Page 1

Forfatterne beskriver vokabular, grammatikk, uttale og språklig variasjon i engelsk i en samlet fremstilling. Studiet av disse fire aspektene ved språket gir studentene bred innsikt i språkets strukturer, noe som er en forutsetning for å kunne drive systematisk og effektiv språkopplæring. Når studentene lærer om byggesteinene og systemene i engelsk, vil de også utvikle bevissthet om hvordan andre språk er bygget opp. Dette vil hjelpe dem å utnytte det språklige mangfoldet i mange klasserom som en ressurs i opplæringen. Bokas forfattere har lang fartstid som engelsklærere i lærerutdanningen. Mona Evelyn Flognfeldt arbeider som førstelektor ved Høgskolen i Oslo og Akershus. Ragnhild Elisabeth Lund er professor ved Høgskolen i SørøstNorge.


English for Teachers and Learners er skrevet for engelsklærere og studenter i ulike lærerutdanningsløp. Ifølge skolens læreplan er lærernes oppgave å hjelpe elevene med å utvikle gode kommunikasjonsferdigheter på engelsk, slik at de kan greie seg i en verden der engelsk brukes på stadig flere arenaer. Det er også målet for denne boka.

Flognfeldt and Lund


Mona E. Flognfeldt Ragnhild E. Lund




ISBN 978-82-02-51527-0

English for Teachers and Learners omslag.indd 1

22.04.2016 11.41

dkort, stor

When earnt really

part 1: vocabulary

the same concept. For learners who learn English as their L3, a visual representation of the word may be a lot more effective. If these learners struggle with Norwegian as the language of instruction, it may be more helpful for them to make a direct mental link between the English word and its meaning than an indirect link via a Norwegian word.

Learning the vocabulary of a new language is to a certain extent a matter of relabelling concepts that learners already know, at least when it comes to concrete vocabulary. This is admittedly a simplistic view, since we know that different cultures cut up reality and conceptualise experience in different ways. The relationships between words (labels) and concepts in two languages are not automatically identical. For instance, many languages do not distinguish between colours like ‘blue’ and ‘green’ in the same way. It is important to keep this in mind when we consider the multilingual realities of many classrooms in Norway.

1.3 What does it mean to know a word? When we say that we have learnt a word, what do we really mean?

The simple answer to this question is that you need to know the form of the word both as it is spoken and written, the meaning of the word, and how it is actually used in communication. When we say that word knowledge includes all these elements, that is, aspects of form, meaning and use, we have to bear in mind that we all know words at different degrees of depth. Beginners will know some words in English, what they sound


00 106180 GRMAT English for teachers and learners 160101.indb 36

22.04.16 12.47

chapter 1: learning vocabulary

like and what their basic meaning is. As children’s literacy skills develop, they learn the written form of the word and they become familiar with some of the sentence patterns these words can be used in. Later, they may get to know the types of connections a particular word has to other words, for instance words that have similar or opposite meanings. Their knowledge will also be expanded to cover several words that belong to the same lexical field. One example is the lexical field of transport, which includes nouns and expressions referring to different vehicles, drivers, passengers, adjectives expressing speed, convenience, size, and verbs referring to ways of getting from one place to another, etc. Below, we will be returning to these three aspects of word knowledge – form, meaning and use – on several occasions. It is important to constantly keep in mind that vocabulary development is a cumulative process. New words and meanings are built into the system that is gradually emerging in our minds. This is not simply a matter of expanding the volume of our mental lexicons. Our lexicons are also changed. Connections between words and expressions in our minds are refined in the process. Being aware of this fact will help us approach vocabulary development more effectively as learners and more systematically as teachers.

