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Those creepy folks

 
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ecocks



Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 855
Location: Gdansk, Poland

PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:21 am    Post subject: Those creepy folks Reply with quote

You ever run into those creepy guys (gals too maybe) that get all mysterious about everything?

I met a guy the other night who said he was from extreme western Poland. The odd part was that after about 3-4 sentences it was clear his language had come from an American origin and he was using words in common usage with a trace of regional accent rather than a standard dictionary-centric, Polish-influenced approach. My guess was that he had spent at least a few months in one of the work and travel programs.

However, he insisted he had never had a native-speaker teacher, just Polish schooling and years of Cartoon Channel. Then he disappeared. Three weeks and he didn't return to the group meeting.

No accusations and there ae always all sorts of possibilities but...

I was reminded of when I met the fugitive American masquerading as a Brit a few months before the FBI caught up with him.

You guys run into any of these sorts in your travels and excursions? I don't mean just skirt-chasers, drunks or neurotics, but folks who actually get a real return on your radar that makes you wonder?
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 656
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:37 pm    Post subject: yep Reply with quote

The Rev John Mountford deceased. One of the lads had a creepy feeling about him and did a Google search. He was involved in kiddy fiddling cases in Thailand and Australia. He was stabbed to death by a teenage boy in Tripoli a few years ago. The boy said he (JM) had tried to molest him. The story is on the net.
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ecocks



Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 855
Location: Gdansk, Poland

PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The guy I worked with is doing a minimum of 41 years at a Texas prison.

I was curious about Poland in general but more specifically another issue.

We all teach English (presumably at least) and routinely have contact with speakers from different language groups which should develop an "ear" for the common mistakes, 1LC issues, mispronunciations, accents and inflection challenges, consonant combinations and such. Unless you are really dense most teachers eventually reach a point where after a few minutes of conversation, sometimes only a few sentences, you can tell quickly if someone has had a native-speaker teacher, whether they were working from the Brit or American version and often if they have traveled and spent significant time in a host country.

Don't most of you see, okay "hear", this when working with a new student? How confident are you in your assessment?

To be even more specific do you really think someone can acquire a Brit accent from watching Teletubbies or an American accent from the Cartoon Channel?
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 656
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 7:57 pm    Post subject: I think Reply with quote

I think it's easy to tell if someone's had a Brit or North American teacher and or lived in Britain or North America. It's not just the accent but the lexis and grammar/structures too.

I've also met plenty of self-taught students who claimed to have learnt English from TV and developed their own ideolects.
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BadBeagleBad



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 825

PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ecocks wrote:

We all teach English (presumably at least) and routinely have contact with speakers from different language groups which should develop an "ear" for the common mistakes, 1LC issues, mispronunciations, accents and inflection challenges, consonant combinations and such. Unless you are really dense most teachers eventually reach a point where after a few minutes of conversation, sometimes only a few sentences, you can tell quickly if someone has had a native-speaker teacher, whether they were working from the Brit or American version and often if they have traveled and spent significant time in a host country.

Don't most of you see, okay "hear", this when working with a new student? How confident are you in your assessment?

To be even more specific do you really think someone can acquire a Brit accent from watching Teletubbies or an American accent from the Cartoon Channel?


I think the exception to that is people who have gone to true international schools where English is taught exclusively by native teachers, and they are immersed from the age of 5 or 6 on. I have know young people, both in Mexico and Guatemala that would fall under this category and have never set foot outside of their country, yet are completely native speakers. I even know a few who are working as native English speakers.
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ecocks



Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 855
Location: Gdansk, Poland

PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm, I'm not talking a top International School but a claim to speak at UI/Adv level based upon Cartoon Channel without formal instruction from a native-speaker?

Personally, I am doubting the most recent contact.

The question though is have you ever met people who just don't quite ring true to you based on what you hear in their speech and claimed history?
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sparks



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 496

PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The question though is have you ever met people who just don't quite ring true to you based on what you hear in their speech and claimed history?


Any Native Speaker teacher who is living abroad and over the age of...say 30 Smile

All of the time. Many people carry their insecurities into adult-hood and try to compensate by coming up with a sort of personality they wish they had, but don't quite have the ability to pull off. If you want to or have to deal with the person it is fairly easy to get over his/her quirkiness and tell when they are pulling your leg. I've know some chronic liars over the years who told all sorts of fantastic stories about escaping from Belarus, flying fighter planes, stand-offs with the mafia etc. most of these stories didn't, as you say, quite seem to ring-true. I just enjoy the story and let it all go by.
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JustinC



Joined: 15 Mar 2013
Posts: 138
Location: The Land That Time Forgot

PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm quite sure an ex-boss was Hitler reincarnate.
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delphian-domine



Joined: 11 Mar 2011
Posts: 501

PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's one chap in Poznan that I'm certain is using a language school as a cover for dealing in illegal goods.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12100
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EFL is full of Walter Mitty types who spin everyone a line. Walk away from them.
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