LINGUISTICS & CULTURE
|Data:||09/JUL/2010 9:03 PM|
What would be the point? And is it possible in view of several obvious restraints? Okay, you teach a student to talk like someone from Manchester or San Francisco. I cannot imagine the resources required for such a goal: native speakers, high salaries, very lengthy intensive courses, texts that have yet to be written, etc. The cost would be astronomical. Would it not be easier to get the student to a level of fluency and then send him to Kansas City or Dorset for a year or two?
I heard of something like this during World War II. There were some major differences. The students were all native speakers of Italian who were living in the USA and soldiers of the US Army. They were not beginners. A former boss of mine was chosen for the program, and he said it had more instructors than students. The goal was to teach the soldiers to be able to pass as natives of certain areas of Italy. The wrong word, the wrong accent, the wrong anything could have meant death. Cost was no object, of course
I like the idea of exposing advanced students to different accents, different spellings (center as opposed to centre), variations in grammar, different words (lorry, petrol, bonnet, boot, pilon as opposed to truck, gas, hood, trunk, buddy seat). One thing is to provide an opportunity to get a taste of English in a specific locale, but it is quite another to try to turn out pseudo-New Yorkers or Londoners. Again, why? For what purpose?
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