##Sn do w learn

1.4 Receptive and productive word knowledge Knowing words is a matter of degree. As we have seen, there is no end point to the process of vocabulary acquisition. We How well do we know may understand a word in a particular context reasonably well the words we have learnt? so that we comprehend the general message, but we may not know the word well enough to use it ourselves as a resource in communication. To explain this important difference of degree, there are two useful terms we can use: receptive vs. productive word knowledge. Some words in a text you simply need to understand there and then, in order to receive or make sense of what you are reading (or hearing). This is receptive word knowledge. When it comes to the most common words in English, on the other hand, you need to learn and retain them as your own so that you can use them actively in communication. This will be your productive word knowledge. Many textbooks for schools have texts for reading with a glossary on the same page. This kind of word list is meant to help the learner understand the text. However, the words in a textbook glossary are not necessarily the most useful 37

00 106180 GRMAT English for teachers and learners 160101.indb 37

22.04.16 12.47

walk, duim

part 1: vocabulary

and rhyming with now). Here, too, there is even a third word row3, the noun meaning ‘series, sequence’, rhyming with row1. In homonyms of the kinds we have seen here, the different meanings are not related to each other. Now take a look at another type of lexical relation between words that have the same form and different meanings, but where these meanings are somehow related to each other. This last phenomenon is referred to as polysemy, meaning ‘many senses’. An interesting example here is the lexical item walk. With no contextual clues to help us, the word walk can be a verb, depicting the action of moving both feet. There is also the noun walk, which can refer quite simply to an ‘instance of walking’, as in Let’s take a walk, or a ‘way of walking’, as we know from the British comedian John Cleese’s many ways of demonstrating a silly walk. Yet another sense of the word is a place where one can walk, a kind of footpath. The fact that all these meanings of walk are related is evident from the fact that ‘walk’ is included in all the definitions. A learner of English as L2 or L3 will become familiar with the verb first and only later realise that there are several related meanings of the same form. This may not be a problem for the learner, since a given context will more often than not make one interpretation of the word the most likely one.

3.8 Figurative meaning When words or expressions are used to express a meaning over and above their denotation, we refer to this as figurative meaning, as opposed to literal meaning. Many language learners find it difficult to cope with so-called figurative language. One type of figurative meaning is what is traditionally called metonymy. Let us look at a couple of examples: (1) We are reading Shakespeare at the moment. (2) Yes, please, I would love a glass.

Shakespeare does not refer to the person, but rather to his works in (1). And in (2), it is rather the drink inside the glass that the speaker would love to taste. 58

00 106180 GRMAT English for teachers and learners 160101.indb 58

22.04.16 12.47

when cows ome, m stor

part 1: vocabulary

look at the expression kick the bucket, meaning ‘die’. This is a crown example of a situation where there is nothing about the sum of the words kick + the + bucket that automatically triggers the one appropriate interpretation, ‘die’. It is a real challenge for language learners to decode idioms. They definitely need to learn them as wholes and, not least, to use them appropriately. For example, death is very often a culturally sensitive topic. People tend to use a less direct verb than die, for instance pass away (itself another metaphor), about a close relative who is no longer among the living. It would be unsuitable to use the idiom kick the bucket in this setting. Let’s look at one more idiom. The time expression until the cows come home means ‘for a very long time’. Native speakers of English are not likely to even think about animals when they use this phrase. It is simply another way of saying for a very long time. For a learner of English as L2/L3, on the other hand, it is virtually impossible not to see before our eyes the image of cows on their way back to the farm when we hear this expression.

Proverbs are a particular type of idiom. Proverbs often express cultural truths, or notions that may no longer be as obvious to us today as they used to be for the generations immediately before us. Some well-known English proverbs are: A watched pot never boils. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Too many cooks spoil the broth. A stitch in time saves nine.


00 106180 GRMAT English for teachers and learners 160101.indb 60

22.04.16 12.47

ble## alled isn’t ay of with is the

part 1: vocabulary

word correctly, which is put to the test. Finally, the units tested are often single words only, and not chunks, and they often appear as a list of words taken out of context. In real communication, words are not normally used in isolation.

6.2.2 Using words in new contexts There is a lot more to knowing a word than simply knowing its meaning and its written form. Without a chance to put words to use in a relevant context, it is doubtful whether this practice has any durable effect on our learners’ vocabulary development. If our aim is to help them acquire words and remember them long after the test, to retrieve and use them in real communication, our learners have to engage with the words actively and mentally. Learners need opportunities to use them several times, in a variety of ways and in slightly new and different contexts. A teacher of English who relies too heavily on the vocabulary test routine is in danger of missing opportunities to recycle already taught vocabulary. We need to encounter a word or an expression several times before it sticks in our long-term memory. The learner should, we would suggest, use the target words and chunks orally at first. Then, a good idea is to write them and use them in a new context. After a while, it is useful to recall them and use them once again in yet another type of situation. This is what recycling is about. It goes without saying that too much time and effort spent on testing the “words of the week” can take time off effective recycling of really useful words and chunks. There is, moreover, no guarantee that your course book has integrated recycling of vocabulary in a principled way. Making sure pupils reinforce what they know may in fact end up as one of your most important language-pedagogical responsibilities as an English teacher.

