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A man came with his daughter…
“We’ve come to check out the setup…”
“How do things function here?” Well…

“Is this the class?” Yes…
“Do you prepare students for the First? My daughter wants to sit for the First this year.” Yes, we do…
“But, you are the teacher?” Yes, I am…
“But, you are not a native speaker…” Well, yes I am…
“You are?”

He looks at me as though I had two heads and three arms…

Well, yes…, thinking to myself, oh-oh, here we go again.

“Where are you from then? London?” Well, yes…, thinking… mister, I am from wherever you want me to be.

“You must understand. I don’t want to send my daughter to a school where they don’t teach with a good accent…” Oh, yea, what do you know about accents? In any case, mister, I can be British but I can never be English… My accent? I don’t speak like the Queen nor do I speak like Michael Caine. I wonder what you’d think of Michael Caine teaching your daughter… I don’t know what accent I have. I’d say a “global accent”. I bet you have no idea what that is!

“It’s like…if you want to learn Spanish, you won’t want to go to The Canaries or Andalucía.” There’s nothing wrong with the way they speak!
“They speak badly!” OMG. My protests were quickly toned down…. The school needs students…

“I mean, if you want your child to learn English, would you send him to the north?” Well, actually, I do love the Scottish, the Liverpudlian accents… And I wonder what my Northern peers will have to say about this. In any case, by this time, I knew it was a lost battle, and my class was also waiting for me to finish the conversation, so I just nodded my head in agreement to whatever he said…

All I can say is, mister, your daughter can sit in on my class and she herself can decide if I’m good enough for her…

Andalusian at a wedding

Andalusian… ©Chiew Pang 2012

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