The complications of teaching English as an inbetween American

Two weeks ago exactly, I embarked on a new adventure: teaching English.

As an inbetween American and the daughter of immigrants whose education was influenced by their colonizer, I both love and detest the power language can signify.

During the teaching orientation, I found myself speaking a LOT with the other teachers who learned British English the way I did, from our parents. I teased them that the culture and foods they loved so much were from their colonies, and they teased that their language was the one I learned, whether or not I liked it. (They were right: For years growing up, I used to spell things the way my parents did, not knowing that American English spelled them differently.)

But while we speak the same language, our students may not, and experience frustration because of the differences.

The objective of the teaching program is to teach English without the use of another language. The language level of our students is (for the most part) extremely basic, but that means they may notice differences in tones and spellings more than even the teachers will.

In my teaching, I hope to respect and use those differences, and to set a new pattern: teaching and learning English together.

 

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