6.3 Teaching principles In the introduction to this book, we referred to four strands of language learning. According to Paul Nation, who introduced these four strands, language classes should ideally consist of all these elements: (1) meaningful input, (2) meaningful output, (3) fluency development, and (4) deliberate language study (Nation, 2007). When we apply this principle to vocabulary instruction, it makes sense to revisit each strand in turn.


00 106180 GRMAT English for teachers and learners 160101.indb 80

22.04.16 12.47

chapter 6: vocabulary in the classroom

6.3.1 Providing meaningful input We have already argued in favour of letting learners listen to a lot of English and read books for pleasure. These are ways of exposing them to a lot of meaningful input. Pupils will learn a fair amount of vocabulary implicitly in this way, but they will need texts at an appropriate level. When learners are on their own with a text, their reading comprehension depends on how many words they understand. They can’t be expected to be familiar with all the words on a page, so there is a good chance they will have to guess at the meaning of words they have never come across before. It is important to keep in mind that unless they understand at least around 95 % of the running text, the strategy of guessing from context won’t be very helpful. Consequently, helping your pupils develop a vocabulary of a certain volume will be one of your chief priorities as a teacher.

6.3.2 Facilitating meaningful output You may have heard the slogan Use it, or lose it. It is not enough to let your learners listen to or read English. They need lots of opportunities to use the language themselves. When they use the language to express meaningful messages, they get a chance to test their own hypotheses about how words and expressions work in a context. Getting a chance to use the language in meaningful situations, in genres that are relevant to young learners, will have an effect on their self-esteem and motivation as well. We will explore some productive vocabulary tasks in section 6.4 below.

6.3.3 Fluency development Whereas the word meaningful is a vital factor in the first two strands, when it comes to fluency development, the most important point is getting a chance to practise what you have learnt. In activities to promote fluency development, there should be no new vocabulary material at all. The whole point is internalising and making as automatic as possible what the learners already know and can do. We are not suggesting mindless drills, but the element of repetition is essential. The traditional game I went to market and bought …, where one pupil starts by offering one item, and the next has to repeat what the first one says and supply his or her own and so on, can be used and also serve as a model for practising the vocabulary of other topics. 81

00 106180 GRMAT English for teachers and learners 160101.indb 81

22.04.16 12.47


part 2: grammar

Here is an overview of all the types of determiners we have studied in this section. Determiners definite article indefinite article demonstrative determiners quantifying determiners possessive determiners possessive relative determiner wh-determiners indefinite determiners

the a/an this, that, these, those a little, a lot, many, much, a number of my, your, his, her, its, their whose what, which some, any

One final comment in connection with determiners needs to be made: Only cardinal numerals like one, two, three, twenty-two, sixty-one, one hundred, one thousand belong to the category determiners. Ordinal numerals like sixtieth, third, etc. are classified as adjectives.

2.5 Pronouns The function of many pronouns is to stand in for nouns or more complex nouns phrases when we refer to persons, entities or ideas. Once we know what a given noun phrase refers to, we can use a pronoun instead of repeating long phrases with head nouns, determiners, pre- and postmodifiers. Let’s look at an example: (1) The phone I bought in Manchester doesn’t work. It … (2) My new friends from Sri Lanka arrived yesterday. They …

Pronouns are function words. Their main contribution is this grammatical function, i.e. representing other expressions in a text.

