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March 30, 2005

English Minus the Cultural Baggage

Learning English from native speakers can lead to crises of cultural identity, according to a Burmese academic. The issue was the main topic of discussion in an interview by the Daily Yomiuri's Ginko Kobayashi with Bhaskaran Nayar of the British Lincoln University, who has written extensively about language and power and trained teachers worldwide. He talks about how students who learn from British or American teachers are often compelled to use body language or adopt attitudes that go against the grain of their own culture. He encourages Japanese learners of English not to be too hung up on the idea of being like a native speaker; but rather to be proud of their own ways of communicating, to speak English "with all one's own inherited identity."
English belongs to whole world (link will expire)

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