Nativism or… English like wot we speak!

After spending a few days in London I am now back in Italy with my two kitties!

london_s

The last time I visited my family was in summer 2014 and things have, since then, changed a great deal. The roads are dirtier, there is a lot more pollution as a whole, and people’s language has deteriorated- please don’t take this the wrong way, in my family there are many who have learnt English and/or other languages without any formal language training so I know how one cannot expect accuracy all the time.

One of my ‘hobbies’ is observing and listening to those around me so I observed and listened for six days. The samples of language I picked up on were, for me, bad and generally from native-speakers. Here are just a couple:

There was much of ’em steps

The chocolates like what mum ‘n’ nanna likes

I had to switch off teacher mode. I felt very self-conscious when I realised I was cringing from time to time.

You may be wondering why I’m writing this. It is not to be critical of the people I listened to and interacted with (that’s the way they speak in the area I was in) but because it made me even more aware of how hard all the non-native speakers I know, be they family, colleagues, students, or teachers, work on their language in order to speak well. Many shop assistants were non-natives (their accents gave them away) but I can assure you their grammar was extremely accurate!

Non-native teachers of English really have it hard in the world of ELT and yet all you have to do is go to London for a weekend and you learn to appreciate them even more.

Some state that NNSs do not provide good samples of language but… do non-teaching NSs?

 

 

 

One of those evenings…or not?

I’m sitting here, paying my bills online, thinking about how technology has, in some ways, complicated and, in others, made our lives so much easier. Just the thought of going to the post office tomorrow to pay my gas and electricity bills, queuing, maybe glaring at somebody trying to jump the queue- because they know the post office lady- was already stressing me out.

I have better things to do in the morning… like packing my case for my flight to Naples tomorrow night! Yes, I’m guilty of being a last minute packer- my clothes just jump, unironed, into my case. I worry about them when I get to wherever I’m going,

That reminds me… I need to check-in online.