Friday, September 30th, 2016

Learning English with Kaplan International

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Traveling around the world on my own, I’ve been lucky enough to pick up snippets of other languages — Italian in Florence, Thai in Bangkok, Bahasa in Bali, Arabic in Jordan.

But what about people who come to my two current countries, the US and the UK, to learn English?

What I often hear about non-native English speakers who move to the US is that they learn from watching TV and movies.  That does help me with my best language, French (particularly if I watch with both the dubbed voices and the subtitles on), but I do have to wonder what would happen if people wanting to learn English would learn instead if they concentrated on the following shows:

1) Jersey Shore — how to party and/or fight in a bar all night while drawling through a thick New York accent.  (Pass the SOLT.)

2) The Departed — how to kill lots of gangsters while speaking the most inimitable accent in America, the Boston accent.  (As a Bostonian, I am offended by most of the attempted accents, particularly Martin Sheen’s.)  The bar fights in this case are deadly.

3) Desperate Scousewives — how to apply the thickest makeup and strangest hairstyles possible with a straight face, as well as the most incomprehensible English accent — the Liverpool accent.  Bar fights may occur, but most may take place in a beauty salon or boutique.

According to Kaplan’s survey, Friends is the most popular show for people learning English.  It makes sense — not only is the show funny, but the characters speak easy-to-understand English without strange accents (though if they were really true to life, Rachel and Monica and Ross would have thick Long Island accents and Joey would be pure Queens).

Here is an infographic from Kaplan International that tells all about how to learn English:


Infographic: How to learn English via Kaplan Blog

What tips do YOU have for learning English?

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