How easily do children adopt a foreign accent?

Have your students adopted your accent?

  • Definitely
  • To some degree
  • Negligibly
  • Not at all

0 voters

Have you noticed a significant change in your students’ accents after you started teaching them (especially after a substantial time)? People make a big deal about the origin of a teacher, but it seems that whether a teacher is taught by a North American or an Australian, there doesn’t seem to be a significant difference in students’ accents especially when they were not exposed to a certain accent from the word go. The ones that seems to have a clear accent were either born and raised abroad or have at least one foreign parent. What do you think. Please be nice.

This seems to be the case with my students, too. The ones who develop the ‘best’ accents generally speak English to their parents. They pick up stuff from me, but their parents reinforce it. Their parents are from Canada and the US–none from NZ or AUS or England or SA or anywhere else. Our teachers are from North America so we haven’t had any parents question us much.

Keep in mind, buxibans are only a fraction of what they hear. They’ll also hear their teacher at regular school, friends speaking English, radio, etc. The classroom is not an immersive environment.

You’ll find kids copying your speech patterns, though. At least, if they want to imitate you or imitate some of your speech forms from when you’re dealing from a position of power.

Actually the only time I can tell is when they something different to the way I would have taught it. I don’t always use my national standard pronunciation in the classroom. At times though I’m sure I have missed “s” sounds or final consonants without realizing. Hell, I may be saying “fi” when teaching students to say five but I really hope not.

I taught my Kiwi co-worker’s son when he was 3 years old and had him saying “cookie” instead of “biscuit” among other things. His accent also eased a bit after his first year in my class, but man when he came back from spending the summer with his grandparents, there was no mistaking which country he came from.

You should have learnt to say biscuit instead… :smiley:

I got my kids to say “howdy” and “y’all”, They can do it perfectly

But seriously, I pay a lot of attention to their pronunciation. I class I don’t use the same accent and speech patterns I do with my friends. I don’t really notice a change in accent.

Man, they made me drop my accent. It just happened.

Anyone who has heard me believe that I am a KIWI?

The shame, the shame :blush:

I learned about this in a sociolinguistics class in college. The study involved North American children who moved to England with their families. Accents were the last things the children acquired, if they acquired them at all. The local lexicon and unique syntax were easier for them.

My kid imitates hexuan’s accent perfectly… :laughing: