Why you should learn different accents from different teachers (by Chris Ternosky)
Phonics is definitely important for any language. If your pronunciation is poor then you'll never be understood - which is the key part about communication.
English is a global language. If you travel, you will see signs in English. When you are at the airport you will see English everywhere you go. If you want to do business with other countries, you will probably use English. If you want to learn at the top universities in the world then English will certainly help.
However, there are many different English accents in the world. There are 100+ accents spoken around the world. Do you know which country has the second most English speakers (USA is number one)? India.
India has a huge population and many of them learn English from a young age. However, if you've ever heard an Indian speak English it will be quite different from the American accent. Other countries with many English speakers:
#1 - USA
#2 - India
#3 - Pakistan
#4 - Nigeria
#5 - Philippines
#6 - The UK
There are over 50 countries that use English as an official language! When European countries want to learn English they usually learn it with a British accent. When China / Taiwan / Korea / Japan want to learn English they usually learn a North American accent (American / Canadian).
My point is this: though learning phonics is important, it is also important to learn to understand different accents. Therefore, the best students will learn from many teachers from different cultures, points of view, and abilities.
Don't be like Teacher Chris:
"You know I am American, but in the UK I sometimes could not understand people. In the UK there are MANY different accents for such a small place. Many times I would have to say "What? Huh?" even though I speak English very well. This was because I grew up only listening to Americans, and most of my friends are Americans. I did not have many British friends so I did not always understand their accent."
Think about if you traveled to China. China has many different accents as well. Their pronunciation is different from Taiwan. Even if you speak Chinese very well, it can be difficult to understand.
PS. Here's another funny story. When I told my English professor that I thought English people speak too quietly, he said: "Well maybe Americans speak too loud". Haha! I think he is right. Americans are loud!
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