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Friday, 5 February 2010

Language Acquisition Device

I will be the first to admit that this week's entry is slightly lazy. This is principally because I am pushed of rtime. Deadlines continue to assault like a battalion of penguins returning to shore after a long fishing trip. Most of this is however, self-inflicted. THe exams have come and gone and the external imperatives they impose have been replaced by a set of internal imperatives. The first of these is musical - I have finally purchased (after waiting seven years for the prices to fall to a reasonable level) some computer software that will enable the recording of some music at home. Where, as an aspiring youth, I had to travel to an expoensive recording studio accompanied by a drummer, guitarist, various roadies and a van load of musical instruments to record my musical inspirations, it is now possible to do exactly the same thing with nothing more than a memory stick and a tambourine. At some point in the near future YWNA will have a musical section - you have been warned.

THe other self imposed deadlines arise because of my successful application to teach English as a second language to various people. THe first session was last week, and was temed an observation - a gentle introduction to allow me to obtain a sense of what was involved. Within five minutes of the observation I was standing on a table walking backwards. This was not because I attended drunk, but because incredibly quickly a rapport developed between myself and the very experienced teacher leading the class. The teacher Eileen is brilliant - experienced, practical, loves what she does and is completely no-nonsense. I was not allowed to be a passive observer, but was engaged as a prop, demostrating the meaning of words like "backwards", "driving" "reverse" through the medium of mime.

Eileen also thought I would "do", and because she is no-nonsense she suggested that I take a small group next week and focus on one subject area - a kind of session within the session. THis involves preparing a lesson plan - something I have previoulsy only done theoretically. Foolishly I agreed. So I now have to prepare a lesson plan for next week, and photocopy it. I had one concern, which I expressed, namely that of accent, and whether I would lead my learners astray by mangled pronunciation. Eileen was dismissive "It will do them good to hear such a different accent - it is more real".

I know that accent and dialect is a regular theme of this blog. I fully admit, unashamedly, to an obsession with origin, culture and difference, but in truth, I think our differences are healthy. And my concerns are not entirely without basis, as it I think that my return to this country has been accompanied by a a reconsolidation of my original accent. If the process continues, and this is where this weeks entry gets lazy, I can foresee a time where my accent wil return to where it started. In the full spirit of laziness,I have posted a couple of links to some examples of how I might just sound in three years time. If this happens it will end the career I have just started. Firstly, John Bishop, a Liverpool comedian:

Secondly, Liverpool football clubs captain and vice captain, both LIverpudlians:


JoeyMac said...

First time I heard Bishop. very funny, but I suspect he was easy on the accent because of the cameras. Either that or he's one of those 'up-town' scousers and hasn't even earned his liverpool gangname yet.
Can't wait to hear the musical creations. what software did you get?

MJN said...

I got cubase and a external mixer - alesis as an external soundcard. Right now, its saturday morning and I am faced with the choice - renovate or music???? Hmmm

JoeyMac said...

new toys take priority over work for the first 7 days you have them. :)