Sunday, February 21, 2010

English as a Second Language

This is a crazy blog with a great otter video. I like the idea of showing something fun like this and then letting your English students write about it. I think it lends to more creativity than an essay about some topic that requires research.

Easily, my favorite comedian was George Carlin. I especially enjoyed the way he picked on the English language. Whether it was oxymorons of “jumbo shrimp” and “military intelligence”, or “errors” versus “fowels” in sports, he was always right on target. As an English teacher, you’re often taken to task, as in this blog, which asks, “How can “fat chance” and “slim chance” mean the same thing?”

Here’s another favorite topic. British English versus American English, and, I would add, Brooklyn English versus Dallas English. I often told students, as they were struggling with pronunciation, not to sweat it. If I put someone from London, someone from Dallas and someone from Brooklyn in the same room, they wouldn’t be able to understand each other either.

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