2.5.1 Personal pronouns The two pronouns we have used in our examples, it and they, are called personal pronouns. Sometimes the pronoun it is referred to as a referential pronoun, 128

00 106180 GRMAT English for teachers and learners 160101.indb 128

22.04.16 12.48

chapter 2: the grammar of nouns

since its main function is to refer to something that has already been introduced in the text or is about to be. For us to understand the word it in (1), we need to know what it refers to and stands in for. Personal pronouns differ in person (1st, 2nd and 3rd person) and in number (singular and plural). Most of them show another grammatical distinction as well: they have a subject form and a so-called object form: Person

Singular Subject form


Object form

Subject form

Object form

1 person





2 person





3 person








It seems more relevant to operate with a term like “non-subject” form, since this form is used in all other functions than as the subject in a clause. Take a look at these examples: (1) I drove him home from the party. (2) This service was meant as a favour to him.

In (1), him is the object of the clause. In (2), the pronoun him follows the preposition to. The form he is impossible in any of these positions. We could have used all the other personal pronouns in these clause patterns, and the same variation between the subject form and the other forms would apply, except for you, which has only one form.

2.5.2 Demonstrative pronouns When you take a look at the demonstrative pronouns, you realise that they are identical in form with the demonstrative determiners we examined in, section 2.4.2 on page 124 : this/these and that/those. Determiners function as the first part of noun phrases with the noun present as the head of the phrase, whereas pronouns act as noun phrases in their own right: These socks are mine. These are mine.

##Sna teksten differe and a

What is the difference between a pronoun and a determiner?


00 106180 GRMAT English for teachers and learners 160101.indb 129

22.04.16 12.48

å rett en

part 2: grammar

3.2.3 Compound verbs Compound verbs are multi-word lexical verbs. They express particular meanings in the form of units. Compound verbs consist of a lexical verb in combination with a particle, which is either a short adverb or a preposition. Here are some examples at work in sentences: The epidemic first broke out somewhere in Africa. The thief broke in while we were on holiday abroad. My aunt broke down in tears at the news. My husband and I broke up last year.

3.2.4 Transitive and intransitive verbs For clauses to be grammatically acceptable in English, they have to include a verbal part and at least a noun phrase functioning as a subject (see section 1.4.1 above). Some verbs also require an object to be present. These verbs are called transitive verbs. Verbs that only require a subject to make sense are called intransitive (the prefix in- meaning ‘not’). Some verbs require two objects (iO and dO). They are termed di-transitive. Let’s take a look at a few examples: S


(1) I bought two new books. S

(2) My sister laughs. S



(3) He gave his nephew a brand new bicycle.

S   IO  DO

(4) I told her a joke.

The verb buy is transitive. It does not work to say *I bought in English. Sentence (2) has the intransitive action verb laughs, and the verb give in (3) is a good example of a di-transitive verb requiring two objects. In (4), the verb tell is used. It is easy to transfer the properties of the Norwegian verb fortelle into English,


00 106180 GRMAT English for teachers and learners 160101.indb 138

22.04.16 12.48

chapter 3: the grammar of verbs

but in fact fortelle is a transitive verb, whereas English tell is normally used ditransitively, in a pattern like (4).

3.2.5 Auxiliaries The function words that are relevant in connection with verbs are called auxiliary verbs. The word auxiliary means ‘providing extra help when needed’. In Norwegian, this meaning is transparent in the Norwegian grammatical term hjelpeverb. The main grammatical auxiliaries in English are be, have and do. Their functions as “helping verbs” in clauses vary. The following table gives an overview of how the three grammatical auxiliaries are used and the meanings they express. Auxiliaries have


Grammatical functions

I have jumped She has jumped.

Perfective aspect: We use the pattern have + VERB-ed to express an action that is completed.

We had jumped.


He is smiling. He was smiling He has been smiling, etc.

The auxiliary have is inflected for tense, person and number. The form of the main verb is the past participle. Progressive aspect: We use the pattern be + VERB-ing to express an action that is in progress. The auxiliary be is inflected for tense, person and number. The main verb ends in -ing.


It is mended. It was mended. It has been mended.

Passive voice: We use the pattern be + VERB-ed to express an action seen from the point of view of a participant in the event who is not the agent (the doer). The auxiliary be is inflected for tense, person and number. The form of the main verb is the past participle.


Do you understand? Does she understand? Did they understand?

Question and negative statement formation: We use the pattern do + infinitive VERB when there is no other auxiliary in the verb phrase.

We don’t understand. He doesn’t understand. They didn’t understand.

