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Is your ESL better than the native one?

  • September 30, 2016
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Lately, I was asked: Is it a bad thing that I write better in English than I do in my primary language?

In most of the cases, people study their second (or foreign) language with more effort: more time, praxis, and exercise.

They think: “Come on! It’s my first language. I speak it from my childhood.” Then people decide not to pay much attention or effort to their mother tongue.

I used to consider similar situations as a shame for everyone: teacher, student, parents, cat and dog.

Is your Second Language better than your First one?

Next, I’ve changed my mind: at least people know one language at their best.

In reality, think about this fact in the following way: you consider more the speech when you use any foreign or second language while when you speak your native one, you don’t care.

And it’s completely okay!

When people started to speak foreign languages, they began to study them. These studies and research can go deeper and further than the native ones.

For example, you talk in a foreign language. Do you think about the rules or pronunciation? Do you pay attention to the small nuances that the native speaker doesn’t even know?

I’m an ESL speaker, learner, and teacher. In the present moment, I have noticed that there is no as much data about the English language, both its rules and exceptions as the foreigners have collected. Sometimes it was remarked that the natives aren’t aware of the rules that the nonnatives have created for themselves. Now they teach these language courses to the native ones, and we both continue discovering new and different notions in one and the same language.

I speak French, and I see that the French speakers avoid the correct usage of grammar or lexis being too tired of their lots of rules and restrictions. Currently, I speak a very strange variety of French because people don’t use it. I say a word from Paris to a man in Marseille, and he doesn’t understand where I took the expression from. The next day I use another word in another city, and again those people can’t guess at once what I’m talking about because I speak Canadian French.

One more example, I speak some Russian, but again the language differs from each region or country where people use this dialect.

I can’t say that you or me or anyone else of the language fans and learners use it in a wrong way. Sometimes it seems strange to hear an “outdated, and exact” speech. People consider the right and beautiful language of Shakespeare a swollen one, and not convenient to this or that situation. That’s a pity.

Today I can presume that the foreigners that study any language well enough will speak that tongue better than the natives. We (the international speakers of any language) learn, study, try to discover more than a native speaker could even think about looking for.

Go ahead and don’t be afraid: you can achieve your communication goals if you really want!

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