Academic English - Prof. David 4 reasons to learn a new language | John 7 months ago   05:39

Cambridge University Press ELT
In this short extract Prof. David Crystal sets the background to the discussion about standard and non-standard English. Watch the full lecture and practise your lecture skills at

Comments 66 Comments

Ajit Gurung
I don't know much about what Standard English means for,but in my own opinion English is a language which has been a global language for communication in today's world.So I think We should know atleast one variety of English accent that suffices us to communicate with all English speaking world no matter the stardard is average but our ultimate goal is to communicate.
Alan Pacheco Osuna
This information might be very helpful for my dissertation.
3 1 / 0 3
Oi he looks like dumbeldoor innit
This guy makes me feel like we speak a different language
Mark Enlightenment
The issue with not having a standard is, 'what' should we learn?
Should I as an Arab teacher, teach all different varieties of English e.g. Engrish, Arabglish, cockney etc.?

I believe as a solution we should accept that some -actually most- speakers (Whether native or not) will not be able to acquire a full standard accent, but a large percentage could acquire near standard accents specially for formal uses, even Prince Harry does not have a standard accent but he 'standardises' as much as he could in formal uses, this is also the current use of modern English so it is not prescription, even professor Crystal has a Wales flavoured RP accent which he -and quite perfectly- standardises as much as he could in his beautiful interviews.

In Arabic, our dialects are quite chaotic and the dialect we move change to (MLA) when someone does not understand us is at the lowest possible prestige imaginable, people at least will believe it is odd that you use it, laugh at you or at the very extreme believe you are 'retarded', I do not see standard English as having such a low prestige as MLA does.

Some may argue -and they are right- that there is no connection between accent/dialect and social status, but the social view is not and not having something accepted socially is as bad as not having one

My view: While considering full RP/GA from everyone is a little 'too much', Near-RP/GA should have a greater acceptance, many English accents are very chaotic and widespread to be accepted.
Manar action
Manar action
Spider Salticidae
A: " lunch you eat what?"
The above is an example of singaporean style English or Singlish. Locals will use it among themselves in informal settings.
Lunch you eat what is a direct transcription from mandarin " 午餐你吃什么? Singaporeans will use " proper" English at work esp when they deal with clients and foreigners.
Ehaab Almadany
it is very important to use standard form of english if you want to e understood by others it is like key feature which bring all people on the common ground
basavanyappa t
I don't agree with Mr. David. Everyone can't learn to speak standard English and it is not so easy to learn. Just for their inability to learn to speak standard English, many, specially Indians argue 'We are Indians, so proud of to speak Indian English', where actually there is no Indian English as such at the international level. Whatever English is spoken by Indians is Indian English. It is blind pride to praise ourselves to hide our weakness David visits I can show him tens of Englishes here.
We should learn standard English to improve our non standard English. We should change the way for our speaking and writing. If we have to understand, we should identify the using between non standard English and standard English that is important.
In Standard English , two negative are understood to resolve to a positive. This rule was observed as early as 1762, when Bishop Robert Lowth wrote "A Short Introduction to English Grammar with Critical Notes". For instance, I do not disgree." means "I certainly agree." Most people know that there is Standard English in the world from then until now, but the Standard English is also a minority dialect now. Actually, I have read a book about Kachru's opinion toward Standard English and I agree with his statement against Standard English and the ownership because I think that the importance of languages is used to communicate well. In other words, speaking fluently is more important than speaking accurately. Moreover, there is a variety of people from different cultures live in the world, speaking English with different accent or ways. However, I think that no matter people from all over the world speak what kind of English, they can communicate well is the most important thing. Therefore, I also agree with the opinion of professor David Crystal. Furthermore, I think English can be International Language because it is Lingua franca in today's world.
Eunice Kuo
I will choose Non Standard English. because if we have conversation with other people it will be easier to understand what people talk about.
Reading English for the first time absolutely standard work and this is what he say. Prof. Crystal uses Standard English for his lectures and I agree with this opinions.
Jill Hu
StID: 10216042
In the world English, the major use of spoken language is the non-standard, but in some specific lectures are standard English. The standard English was a form of English used for universal or social class that is a minority dialect uses in the world. Today, people likes to use non-standard English because it is easy to use in an informal way and it is more common in the world.
standard English is whatever form of the English is accepted as a national norm in any English-speaking country. it concludes grammar, vocabulary and spelling. in English speaking countries, England and Wales are received pronunciation and United Kingdom standard English , which refers to grammar and vocabulary. Scotland called Scottish Standard English; United States called General American;Australia called General Australian. however, on the contrary, non standard English refers to any dialect of English other than standard English and can be bad or incorrect English. for example, in British English, we was in place of we were and if i was you in place of if i were you. in American English, some slangs are appeared in movies and songs or conversations such as kinda( kind of)and wanna( want to). in conclusion, standard English can be accepted by nationality and people could interact precisely. as for non standard English, we may hope there's some improvements to change some day.
STID : 10316037
I’m not an English speaker. In my country, teachers always tell students that double negative is not correct. We can’t say or write something like “I don’t have nothing”. In my cognition, two negatives in a sentence means an affirmative meaning. I think Prof. David Crystal is right, no Englishes is real standard in the world, and every English dialects have right to exist and be correct. However, I think it will be better for foreigners (non- English speakers) if people can formulate a real standard English because it will help foreigners learning English easier.
STID: 10216006 (Jasmine)
我認為Standard English是國際化所衍生出來的結果,而dialects是文化的結晶。兩個都是密不可分,必須存在的一種語言。就像是不同國家的人到美國讀書,他會在美國學到美式英文,但母國的方言仍不會忘懷。因為美式英文具有國際化,而方言是他們祖國的語言。以發音而言,糾正是好,不糾正也是好,而且隨著時間的變化,有時候語言也會改變,或許哪一天方言也會超越英文成為標準式的語言。
English has different kind of type, such us American English, UK English, Canada English and Singapore English. Each country has their own standard on language. I think Non standard English can let people not afraid to communication. No matter standard or not standard are not important to everyone now.
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4 reasons to learn a new language | John Academic English - Prof. David 7 months ago   10:02

English is fast becoming the world's universal language, and instant translation technology is improving every year. So why bother learning a foreign language? Linguist and Columbia professor John McWhorter shares four alluring benefits of learning an unfamiliar tongue.

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