The auxiliary is inflected for tense, person and number. The form of the main verb is the infinitive. In questions, the auxiliary do must appear before the subject. In negative statements, the negative adverb not follows do.


00 106180 GRMAT English for teachers and learners 160101.indb 139

22.04.16 12.48

Chapter 5

The grammar of adverbs The word class called adverbs is a kind of ragbag containing a lot of types of words. There are multi-syllable adverbs like extraordinarily and small particles like out, in, back, forth. Adverbs describe or rate the quality of actions, states and other qualities: wonderfully, awkwardly, really, steadily, fast, long, too, early, etc.: This novel is wonderfully rich in twists and turns. He ran really fast this time. They arrived too early.

5.1 Adverb forms Many adverbs are related to adjectives by means of the inflectional suffix -ly: quickly, bravely, fundamentally. This table offers an overview of adverbs: Adjective


What happens?

clear practical

clearly practically

The ending -ly is added to the adjective.

happy extraordinary

happily extraordinarily

The ending -y in the adjective is replaced by -i before the regular adverb ending -ly.



There is no formal difference between the adjective and the adverb. The grammatical function helps us recognise the word class adverb.

The most obvious challenge for a learner when it comes to adverbs is remembering to use adverbs in the first place. Since adverbs often differ from adjectives 161

00 106180 GRMAT English for teachers and learners 160101.indb 161

22.04.16 12.48

chapter 7: clauses








bought three dresses [there] [yesterday] [because I needed ­shopping therapy].






The elements in brackets are perfectly acceptable parts, but they are not obligatory from the point of view of English syntax. They can be left out, and the sentence will still be grammatically correct. The only obligatory parts are SVO. We explored how verbs can be transitive, intransitive or di-transitive when we looked at types of verb in section 3.2.4 above. A clause pattern in Norwegian that has emerged fairly recently illustrates how a clause structure may change over time. You will hear Norwegians, especially young people, say

2_17 “I Star W

Jeg vet.

This is a possible Norwegian sentence today. It starts with a capital letter, ends with a full stop and has the pattern of a clause, at least according to the intuition of young language users. It consists of the verbal element vet and the subject jeg. The verb vite in Norwegian used to be classified as transitive, requiring both the knower (the subject) and what is known (the object). Some people still insist that an object is required: Jeg vet det. Today, we are getting more and more used to the clause pattern involving only the verbal element and the subject. There can be little doubt that this fairly new pattern in Norwegian is a transfer from the way an English speaker would give an affirmative response: I know. This example illustrates how the patterns of a language are not fixed; they are dynamic in the sense that new needs will produce new patterns. Language contact will have an effect on the languages of both parties.

7.3.1 Basic clause patterns Below is a list of eight basic clause patterns in English with examples. We will describe each one briefly. You will already be familiar with some of the patterns from our discussion of phrases, clauses and sentences earlier in this part of the book. 171

00 106180 GRMAT English for teachers and learners 160101.indb 171

22.04.16 12.48

chapter 10: basic punctuation conventions

(5) Use a comma before or after a name when you want to reproduce dialogue in which a speaker is eager to call that person’s attention, George, will you please read your poem aloud to the class? Will you please read your poem aloud to the class, Jane?

(6) Use a comma before interactive tag questions at the end of a message. It has been raining cats and dogs today, hasn’t it? We are meeting the rest of the group later, are we?

2_19 c lives

10.3 The apostrophe The main use of the apostrophe is in nouns in the possessive form. In singular possessives, the apostrophe is put between the noun and the possessive -s ending; in plural possessives, the apostrophe is inserted after the regular plural ending -s. These are Jamie’s shoes, and these are the children’s. I have read all the students’ forum entries.

The apostrophe is the punctuation mark that is used in contractions like the following: We don’t want to spend too much time on this. These sentences won’t work in a more formal setting. He can’t understand why we are using contracted forms in a course book.


00 106180 GRMAT English for teachers and learners 160101.indb 185

22.04.16 12.48

part 2: grammar

Contractions are used to represent the way we talk. In academic papers, there is still a tendency to prefer a more formal practice, encouraging students to write the full forms do not, will not and cannot. In this book, we are using contracted forms intentionally to keep a fairly informal tone while presenting a lot of theoretical information about language.

