Thursday, January 28, 2010
"Americans have bad pronunciation"
So, I did my last lesson yesterday, since today's had to be canceled. I had 6 students, 4 of them I had seen before and two of them were new. One was more of an intermediate student, but participated in the beginners lesson as well. Instantly, as I introduced myself to him, he had a big problem with my name. "Sara." He kept asking me "What? What are you saying?" Finally, at the start of class, I wrote my name on the board and he figured it out. He continued to mumble something to the lady sitting next to him about the pronunciation. He also said out loud to me about why I pronounce my name like that. I told him it is an American pronunciation. Then I ignored his other comments and moved on with class. After class, he still seemed to have an issue with it. I told him I have heard at least 7 different pronunciations of "Sara" and this is the one that we use in the US. Then he also complained about the way I pronounced "person." Apparently, the British say it "person," but I was saying "perlson" with an "l." (He is also hard of hearing, but apparently it's my fault I put an "l" in "person"). I know I did no such thing. Then he proceeded to tell me how Americans don't have good pronunciation. They have different "a" sounds than the British...so I guess that makes us wrong? Anyway, Paula, Cathy, and I had a little conversation about this person last night together. Cathy is not so fond of him either. Another insult to my American English that came up in the lesson I taught about "verbs" yesterday for the other student, Paula, was the word "dove." Now, I have been a swimming for most of my life. "Dove" and "dive" are words that I used constantly at the pool on a daily basis. But, it does not exist in British or Australian English, so therefore, it must not exist and all and be completely wrong. So, lead trainer Tony says to me, after using the word "dove," "It doesn't exist, you can look it up, but it doesn't exist in English. "Dove" exists, as in the bird, but not as another form of 'dive.'" Well, I tried to be polite and accept it and move on with my lesson, but I will have you know that I DID look it up and it WAS in the dictionary. In fact, it was in several dictionaries and online sites that I found. Yes, it did say it was mainly used in the US as well as Canada, but, Mr. I'm British and Always Right, that does not make it wrong. So, I will continue to happily use the word "dove" however I please. On the plus side, he said he rarely has people do that well on their grammar presentations and said I was a natural teacher and he would be happy to give me a lot of positive feedback as a reference to any job I applied for. So, he's not so bad, but it's his way or the highway in terms of his classroom, even when I am teaching. Some more positive things, I just got my plane ticket to Morocco where I will spend around 10 days with Zineb and her family. I am very excited to see them and excited to go back to Morocco. After that, I will spend one night in Paris before going back to Sweden for three more weeks. I just applied to a French immersion camp and hope to hear back from them soon. I think this job would be perfect for me right now, and I think I am perfect for the job, so I hope I get it! I miss a lot of my friends and family, but I am still having a good time here, even though it's a lot of work. I know in the end it will be worth it.