejor con Shenzhen. El diario de Hong Kong tienen possibilidad pour ti si tiene la certificado le ESL/TOEFL?. Tenemos muchas escuelas en Kowloon Tong para estrangeros y Hongkongers tambien porque todos las lecciones es en Putonghua pour directivas de gobiernos.

Jan 27, 2013 09:34 Report Abuse



Tony, I sympathize with you as you cannot avoid years of seclusion and detesting what is local to praising what is foreign ingrained in Chinese (mainland) psyche. Yes Hollywood fuel the bigotry the consumers have for white English teachers. Being white does have an advantage to take in enrollment but it is left to allophones ( I called others like Filipino or qualified afro-American or East Indians)teachers who plans the lesson and follow through with exercise that delivers the pay dirt. Unfortunately, the consumer are very gullible and may not even know that Australian English is not well received in North American and European business circles. Their mannerism at times tend to suggest a certain roughness and haugtiness even unintentional with their arms and raised voice. Then there are the deep Southern USA twang and Northeastern Bostonian English that is a notch better but not as well received all over. Oxford English and not welsh or worse still Hackney English. Most English teachers in China are not Toefel certified and are glorified tourist philanderers. Unfortunately institution like Wall Street is milking the business and are nowhere close to a proper language school. This is the reason why China immigration refuses to give many "teachers" resident visas and they have to skip town for a day or to to re-enter or marry off a Chiense woman for convenience. So If I may say..from stand point of business communication and impact, Oxford English would be best of breed. Enjoy your days as it will benumbered when returning students comes back and know what the real score is.

Jan 25, 2013 12:53 Report Abuse



Hi Rose, I highly appreciate your comment on my blog. I got it really valuable and acknowledged. Thank you very much for realistic comment. Regards, TONY

Jan 26, 2013 17:14 Report Abuse