Sounds of good sense

March 18, 2005

Those for whom English is an additional language outnumber those for whom it is a first language by about three to one worldwide ("Baffled by ill-spoken English", March 11).

On graduating, many of today's students will be operating in a global environment whose lingua franca is predominantly English. Rather than complaining about their overseas lecturers' English, would it perhaps be more constructive for students to familiarise themselves with non-native English accents? They may learn that native English speakers do not have a monopoly on well-spoken English and that non-native speakers' English is not "ill-spoken" merely by virtue of its non-nativeness.

Jennifer Jenkins
King's College London

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