Tuesday, 25 October 2011

What?? Speak English Please

Here's the thing. I have nothing against people who speak slightly accented English. I have nothing against people who speak English as their 57th language. I don't even have a problem with people who don't speak English at all.

Until they try to teach me or give me service me in English.

I fail to see how speaking Swahili or some language that consists of clicks and whistles to me in a class where I am trying to learn the syntax and structure of ENLGISH makes any sense.

Seriously, if you are trying to learn the language that's great...high five...yippee.....gold star....Care Bear Hug.

But you should NOT be trying to learn it while teaching or serving English speaking students. You already should have learned it.

That's what school, self-help books, and cultural indoctrination camps are good for. Come back in a month of hard work and see where it's at.

You know what I'm talking about.....instances such as:

  • Powerpoint slides that have confusing sentences like "Then Aztecs will you see the past happening to move the moon to now." (True story)
  • Your teacher/professor all of a sudden begins to chant or talk in a really fast, pleasant sing-song voice. Soon you are imagining that you are on a river in the middle of a jungle listening to the happy-sounding hum of an outboard engine. Wonderful, but class suddenly ends and you come to the realization that you have learned nothing.
  • You go into a store and ask "Can you help me find some jeans?" They look at you blankly and respond with "We no have no beans sale, you check that food place." ....."Jeans not beans." "NO BEANS FOR YOU SIR, NO BEANS. ME LEAVE, NOW YOU LEAVE NOW!!!"
  • You attempt to order a muffin from Tim Horton's and end up with a jalapeno flavoured bagel with herb and garlic cream cheese and a large double-double. Any attempt to fix your order only makes it worse and the staff yells at you of all things.
  • Your teacher sends you e-mails in cryptic English in all caps THAT MAKES SEEMS YELLING NO??? Then they berate you in class (again unintelligibly) about how you didn't respond to their 'simple message'.
  • You are in class and ask your teacher a difficult question. They get so flustered or refuse to answer it that they all of a sudden drop into speaking Russian at a rapid rate. It sounds as though they are preparing to eat human body parts or resurrect Frankenstein. This is scary.
And yes, all of these things in fact have happened to me.

Really.....if you don't know the language, don't teach it. Or don't put yourself in a position that requires it to be fluently used in service until it becomes intelligible and able to be understood by the population.

Above all else, do NOT become a post-secondary professor in an English institution where marking papers and speaking in class requires literacy. If the students have to correct the exams, syllabus, and syntax of the professor, there is a huge problem.

Ugh so frustrating.

You don't even know.

No comments:

Post a Comment