TEFL Ernstville Maryland

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This is how our TEFL graduates feel they have gained from their course, and how they plan to put into action what they learned:

Should I focus on teaching British english or keep using American english? Is there a significant difference? These are questions I began asking myself as I worked through the International TEFL and TESOL training course. I was exposed to differences between British and American english several years ago. At the time, the differences seemed minor and more quaint than problematic. Now that I contemplate teaching english, I am not so sure. According to Josephine Bacon of Interlegal Translations, the differences may be more significant than I thought. In an article written for ‘business International' she states, “It is a common fallacy that a text can be restyled in British-to-American or American-to-British english merely by running it through the appropriate spellchecker. The differences between British and American english involve not just spelling, but style, grammar, punctuation, typography and vocabulary – to say nothing of the important cultural differences.” (Bacon, 2008) The first time I remember noticing the difference between the two was when I was reading Dick Francis novels. The main characters in his books are capable, usually tough in a quiet sort of way males however the main characters would put on ‘jumpers'. This confused me. To me, a jumper is a type of bib-overalls (UK dungarees) that girls wear. Why would these men be wearing jumpers? I was amused when I learned that in Britain a ‘jumper' is what I call a sweater. Over the years, through reading books, watching British television shows, and listening to British comedians I have learned that in england people drive lorries, live in flats, wear wellies and jumpers, and eat jammy dodgers, crisps, chips with fish, and bangers. All of these vocabulary differences were quaint and amusing, but not particularly significant. My husband and I used to own a small business that worked mainly with British clients. Again, I noticed differences in terms. All of the clients had to submit account applications to open accounts with our firm. I had to learn to translate the dates. The British clients wrote them backwards. The clients would get confused if I asked them to ‘check' the first box and ‘mail' in the original documents. I had to learn to say ‘tick' the box and ‘post' the originals. The first time a client told me he was going to get ‘pissed' I thought he was angry. I learned later he was going to a bachelor party and was going to get drunk. I loved the British accents. The British were so much more polite than their American counterparts. I was thrilled to adjust my language to accommodate them and again the changes seemed insignificant. As I was going through the ITTT course, I was frustrated at times comprehending the grammar lessons. Some of the concepts taught just didn't sound correct. Now, as I research the differences between American and British english I can see that my confusion was normal. Vocabulary isn't the only area in which American and British english differ. They can differ in the way the tenses of the verbs are used and in many other areas. (Beare, 2012) (Wikipedia, 2012) When I noted that ‘fortnight' was on a sample test and was instructed to bring ‘rubbers' to class I realized that the differences could cause embarrassment. An American may or may not understand what ‘fortnight' meant. In America, a rubber is a condom. The first time I read the word in the course it took me back a bit, until I remembered that rubbers are erasers. I now realize I would have to address the two types of english when teaching it as a 2nd language. Would I be doing a disservice to my students if I taught english from an American perspective? I don't think so. America is the leader in the entertainment industry.(Daerr, 2012) The usa is ranked number one in the 2011 Fortune Global 500 (a ranking compiled by Fortune Magazine of the top 500 corporations worldwide as measured by revenue) because 133 out of the 500 companies are based in the usa(Wikipedia, 2012), therefore American english is quite common in business. In the best interest of the students, I believe I should conduct a survey to find out where my students plan to travel and which countries they plan to do business with, then plan my teaching focus based on their answers. Bacon, J. (2008). American Versus British english: Why it's so Important to Know the Difference. Retrieved 4 18, 2011, from business International: http://www.business-int.com/categories/american-versus-british-english/american-versus-british-english.asp Beare, K. (2012). About.com english As A 2nd Language Differences Between American and British english. Retrieved 4 18, 2012, from About.com: http://esl.about.com/od/toeflieltscambridge/a/dif_ambrit.htm Daerr, T. (2012). British vs. American english (1). Retrieved 4 18, 2012, from english-Test.net: http://www.english-test.net/articles/5/ Wikipedia. (2012, 4 16). American and British english differences. Retrieved 4 18, 2012, from Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_and_British_english_differences Wikipedia. (2012, 4 12). Fortune Global 500. Retrieved 4 18, 2012, from Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fortune_Global_500#2011_list