Désolé, cet article est seulement disponible en Anglais Américain.
Will Harper TEFL
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Well, first of all, as your source article implies, « accents » are regional or social. What you should be asking – and the unanswered question among all English-speakers – is… What is the perfect dialect?
Actually, neither of those are important. THE ABSOLUTE BEST « ACCENT’ AND « DIALECT » is …. NO ACCENT! But that doesn’t exist in the real world.
I am the contact for a group of 18 (and growing) highly skilled native American, British, New Zealand and Australian English speaking online ESL/EFL English tutors.
All of our teachers are selected (and/or not selected) based upon their having NO strong regional accents. The best criterion is clear, understandable speech, and a comfortable tempo and rhythm.
As your source article says, « it’s all English ». We all understand each other. There are a few problems:
Vocabulary – each regional accent and each dialect will typically choose a different vocabulary word for a specific intent. That’s no problem, if the speaker and the listener both speak English natively. Your article provides a solution to any issues – understanding the context.
Idiomatic expressions – Our solution is simple. Non-native speakers should NEVER try to use idiomatic expressions, when speaking English. If the non-native speaker always uses the perfect English that they already know, there will be no problems. For listening to native speakers,using idiomatic expressions, the same rule can be applied. The listener can understand the meaning, from the context.
Speakers with strong regional accents – these can be the most problematic. Native speakers NEVER TRY to imitate the regional accent of the listener. We usually understand each other, again, simply by listening to the context. Even within native English speakers, there can still be problems. For example, American English speakers may have a great deal of difficulty in listening to a native English speaker from the north of England or Scotland – and they, in turn, may have problems listening to a strong southern US or New England US accent.
The best conclusion, therefore, is to speak with NO accent. (Admittedly, an impossibility – but a good goal to strive for.)
What about the idea of having students hear all accents to improve understanding?
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