Hello again from York!
Thank you for this introduction Dima and welcome back Marcos! I enjoyed reading the posts you wrote in January Marcos, and I look forward to hearing more from you.
As Dima says, I first wrote for the Learning English blog in the summer of 2006, with Antonio from Italy as my student writing partner. Since then, the teachers who followed me have developed many new ways of interacting with students (including those who participate by writing comments). I hope I can keep up the good work.
In 2006, I was working at York St John University, in the UK….and I still am! I am Head of Programme for the MA English Language Teaching at York St John (click here for some more information about me). This is a photo of the students who came to my class on ‘teaching writing’ this afternoon:
I took the photo with a new video camera, which I am still learning to operate….unfortunately I managed to delete the video clips of some of the students introducing themselves, so (Shabana, Shu, Jialing and Sindy) apologies!
One of the issues we are very interested in on the MA is World Englishes (Singaporean English, Pakistani English, Chinese English etc. etc.). In the class on ‘teaching writing’ today we talked about using different varieties of English in writing. Shu asked, ‘what’s the difference between the English of a specific variety and a mistake?’ We agreed (I think!) that the difference was intention; meaning that, if you intend to write in a particular way, it’s not a mistake. We also discussed the risks of choosing a variety with which the audience is not familiar – perhaps they will think (unless you explain!) that you have simply made a lot of mistakes.
One difficulty for me in commenting on your writing Marcos, is this problem of intention. Because we’re not face-to-face, it’s harder for us to talk about what you mean and how you want to express yourself. Do you think that there is a variety of English called ‘Brazilian English’? If there is, is it a variety you sometimes use when you speak or write? If I make suggestions for changes in your writing, and you intended to write in that way, please ignore my suggestions. OK?! I look forward to hearing what you (or any other blog readers) think about this issue of varieties of English in writing.
On the question of my suggestions for your writing, is there anything that you want me to focus on? Any tasks or challenges that you particularly enjoy?
I’m going to try again with my new video camera again soon and hope to be able to introduce you to my students and the historic city of York.
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