10.4 The semi-colon The semi-colon should be used with great care. Some writers seem to think that the semi-colon is some kind of designer tool to be used for an effect. It is used to separate the two clauses in a compound sentence when there is no coordinating conjunction (and, but, or). It cannot replace a comma just because it looks cool. Unless you are certain about how it is used, it is better to avoid it, since the comma + conjunction option is an unproblematic alternative. This is the worst-case scenario; we’re hoping things will be ok.

10.5 The hyphen The hyphen is used in some compound nouns. There isn’t one particular rule for when we can use a hyphen. Dictionaries will give the information you need, but there is a tendency to use the hyphen when the compound consists of parts from two different word classes. Compound adjectives are often hyphenated: accident-prone, part-time, two-faced, etc. Another use of the hyphen is between the parts of a multi-word premodifier in a phrase, but not between the premodifier and the head. The swimming-pool has just been cleaned. Dogs need well-behaved owners. This two-year-old toddler has really impressed us all.

10.6 Inverted commas / Quotation marks When you want to include a quotation in your written text, English uses quotation marks, or inverted commas, as they are also called, at the top both at the beginning and end. Whether the marks are double or single is not so important. 186

00 106180 GRMAT English for teachers and learners 160101.indb 186

22.04.16 12.48

tomi: isjon

part 3: phonology and pronunciation



/ʌ /
























* Remember that these sounds do not exist in AE (see page 206).

In phonetics, one often distinguishes between front and back, close and open vowels. These terms refer to the position of the tongue as we articulate the different sounds. Front indicates that it is the front of the tongue that is doing the main job in producing the vowel, back that it is the back of the tongue. Close indicates that the tongue is close to the palate, open that the tongue is low in the mouth. You will notice how the front of the tongue is quite close to the palate when you say /i:/ and /ɪ/ as in eat and it. Therefore, these two vowels are called front monophthongs, with the tongue in a close position. In order to say /e/, you need to lower your tongue a bit, and in order to say /æ/, the tongue needs to be lowered even more. It is still the front of the tongue that does the work, but with /e/ it is in a mid position and with /æ/ it is in an open position.


00 106180 GRMAT English for teachers and learners 160101.indb 216

22.04.16 12.48

chapter 3: the speech sounds / phonemes of english

The back monophthongs are /u:/, /ʊ/, /ɔ:/, /ɒ/ and /ɑ:/. Notice how the back of the tongue is in a close position, almost up towards the palate for /u:/ as in fool and how it is lowered for /ʊ/ as in put and /ɔ:/ as in saw. When we say /ɒ/ as in stop* and /ɑ:/ as in car, the back of the tongue is in an open position. (Note again that /ɒ/ does not exist in American English accents. See pages 206, 220 and 221 for further details on this.) The central monophthongs are /ɜ:/ as in bird and /ʌ/ as in cup, and the “weak” vowel /ə/ as in again is also pronounced with the center of the tongue in a mid position in the mouth. Note that the two dots : indicate length in the long vowel sounds /i:/ as in eat, /ɑ:/ as in car, /u:/ as in fool, /ɔ:/ as in saw and /ɜ:/ as in bird. These symbols are the only ones that have two dots. Although /æ/, for example, may sometimes be drawn out and sound like a long vowel, the symbol is always /æ/. Short and not so short versions of /æ/ are simply allophones or variations of /æ/. Exchanging one for the other does not bring about a change in meaning, for example in a word like bad.

3.2.1 The front monophthongs /i:/, /ɪ/, /e/ and /æ/

/i:/ is a long vowel, while /ɪ/ is short. You can hear the difference in the minimal pair sheep and ship. We mentioned on page 214 that a minimal pair consists of two words that differ in terms of one phoneme only. In the case of sheep and ship, the difference lies in the long and the short i-sound: /ʃi:p/ and /ʃɪp/. Other minimal pairs that illustrate this difference are seat /si:t/ - sit /sɪt/ feel /fi:l/ - fill /fɪl/ heat /hi:t/ - hit /hɪt/

