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to find it hilarious that my daughter is ranked lowest in class for her accent by her language tutor?

(205 Posts)
WestieMamma Mon 02-Sep-13 10:33:18

She is outraged. I can't stop laughing. She's just started training to be an English teacher here in Sweden. Her tutor says she has the worst, least authentic accent in the class, despite being one of the only native English speakers grin.

The top ranked is the other native speaker. He's a geordie. Apparently the fact that none of the Swedes can understand a word he says doesn't matter, it's the fact that he's consistent grin.

KoalaFace Mon 02-Sep-13 11:36:50

grin at "As a parent I would be bloody outraged" too funny.

Has your DD been told how to improve on her accent? I'd be interested to know whether the geordie is putting on another accent.

QuintessentialOldDear Mon 02-Sep-13 11:37:38

Lots of Native Ignorance here. wink

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Mon 02-Sep-13 11:41:23

Sorry, but it doesn't really make sense to me ... everyone who's saying about regional accents, yes, fine ... but the teacher says a Geordie accent is better. confused

Geordie accents are gorgeous, but they are notoriously difficult even for native speakers to understand if they're strong. In fact most Geordies I know complain about having to have two accents, a normal one and the one they put on for daft southerners so they can be understood.

QuintessentialOldDear Mon 02-Sep-13 11:42:17

Maybe the geordie is able to tone her accent down in order to fit in with requirements?

Renniehorta Mon 02-Sep-13 11:42:27

A friend, who taught English at a language school in London, invited me to a party at the house she shared with some of the other teachers at the school. One of those teachers was from Sunderland. He had invited many of his students to the party. As soon as you started to speak to them you knew immediately who had taught them English.

I have to admit we thought it was a bit of a laugh!

FastWindow Mon 02-Sep-13 11:43:44

quintessential are you from Norway?

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Mon 02-Sep-13 11:44:50

Oh, yes, that's true quint. I'd assumed it was someone speaking in a Geordie accent.

KoalaFace Mon 02-Sep-13 11:45:00

I learnt french from a native french speaker (private tutor) with a regional accent. My useless french school teacher told me her accent would be detrimental to my pronunciation but when it came to work experience in France I was constantly complimented by people and easily understood while the rest of my class really struggled.

I believe when it comes to learning a language, a native speaker will be able to teach how people "really talk".

Beastofburden Mon 02-Sep-13 11:50:04

I do think the Geordie accent is a bit more of an issue. No disrespect, but along with Glaswegian, it is an accent that has a number of regional differences including vocabulary, and an accent that many Brits struggle to understand.

They will be teaching kids who will be using English as a lingua franca to speak to other kids from completely different parts of the world, many of whom will be not that good at it. They need a nice clean neutral English to do the job. It sounds as if your daughters accent is absolutely fine for this purpose, but Geordie might not be.

Dawndonnaagain Mon 02-Sep-13 11:50:29

I failed my Spanish 'O' level, my accent and vocabulary weren't up to scratch. In those days (forty years ago) languages were taught as the English thought they should be spoken, eg. Grammatically, not coloquially. I spoke Spanish before I spoke English!

QuintessentialOldDear Mon 02-Sep-13 11:50:32

FastWindow - I am, and I love your name. grin It is very coastal.

RoastedCouchPotatoes Mon 02-Sep-13 11:50:33

I got taught English (I'm Finnish) by a man with a mixed one- Welsh and Somerset type thing, I think? Anyway, it made it a lot harder to learn, especially when we heard voice recordings, and it meant that when we spoke to English people, our accent was quite hard to understand. I think it IS necessary to have a straight accent- a generalised Southern accent, fine, if it's not evident that it's a mix, but sometimes it can be hard to learn and communicate.

QuintessentialOldDear Mon 02-Sep-13 11:51:35

This is especially to FastWindow:

The Fast Window went on reason outside the Porridge Broken.

Get it? grin

<fingers crossed>

dreamingbohemian Mon 02-Sep-13 11:57:01

My French husband apparently would not be able to teach French because he sounds Dutch (grew up abroad, though not in the Netherlands weirdly).

I do think accent is important in a teacher. I would never try to teach English, my accent is really all over the place. Consistency is really important when you're still learning, I see this when I do try to learn French from my husband.

Interestingly, where we live now (Loire Valley) has one of the highest concentrations of French language schools because the French in this region is supposed to be the 'purest' French.

VenusRising Mon 02-Sep-13 11:58:52

Yes koala, it is better to learn from a native speaker, but....... only from one of the same class.... I mean who wants to speak like a bumpkin in 20 languages?!

Tally Ho!

<clutches pearls and scarpers>

LillyNotOfTheValley Mon 02-Sep-13 12:02:08

Haha, my DH had the same kind of experience and was told his utterly posh RP English was not sounding "English" enough for a part. And that was from a French casting director. He is still pissed off about it and I am still laughing

Limited French Canadians have a very strong recognizable funny accent and also use different funny also vocabulary than the French.

QuintessentialOldDear Mon 02-Sep-13 12:02:22

I am trying to imagine broad Cornish spoken with a foreign accent, like French or Norwegian. That would be fun!

zimbomaman Mon 02-Sep-13 12:07:34

My French DH was taught English by a Scot. He does, by no means, have a Scottish accent when speaking English. Having spent 23 years with me, neither does he have my Southern African accent.

When learning a language your teacher is most definitely not the only person you hear speaking. Music, TV, films, friends, other students, other native speakers all have an influence in how you understand the way the language is spoken.

FastWindow Mon 02-Sep-13 12:09:16

Is it Peter Schmeichel (sp ?) who is Danish but has a fab northern accent?

quintessential oh yes. And there smoke the garden snake.

zimbomaman Mon 02-Sep-13 12:10:39

^doesn't, by any means^. Sorry.

QuintessentialOldDear Mon 02-Sep-13 12:12:24


Just the reply I expected!

Beastofburden Mon 02-Sep-13 12:12:36

When I did my degree (french and german) we were advised to be careful where we spent our year abroad. I went to the South in both countries so now have a Lyon accent in French. I nearly got a Bavarian accent in German, but luckily locals speak Hochdeutsch (equivalent to RP English) to foreigners and the quality, a bit like Tess of the Durbervilles.

ILikeBirds Mon 02-Sep-13 12:14:04

Yes, peter schmeichel has an excellent manchester accent. Danes for some reason seem to pick up regional accents quite readily.

My Danish oh has a regional accent to the extent that people don't realise he's not a native speaker. Many of his friends also have regional accents when speaking english (different people have different ones)

burberryqueen Mon 02-Sep-13 12:14:59

all this stuff about accents and English teaching is nonsense, your average student cannot even hear the difference an American/English/Irish/etc accent, let alone reproduce it.
Speaking as a TEFL teacher with many years experience.
Once a Spanish woman told me my south eastern/London accent was 'wrong' as I did not pronounce R 'properly' at the end of words like 'clever' like her lovely old teacher from Scotland...grin

QuintessentialOldDear Mon 02-Sep-13 12:19:56

Really? I find that surprising. When I was in secondary I had no problem distinguishing English, Irish, Scottish, American and Australian.
I did have some difficulties hearing the difference between New Zealand and South African speakers. Still have, to be honest.

I could not pinpoint regional mainland British accents, though.

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