The “INTERNATIONAL” quality of ILA ASPECT
ILA ASPECT is an International Educational Centre. The international quality of ILA ASPECT and its staff stems from the international character of the English language and its variants. Even In the UK itself there are five easily recognizable variants of British English. Fifty other countries use English as an official language…
The main form of non-British English is American (including the very similar Canadian). ILA ASPECT has teachers from many different countries, which often have different education/teaching approaches. ILA ASPECT welcomes the different educational influences of other English speaking places, in broadening the children’s experience. This experience is broadened further in the context of internet/movies/music/electronic media. Our children are being taught not only by our teachers, but very effectively from such media.
British English is the language spoken by most people in the British Isles as a hybrid tongue. There are five main variants of British English. The north variant and south variant are distinguished by quite different vowels; while the Scottish variant distinguished by a rolled “R”; and the Irish variant has unusual “TH” sounds. A fifth important variant is heard in the region between Oxford, Cambridge and London. This is often called Received English (BBC English).
The north variant is spoken by the biggest group (44%) of British native speakers. The south variant is spoken by about 39%. Received English is spoken by only 3% but it is associated with power and prestige (e.g., the Queen speaks Received English). At Russian universities our bilingual teachers learned the south variant, with some Received English pronunciation added.
Non-British English is spoken by millions as a native language or a learned second language. In Norway, Sweden and Netherlands, 90% of the population can speak English. ILA ASPECT has enjoyed and benefitted from French, Swedish, Italian and German teachers who spoke excellent English. In addition, we have had teachers from many countries in Africa, Australasia and Asia. Many countries have spread English widely across their school systems, and their teachers who come to us bring a musicality and vocabulary which adds to the attraction of the language. The hybrid nature of English also means that foreign word content (mostly Latin and French) of English is substantially bigger than the foreign word content of German or Russian.
The main variant of non-British English comes from America (including Canada). American pronunciation comes from the original settlers who left England 300 years ago. The vocabulary and some of the structures and idioms of American English have also evolved differently from those of British English. Many American words have lost their clear vowels or consonants. The most noticeable consonant change has been the move from “T” to “D” in many words, e.g., “This is better” has become “This is bedder”.
It is not only our teaching staff who have come from different places and carry with them the rich culture of half the world for our students to absorb. Our students, too, are increasingly coming from places outside Russia, especially from Asia. It is also not uncommon to have children from England as students in our kindergarten and school. These different places outside Russia often have different education systems which the children’s parents have experienced. ILA ASPECT can therefore benefit from this experience.
ILA ASPECT English teacher
INFLUENCE OF INTERNET/MOVIES/MUSIC
ILA ASPECT uses a broad input of English teaching from many educational systems, but we cannot ignore the internet/movies/music/electronic media. English is being taught not only by our teachers but also by media such as internet and movies, where the language used is the American variant. The most-used internet language is English (American variant). Even in popular music shows on Russian TV channels such as Golos or the Eurovision contest, the language of many songs is English.
Clearly, in spite of ILA ASPECT’s careful lessons in English, using the combined benefits of native speakers and bilingual teachers, our students are constantly exposed to variants of English from other sources, sometimes good and sometimes not. ASPECT’s challenge is how to deal with this flood of different variants of English.