The phoneme /i:/ can be spelled like this: <e> complete, even, he, Japanese, me, she, Pete <ea> deal, eat, meat, peace, read (the present tense form), sea, tea, teach <ee> agree, feel, feed, free, keen, knee, proceed, see, succeed <ei> ceiling, deceive, receive, seize <i> gasoline, magazine, machine, police, pizza, ski <ie> achieve, believe, brief, chief, field, piece, relief <ey> key 217

00 106180 GRMAT English for teachers and learners 160101.indb 217

22.04.16 12.48

part 3: phonology and pronunciation

The fall–rise is also sometimes used to indicate the end of one tone group, indicating that something is to follow. (Note that the low rise can also be used like this.) She ˈtook the ˈcar || and drove to London. I ˈlooked at him || and recognized him at once.

5.3 The Norwegian roller-coaster transfer Norwegians have a special challenge with intonation since many of us sound “like a roller-coaster” when we speak English. Because of the Norwegian system of tonemes, speakers of Norwegian let their sentence melody go up and down throughout the sentence. You will hear things like this: Hello! Hello!

My  name is  Søren Sørpå.

My name is Nora Nordpå.

Nice to  meet you.

Nice to meet you.


, se

Søren Sørpå, as a representative for people from southeast Norway, will often end his sentences with a rising melody. Because of the roller-coaster effect, many people from this area will have a rising melody several times throughout a sentence. Nora Nordpå, as a representative for people from the north of Norway, will end her sentences with a falling melody. Again, this falling movement tends to happen several times throughout a sentence. Most speakers of English also end on a falling tone. However, the melody, in most accents of English, is much flatter throughout the sentence: Hello! My name is Mickey Mouse. Nice to meet you. 256

00 106180 GRMAT English for teachers and learners 160101.indb 256

22.04.16 12.48

chapter 5: intonation

Because of the system of tonemes in Norwegian, a word can get a new meaning simply by the speaker applying a different pitch pattern. (This happens in many other languages, too, particularly Asian ones. Vietnamese, for example, has six tones, where Norwegian has two.) Listen to yourself as you read the following sentences and words: Toneme 1 Toneme 2 Musa gnager Musa er en gnager Båten anløp Bergen Et kort anløp Landet er fattig Flyet skal lande

Which tonemes do we use to say lynet / (å) lyne? Vannet / (å) vanne?

Tanken var tom Det er tanken som teller Bli med på leken! Katten er jammen leken Været er fint Her var det godt å være Hoppet var langt Nå må du hoppe Såret måtte forbindes Han var hardt såret Bønder produserer mat Bønner er sunn mat

Did you notice how you differentiate between gnager (verb) and gnager (noun), anløp (verb) and anløp (noun) just by way of a different pitch pattern? This happens all the time in Norwegian. In a sentence like Han lokket lammet inn på låven, for example, we have to make sure that we are talking about the verb å lokke and not the noun lokk. We say lammet as a noun, not a verb, and we say låven so that it sounds like a farmhouse and not a paragraph in a legal document. When we speak English, we have a tendency to bring with us this constant shifting of pitch level, up and down, down and up. Some people think it is charming, and roller-coaster intonation may not interfere very much with communication. Still, if you would like to sound “less Norwegian” when you speak English, this is something to work on.

3.13 D show Fig tekstr

Have you noticed how the Swedish cook in the M ­ uppet show never says a word? Still, he is easily recognizable as Swedish (or Norwegian), because of his up-anddown sentence melody.


00 106180 GRMAT English for teachers and learners 160101.indb 257

22.04.16 12.48


part 4: varieties of english

There are surprisingly few differences in vocabulary within the United States. One exception is pop, which is used mainly in the north and the west, and soda, which is used in the east, for soft drink. A long sandwich that contains cold cuts, lettuce, etc. is called hoagie in some parts, a sub in others. Some people prefer the term sneaker to tennis shoe. A typical trait of the south is yâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;all for you all, a term which is used extensively there. There are also some differences between American and British English when it comes to spelling. Some words that end in -tre in British English end in -ter in American English. AE: center, meter, theater BE: centre, metre, theatre

Some words that end in -our in British English end in -or in American English. AE: color, favor, labor BE: colour, favour, labour

Some words are shorter in American English than in British English. AE: catalog, program BE: catalogue, programme


00 106180 GRMAT English for teachers and learners 160101.indb 284

22.04.16 12.48

Chapter 4

English outside the United Kingdom and the United States In this chapter, we will present some varieties of English outside the UK and the US. We will make brief visits to Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and to countries in East and West Africa, South Asia, South East Asia and the Caribbean.

