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Accents?

 
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SeaveeBlue



Joined: 12 May 2013
Posts: 21
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 2:03 am    Post subject: Accents? Reply with quote

I am from the deep south and I have a distinct accent. I don't think it makes me hard to understand, but it is a noticeable accent. Do you think this is going to be a serious issue?
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Javelin of Radiance



Joined: 01 Jul 2009
Posts: 1187
Location: The West

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends where you end up working. Some places won't care and will hire you regardless of accent. Can make life a bit tough for the students though. Many variables to consider.
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tttompatz



Joined: 06 Mar 2010
Posts: 1951
Location: Talibon, Bohol, Philippines

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 4:20 am    Post subject: Re: Accents? Reply with quote

SeaveeBlue wrote:
I am from the deep south and I have a distinct accent. I don't think it makes me hard to understand, but it is a noticeable accent. Do you think this is going to be a serious issue?


How deep south: Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Tasmania, Southland (Invergargill?) Antarctica?

Oh, you mean way up north in the USA?

Your accent is no more distinct than any other.

.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3581
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 5:59 am    Post subject: Re: Accents? Reply with quote

There's a difference between a distinct southern accent and a strong one. If you sound like Bubba from the back woods, then... Shocked

Anyway, if you get through the interview stage and are hired, then apparently it's not an issue with the employer. By the way, the longer you're away from your hometown, the less distinct your accent will become, especially if you teach alongside locals as well as expats from various parts of the world.
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Cool Teacher



Joined: 18 May 2009
Posts: 887
Location: Here, There and Everywhere! :D

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think most of the time peopel won't know what your accent is. Cool
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9297
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Your accent is no more distinct than any other.


Actually, a deep US southern accent is very distinctive - easily recognized abroad by anyone who knows the region (I have anecdotal evidence only, but from over 15 years).

Whether it's non-standard enough to be an issue teaching abroad depends, as has been pointed out, quite a lot on where you go. You'll be more likely to blend in places where the demand for teachers is high. Here in Europe, could be an issue, for example, depending on what nomad says - an educated southern US accent is probably in the acceptable range, while 'uneducated' usage would probably not be. I did once not pass a TEFL course candidate from Louisiana whose habitual usage was both heavily accented and grammatically incorrect - just not fair to launch him as a certified ESL instructor. We were all polite about it and he took it well. Has gone on to succeed in other fields.
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tttompatz



Joined: 06 Mar 2010
Posts: 1951
Location: Talibon, Bohol, Philippines

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spiral78 wrote:
Quote:
Your accent is no more distinct than any other.


Actually, a deep US southern accent is very distinctive - easily recognized abroad by anyone who knows the region (I have anecdotal evidence only, but from over 15 years).

Whether it's non-standard enough to be an issue teaching abroad depends, as has been pointed out, quite a lot on where you go. You'll be more likely to blend in places where the demand for teachers is high. Here in Europe, could be an issue, for example, depending on what nomad says - an educated southern US accent is probably in the acceptable range, while 'uneducated' usage would probably not be. I did once not pass a TEFL course candidate from Louisiana whose habitual usage was both heavily accented and grammatically incorrect - just not fair to launch him as a certified ESL instructor. We were all polite about it and he took it well. Has gone on to succeed in other fields.


And that is more distinct or difficult to understand than perhaps the accent of somebody from Durban, S.Africa or Kochi, Kerala (also "native English speakers")? I think rather not.

.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9297
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
And that is more distinct or difficult to understand than perhaps the accent of somebody from Durban, S.Africa or Kochi, Kerala (also "native English speakers")? I think rather not.


I don't know - haven't done the comparison. Just saying that some of the deep southern accents I have heard are too far outside the standard range of internationally understandable English for successful ELT.

It's very much an individual thing, as has been pointed out above. By no means would every speaker from any region have too strong an accent to be successful, but some individuals may.
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