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Need help with accent

Discussion in 'New teachers' started by dkarana, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. dkarana

    dkarana New commenter

    Hi Everyone,
    I have recently joined an outstanding school as an NQT.I have not started teaching but my department head is worried about my accent.I know she wants me to succeed and is therefore trying to help.This has brought my confidence down already.Although during my placements I never faced any issues but probably students were polite .I want to work on my communication.Can anyone suggest something I can do during summers?I do not have any money to spare after PGCE.
    Need for help desperately.
     
  2. dkarana

    dkarana New commenter

    Hi Everyone,
    I have recently joined an outstanding school as an NQT.I have not started teaching but my department head is worried about my accent.I know she wants me to succeed and is therefore trying to help.This has brought my confidence down already.Although during my placements I never faced any issues but probably students were polite .I want to work on my communication.Can anyone suggest something I can do during summers?I do not have any money to spare after PGCE.
    Need for help desperately.
     
  3. What kind of accent do you have? Mine is Scottish and I've had very few issues except for occasional questions about where I'm from, and positive comments about how they love my accent. Very occasionally, I have to repeat a word (sometimes with a bit of english accent put on) to make sure it's understood, but nothing that impacts my ability to teach. I'm sure if you got through your placements without any problems then you're fine. I refuse to believe that the 'students were polite', if they didn't understand you, they would have let you know.
     
  4. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I think some sort of volunteer work, where the role is visiting (with elderly people, perhaps) and during which you can ask the people you visit to help you with your conversation/accent might be a good idea.
    If you have a recording device of some kind, taping yourself and then playing it back so that you can hear how you sound (it still surprises me how strong my Yorkshire accent is!) and then work on vowel sounds, for example, might also help you.
     
  5. I assume your accent wasn't a problem when you had your interview.
    Why now?


     
  6. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I was very sympathetic to the OP because during my first year in teaching at a London school, my strong Northern accent was the subject of much ridicule - by the staff, not the kids, who didn't bat an eyelid. I spoke standard English with a Yorkshire accent, which came as (apparently) a huge and amusing surprise to some people in the staffroom, several of whom would respond to anything I said with 'Eeee, bah gum' or similar.
    Whilst we should all expect to be treated with respect, sometimes we are not - and the lack of respect can come from the most surprising of quarters.
     
  7. I've mentioned a few times on here and other places online that I was told my accent wasn't suitable for teaching, so I feel like I can't stay out of this thread! Fair enough if you're happy with being told that and want to do something about it but I really really think that you shouldn't be. I think it's a misplaced comment that is too personal to have any place in your performance management.
     
  8. dkarana

    dkarana New commenter

    Thank you all,
    You people are really great.The idea about recording my voice and listening to it is extraordinary.I agree with all of you.I think my HOD is really concerned and wants me to do well.I fully agree that mu accent is part of my personality and I am not at all keen on changing my accent.Throughout my PGCE placements I had the attitude"I am proud of my accent if you have a problem than you are a problem".All my classmates and colleagues in school liked it.But now all of a sudden I had started feeling a bit under confident.I forgot to mention I am from Asia.
    Thanks for all your advice
     
  9. If it's only your HoD who has a problem with it, then I would leave it alone. Just make sure that when you're teaching, you speak as loudly and clearly as possible and ask students to tell you if they need you to repeat something you've said.
    If you find that this doesn't work and this is mentioned as an area of development in your feedback for observations, only then should you act upon it. The other tes users have given excellent suggestions for this.
    HTH and good luck!
     
  10. I'm a Southerner, teaching in the East Mids. My classes know I'm not from round here, and they think it's hugely funny when I pronounce something differently. For example:

    GM "That's daft" (long a sound)
    Y7 "What's daaarft mean?"
    GM: " It's what pepole down south say when they mean what you mean when you say daft" (short a sound)

    Giggles all round. I was also asked to read a script "like you do where you're from miss". To be followed by "could you just do it ordinary, only we couldn't get it"!

    Don't worry too much. It sounds as though your school are maybe just a bit over-anxious for you to succeed.
     
  11. dkarana

    dkarana New commenter

    Thanks again,
    PS09 I have not started teaching as its the end of the term. Till now only HOD has shared her concern,
    Thegotmother I love your sense of humour.
    I appreciate all your suggestions.
     

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