4.1 Canadian English Canadian pronunciation resembles American English in many ways, but there are influences from British pronunciation as well. A word like tune, for example, will most often be pronounced /tju:n/ or /ʧu:n/, and not like the American /tu:n/. In the same way, news will be pronounced /nju:z/, not /nu:z/. The pronunciation of some words also resembles British English, such as /zed/ and not /zi:/ for the letter <z>, /æntɪ/ rather than /æntaɪ/ for anti- and /lef/ rather than /lu:/ at the beginning of the word lieutenant. It is said of Canadian pronunciation that people who are most familiar with American pronunciation will notice British traits, while those who are most familiar with British English will only notice American traits. Perhaps the characteristic of Canadian English that is most easily noticable is the pronunciation of the word about. Where most other varieties will say /əˈbaʊt/, Canadians will use another diphthong and say /əˈbəʊt/ (or /aˈboʊt/, see Part 3, section 3.2.5). The grammar and vocabulary of Canadian English are also influenced by American as well as British English. People can ask Do you have… but also Have you got…? You can hear the British tap, but also the American faucet. 285

00 106180 GRMAT English for teachers and learners 160101.indb 285

22.04.16 12.48

part 4: varieties of english

Since an academic text deals with a specific field of study, it needs to contain the terminology that the field of study requires. This does not mean that the words have to be overly specialized or archaic, but you will not find vague and imprecise words and expressions in a good academic text.

5.4 Cultural differences What what cultural differences in language have you experienced?

When we speak English, we usually speak with someone from a different cultural background than our own. In order to be able to understand each other, and not come across as offensive, it is important to be aware of cultural differences in communication. We will describe a few of them in this section.

5.4.1 Different communication styles Different cultures have quite different conventions when it comes to communication. Since we use English as a lingua franca, it is impossible to learn about all the conventions that we may encounter. We should, however, remember to be alert to differences in communication styles and, as far as possible, try to observe, learn, and adapt. This does not mean that we should try to behave as if we are born and bred in the UK when speaking to an English person, or pretend that we are well-versed in Confucian ways of communicating when talking to a person from China. We should simply be respectful of the expectations of others. It also means that we need to be aware of the role that cultural frames of reference play when we interpret what someone else is saying or doing. As Norwegians, we tend to have a quite direct way of saying things. We do not mean to be rude, we are just accustomed to “saying things as they are”. People from other cultures, however, may experience us as rather blunt and impolite. When Norwegians meet people from other countries who flatter and praise and say only nice things, we may feel that they are dishonest and sleek. For us, it may be difficult to understand other cultures’ emphasis on the establishment of good relations and a positive starting point for further communication. Speakers with a Norwegian language background will profit from learning about some of the idiosyncrasies of our communication style. We will mention some of them below. 302

00 106180 GRMAT English for teachers and learners 160101.indb 302

22.04.16 12.48

chapter 5: other varieties of english

5.4.2 Egalitarian versus non-egalitarian communities Norway is an unusually egalitarian community. We tend to address our teacher, our boss and even our prime minister by his or her first name. Titles, such as Miss, doctor, professor, etc., are hardly a part of our vocabulary. This is very different from the case in most other countries. In many English-speaking countries, you may well be expelled from the classroom if you call your teacher by his or her first name. Conventions relating to the use of names and titles vary a lot. In the US, there is an increasing tendency to call everyone by their first name. This can be heard from news reporters (John, could you tell us the latest news from Syria?) as well as from telemarketers (Hi Barbara, I have a tremendous deal for you). Still, the bottom line is this: It is important for Norwegians to be aware that most language communities are much less egalitarian than our own, and that we run a great risk of making ourselves unpopular by insulting people if we are not prepared to learn about appropriate ways of communicating.

4_7 N


00 106180 GRMAT English for teachers and learners 160101.indb 303

22.04.16 12.48

English for teachers and learners  
English for teachers and learners