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"Correct" English and native versus non-native speakers

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"Correct" English and native versus non-native speakers

Postby kaitoukid » Fri Sep 04, 2009 9:09 am

Yesterday, we have a discussion and there are 3 questions:
1 Native speaker is a better English teacher than a non-native speaker. Do you agree or disagree?
2 There is no such thing as 'correct' English.
3 It's impossible to become completely fluent in English as a foreign language.
When we discuss this, my class has a lot of opinions. So I post the questions here and I think it's an interesting topic to talk about.
I will start first.
For the first question, I partially agree. As you know, when you learn English, you will have to learn how to speak and pronounce correctly, so a native speaker can help you better than a non-native speak. In that case, your teacher can teach you how to begin a conversation naturally and end it politely. Maybe non-native speaker is also good at that, but you know if you want to learn a new language, the best way is to learn it where it is spoken. But I partially disagree with that. In my countries, English is a second compulsory language and we have a lot of English exams those are made by non-native speaker. Because of that, we often choose non-native speaker teacher to learn, so we can be explained with more details.
For the second question, I'm not sure. If you want to say something is correct, here is 'correct' English, you must have a full definition of it, so we can base on it to answer the question. That also depends on your own opinion.
For the last question, I disagree. One thing is that if you visit and live in a country that speak English when you're small, your English will be very good. Although you live here for 2,3 years but when you return to your home country you can continue on practice it at the language center. Because of that, some students are very fluently in English. And if you are adult, your result depends on your attempt. Some of my friends learn English when they're grown up but their English is really good.

What is your opinion about that?
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Re: "Correct" English and native versus non-native speakers

Postby Dixie » Fri Sep 04, 2009 12:49 pm

kaitoukid wrote:1 Native speaker is a better English teacher than a non-native speaker. Do you agree or disagree?


Totally disagree. Being a native doesn't make you a teacher. Or are we talking about teachers who are native speakers?

kaitoukid wrote:2 There is no such thing as 'correct' English.


Maybe standard English, but always in written contexts. However, I don't think it would sound natural. The real language is the language spoken by the people, and that changes constantly, new words are created or borrowed and that makes the language alive.

kaitoukid wrote:3 It's impossible to become completely fluent in English as a foreign language.


Let me answer with another question: Do you think a person is 100% fluent in their own language? I personally don't think so. Now imagine when we talk about a foreign language, especially when you don't have the possibility to practise it every day, especially orally.
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Re: "Correct" English and native versus non-native speakers

Postby Tora » Sun Sep 06, 2009 5:14 pm

Dixie wrote:
kaitoukid wrote:1 Native speaker is a better English teacher than a non-native speaker. Do you agree or disagree?


Totally disagree. Being a native doesn't make you a teacher. Or are we talking about teachers who are native speakers?

kaitoukid wrote:2 There is no such thing as 'correct' English.


Maybe standard English, but always in written contexts. However, I don't think it would sound natural. The real language is the language spoken by the people, and that changes constantly, new words are created or borrowed and that makes the language alive.

kaitoukid wrote:3 It's impossible to become completely fluent in English as a foreign language.


Let me answer with another question: Do you think a person is 100% fluent in their own language? I personally don't think so. Now imagine when we talk about a foreign language, especially when you don't have the possibility to practise it every day, especially orally.


Me not know what add too more. I completely agree :-D
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Re: "Correct" English and native versus non-native speakers

Postby MissLT » Thu Sep 17, 2009 5:56 am

kaitoukid wrote:Yesterday, we have a discussion and there are 3 questions:
1 Native speaker is a better English teacher than a non-native speaker. Do you agree or disagree?

Accent-wise? Yes.

kaitoukid wrote:2 There is no such thing as 'correct' English.l

Define "correct"

kaitoukid wrote:3 It's impossible to become completely fluent in English as a foreign language.

No, it's not. If you learn English when you were very little and use it daily in your life despite the fact you weren't born in, for example, the States or UK, you will still get the language right. Like my friend who was born in Beijing and lived there until she had to come to the States for her Master program speaks perfect English with a very light accent. She learned it when she was six and been using it all her life.
However, as you get older it's hard to learn a foreign language and without the practice you'll likely suck at it.
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