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Friday, 04 December 2009

Hello again!

Hello everyone!

It’s great to see so many familiar names here and I’m looking forward to hearing more about more of you throughout this month.

I last blogged in April and May this year and have been pretty busy since then. I’ve got a new (and very nice) group of students on the MA TESOL at York St John University where I work and have said goodbye (sadly) to most of the 08/09 students. Here's a very short video I made on graduation day.

A small group of students worked with me to create an online tutorial in English as a lingua franca. We want to raise (especially) UK students’ awareness of how international English is not necessarily exactly the same as the English they speak at home. You can see me talking about the tutorial here. Unfortunately I am looking at the interviewer, who is standing above the camera. I should have ignored her and looked straight into the camera, but it’s really difficult not to look at someone when you’re talking to them! So, apologies for the slightly strange expression on my face…….

We’ve had a visitor at home this week, Danica Salazar. Danica came to York St John to give a talk on research she is doing at the University of Barcelona, in Spain, on Philippine English. We are interested in World Englishes at York St John, so it was great to hear about the Filipino variety. My favourite new word is imeldific - can you guess what that means??

My knowledge of The Beatles is rubbish, so if anyone can whisper the answers to Stephen and Keiran’s hidden song titles, I’m listening!

Rachel W.

lingua franca (n) = a language that is used for communication between speakers who have different first languages. English is our lingua franca on the BBC LE blog. I’m interested in how lingua franca English is different from other varieties, including British English (which of course is also made up of many different regional varieties).

raise awareness of (something or someone) (v) = become conscious of, or knowledgeable about (something or someone).

World Englishes (n) = the idea that there are many varieties of English in the world, some of which are independent of what used to be seen as the ‘centre’ varieties (British, American, Australian English etc.). Independence means that these new Englishes are in the process of generating new ways of speaking and writing (like the new word, imeldific)

imeldific (adj) = excessive, over the top. A Filipino English word based on the name of the wife of a previous President of the Phillipines.


Hi Rachel! Your photo and video brought back happy memories for me. Thank you so much. I was lucky enough to see my daughter wearing a dark coat and a hat on her graduation ceremony in Reading. Take care!

Hi Rachel, My priority of English-learning is " undestandable". Different countries have different models, The British drive on the left, Taiwanese drive on the right, which means that I can not drive on the right in the UK. Secondly, the word "Imeldific" is an allusion to the former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos who is known world-wide for having the most shoes in the world,that to mean "ostentatious extravagance" or "extravagant, frivolous and excessive". Knowing Philippine English could grasp more of Philippine. More understanding implies more acceptance and tolerance.Thank you for such a new concept and abundent information. Best wishes, James.

Rachel, your blogs are always full of buzz, I did notice that last spring also. Thank you so much for giving us students so very useful help in English.

hello Rachel , i am new student following this blog , and i liked your blog and your links of video. please could you tell me is lingua franca expression meaning a language that is used for communication between speakers who have different first languages( such Arabic , french , Germany ) only or can you use it even in same one language which have different accents . ( English of England , and English of Scottish ) . thank you .

Hello Rachel! I did not have to wear a graduation dress when I graduated. Is it a common thing in England? I have always thought that English teachers were cold (keep a distance from the students), but it is not your case. I will definitely browse your website. No, I did not know the meaning of the word. The first thing that I thought was something related to mud or a medusa. Good to hear from you again. Have a nice week!!

Thanks for all your contributions. This blog has now closed and can no longer accept new comments.

December 2009

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