What Type Of English Can I Teach?
If you're a British TEFL teacher, you'll be asked the question â€˜do you teach American English?' more often than you'll hot dinners. Your response
should always be a firm, but polite, â€˜no'.
This is nothing to do with snobbishness or a belief that British English is somehow â€˜superior'. It is simply an acknowledgement that you are not
American; you'll probably have little knowledge of American English or culture other than what you see in Hollywood films. Usage of American English
is different from that of British English, and beyond knowing the words 'trashcan' and â€˜garbage' American conversation won't be natural.
Teach the English that you know!
Our advice to TEFL teachers is to always teach the type of English you are comfortable with speaking. If you try and adopt a different variety, it will
sound strange and stilted; this means that your students will sound unnatural, too.
Don't some language schools prefer you to teach American English/British English?
Yes. Whilst there are many variants of English, the two main types are British and American English. Some English language schools have strong
preferences for one particular type; so before deciding on a particular language school, check if it has any preferences. However, many language
schools adopt a flexible approach to teaching English, and are happy for you to supplement their materials.
Should I avoid teaching words that I don't use in my type of English?
No, of course not! Whatever type of English you speak, it is interesting and desirable for your students to know that â€˜garbage' and â€˜rubbish' is the
same stuff! That American people walk down a sidewalk, whilst British people walk down a pavement! Don't forget to include lessons that discuss the
differences in pronunciation, especially at immediate level, as it can only improve your students' understanding of English conversation. â€˜Let's call
the whole thing off' is a great song that demonstrates these differences.
Don't I need to teach the Queen's English