Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Reference: Students of English need to hear all accents, Postbag, July 8, 2008

Once at an airport in Texas I found myself helping a woman who had lost her lion's cape and only when she found it did I know that it was the lens cap for her camera. English comes in a wide variety of accents that are easily understood by a large cross section of English speakers and I feel that it would be wrong to hold out some of these as more correct than the others. Yet, there are some extreme cases in which the accent interferes with the ability to communicate clearly. All foreign PhD students in the USA who lecture in undergraduate school are required to pass a test called the TSE. The only purpose of the test is to ensure that the lecture will be understood by the students. Thailand could adopt a similar measure as long as it is neutral and unbiased with respect to the various universally understood versions of the language.

Cha-am Jamal

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