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QW 080112 “With what accent?”

One of the adult English learners in a corporate English class that I had taught before and taught again today asked me a very innocent question; with what accent do you speak English? She seemed to want to know my accent is either American or British, or some others. I found this question itself is very interesting because it’s a question that you’d never be asked if you’re a native speaker of English and people around you know that you are.

I’ve long thought that it’s sort of the a privilege for English learners to pick and choose what accent they’d speak the language with. My first exposure to English was mainly from British English because most of the English learning materials that the school teachers chose for us were from the U.K. I went to a private girl school and teachers there had a large amount of flexibility in selecting teaching materials to use, by the way. Soon after I started listening to American Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, my preference for English accents leaned toward that of the U.S., and it still does.

Despite this strong yearning for the American accent, I still shy away from pronouncing like an American to some extent. Currently I’m learning the American accent from my pronunciation teacher. Thanks to his instruction and, not to mention, my continuous effort, this shyness started to fade, but it somehow lingers. I believe the day will come when I proudly state that my English accent is American and so sounds my English.

(30 minutes / 255 words)

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Aya

Author:Aya
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