Sunday, March 25, 2007

Go east, west, north or south--out of the United States

One of the things I would do if I suddenly were granted extensive dictatorial powers over the world is require that everyone spend at least six months outside of his or her home country, preferably on another continent. Typically, you would do this as a middle or high-schooler, but you could opt for later just as easily. If you have a degree, you could go teach abroad, either in an American school in a given country or in a normal elementary or secondary institution. You have one particularly valuable calling card: you speak American English, which is what everyone worldwide wants to learn. You can go here for some preliminary information on how you would arrange a teaching gig abroad. I highly recommend it...it will transform the way you see the world.

4 comments:

Leslie said...

People want to speak 'English' not American English.

mishdiaz said...

I don't know about that.... seems like people still want to learn this language and still want to come here. No matter what they say in the news. I have a friend from France and she loved everything American except the politics. She told me that in Europe most people separate American people from our politics. I have not been there though so can not say that for anyone but her. I know in Mexico that was the case (in real Mexico..not Puerto Vallarta or Cabo) in Central Mexico in a small town we stayed in for a few weeks. I wanted to speak Spanish and had to for the most part, but all the taxi drivers, coincidence I am sure, wanted to practice English and would talk about how they were going to America some day. They also wanted to know if their English was good and were particularly interested in speaking the same way we do... I would love to hear some other experiences, good or bad...

moville said...

I based the "American English" statement on Russia, where you see over and over the stipulation, "American English preferred"...i gathered people there, older people, learned British English because American English was verboten in the Cold War. Maybe the new learners are reacting against the old ways...but you're right, leslie, i don't know that to be universally true.

I personally feel very lucky, as a native speaker, that English is the new universal language, the language of the internet...

mishdiaz said...

Interesting! How about Hungary, France etc.? Do you see resentment that English is the universal language? I know that when we went to Atotonilco there were alot of people "home" for Christmas and my kids had no shortage of young people who spoke English to hang with. Their parents did not speak English at all.