Accents

You should read this article. It’s about how accents are frequently mocked in mainstream, “white” America.

And it’s something that’s been on my mind here. I work in a school where I’m one of 5 Americans. I work with Kiwis, a Canadian, some Brits, a ton of Kurds, a ton of Iraqis, and a ton of Lubnanis. I teach Kurdish, Arab, and Pakistani kids who struggle to say “ch” and “i” and “r” and “l” and “ing” and a whole lot of other sounds. And I can’t pronounce hardly anything in Arabic, and I was told just this past weekend that I speak Kurdish like a hick.

I’m recognizing that it’s easier for me to dismiss someone who speaks “broken English” or speaks with a non-native English accent. I’m not sure how much of that is caused by the relief of finding someone who speaks good English and knowing I won’t have to struggle with Kurdish. And it certainly happens quite infrequently now that I’ve moved to another country and been forced into the shoes of a “foreigner.” But the point remains that it happens.

So read the article. It’s good. It makes you think.

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