American English , Is it bad to be irritated by an American Co-workers English when teaching?

In general terms and every day encounters, I don't mind at all, I think diversity of accents adds to the flavour of life but when it comes to actually teaching English , it feels like a bit of a problem. We are teaching abroad in an Asian country. They are familiar with American English but I am the first British.

For example, Americans and British pronounce words quite differently and thats to be expected. I really don't mind the intonations of how certain sylabols are emphasised more etc.

But my thing I have a problem with is the way certain letters are said, seemingly entirely wrong.
- I. e, whenever there is a "T" in the middle of a word, Americans will never pronounce the T. Instead, "T" will be replaced with a "D" in vocalisation.
- For example,
- "Water" becomes "wader",
- "better" becomes "bedder"
- "Weather" becomes "Wedder"

other examples
- "H" beginning words also miss out the H entirely,
- "herb" is said like "erb",
- "house" is "ouse" etc

"A" is also generally said exactly the same as an "E"
- I ran into this problem when I was saying names and may students were convinced their names were said different.
- Amanda thought it was "Emenda"
My student Annie pronouced her name as "Any", I had to correct her but than I wrote the two words "Annie" and "Any" on the board asking her how you say each... they pronounced them exactly the same and said they were the same.

I don't know whether I should switch letters to be letters they aren't since of course I'm not American or correct them since it seems like it could be a bit counter intuitive since most of their exposure to English likely will be american?

  • Correct them with British
    36% (4)17% (1)29% (5)Vote
  • Convert letters and teach American
    36% (4)0% (0)24% (4)Vote
  • Other
    28% (3)83% (5)47% (8)Vote
And you are? I'm a GirlI'm a Guy

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Most Helpful Guy

  • As long as they are saying the words in a comprehensible way, leave it alone. Trying to make a big deal of it because you dislike the differences between American and British accents is just going to confuse your students. They will encounter all sorts of English-speaking accents in their lives and realize there is no one 'correct' accent. Exposure to your way of speaking and your colleague's will be beneficial as they have to hear the different ways you are saying the same words.

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What Girls Said 4

  • When we learn other languages, we like to take into account different dialects. I world familiarize them with both, so they understand that American English isn't all there is. When I learned Spanish I learned it in a Columbian dialect. However, it was helpful and interesting to know how they sound on countries other than Columbia, such as Spain and Mexico.

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    • the thing is, they're young. I teach elementary to business employees, i can try to get across the differences with business employees...

      but with really young students I think it could become a bit confusing. But im not sure if i should be trying to say oneform of saying it thats British then vs American. Since my American co worker will teach them sometimes so it seems like it could be confusing

    • If they've already been introduced to one dialect, it's probably best to stick with it. I also recommend discussing this with your coworker to decide what's best for the students, since he probably knows them and understands the unique situation better than anyone on here would.

  • Well if I had a British accent when speaking English , I'd be looked at funny. I speak with an American accent, but I write in proper English . That's just it, you don't fake a British accent, that just sounds stupid.

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  • I'm from England and I recently moved to California... The accents bug m stop but I wouldn't recommend correcting the way people talk if I were you I'd just teach what I was familiar with and hope people pick it up. If someone were to challenge this then you can explain to them how although American English is closer to original English than that spoken in England it just means that British English is more evolved and therefore better suited to a classroom...

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    • Something to note is British English maintains a lot of Latin that was part of its beginning base language.

      American English had erased Latin words from English almost entirely and made new words. E. Per say, cv which Americans created the word resume for

  • Correct them and show them they are wrong. hahahaha

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What Guys Said 9

  • To speak 'Murican you must first learn how to properly abuse the English language. For you that would take too much time. Just teach British English .
    I learned High German in school and managed just fine speaking to people all over Germany. So I imagine your students would be understood whether in Texas, Liverpool or Singapore.

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    • true, thanks but sometimes it's a big problem.

      When i'm doing word tests, they'll literally have no idea what the word is and the spelling if i say it the British way.

      I did a word test and was saying "often". They had no idea... they were struggling. I then remove the "t" or convert it to a "d" saying "ofen" or "ofden" and suddenly they understand it.

      There are a lot of words where they'll not be able to understand whatsoever unless i say it the American way

  • I think you will have to suck up since American English is the dominant form of English in asia - You will only confuse the students by teaching them British English .

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  • Teach both and explain that they're different dialects?

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    • i teach elementary to business English with employees. I can get the difference across to business employees.

      But with elementary, it seems like it would confuse them, the American co worker will take them other lessons so it seems like confusion. But at the same time if i try to avoid confusion by teaching American English , then they lose out on knowing the difference

  • Try and go with the flow of what they already to avoid confusion. If you get a new class that doesn't know English , you can start them on the British path. Or you could collaborate with your coworker to try to find some sort of compromise. However, as long as they know the meaning of the words and the pronunciation is understandable, who cares. Plus I want to know where your coworker is from. I'm from the US and the only pronunciation there that I do is "erb" for herb.

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  • This frightens me. My new boss is coming from the UK.

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    • why does this freighten you? lol

    • Will he be irritated as well?

    • the students are familiar with American. They're unfamiliar with British English so he doesn't have to worry about irritation with the students. By default, they've been taught to speak in American

  • Where are these Americans from? Sounds kinda like they're from the East Coast?

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  • I can say the same for your accent.

    Better = Bet-ahh
    Water = Wat-ahh
    Weather = Weth-ahh

    Basically sounds like you're talking with a dick in your mouth.

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    • I wasn't insulting American. I just labelled the way it's pronounced for examples.

      There's a difference between intonation and changing the letters into already existing letters to be the same

    • Well, your tone, word choice, and condescending stance was vexing. You spoke as if our dialect is inferior whilst that is all you were ranting about: simple dialect.

      I can still say the same for the Brits. For example, "territory" which you pronounce "tear-eh-tree." Also, I've never once in my life heard an American pronounce "house" as "ouse", or "Amanda" as "Emenda." You're either pulling that out of your bum or aren't very educated about the diversity of America and our accents. The latter which wouldn't surprise me, which is ironic considering Brits tend to feel Americans lack European knowledge whilst ignorant to our larger 50 states.

  • You're totally over thinking this.

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    • overthinking how? when i'm teaching them words and they pronounce it wrong and i have to correct them and they're convinced its one way because the other teaches it that way. it's not easy and hard to differentiate between bad pronounciation and learned pronounciation

    • when taeaching, it matters

    • These are just accent differences. People in mexico pronounce words differently than people in spain.

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