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  • Aw yeah, ladies and gentlemen! What's up?

  • So, a common topic in the world of second language learning

  • is whether or not you should try to acquire a native accent in the language

  • that you're learning. And there's several different questions

  • that often come up when we talk about this topic, such as:

  • is it even possible to have a native accent in

  • another language that's not your mother tongue?

  • Does it even matter if you have a native accent?

  • And should you really care about having a native accent? Is that the right goal?

  • Is that can help push you forward? So, kind of talking about this topic,

  • in case you don't know her, Sofia Vergara is a Colombian actress, who is probably

  • most famous for her role in a TV series I absolutely love,

  • called Modern Family, where she plays Gloria, who is a Colombian immigrant,

  • who's married to an older American man.

  • So it seems like Sofia Vergara has become a prime example

  • of someone who is a successful, very proficient,

  • non-native English speaker, despite having a

  • very strong foreign accent. So in today's lesson

  • we're going to answer all of these questions that I talked about before

  • and we're going to have a lot of fun doing it with Sofía Vergara.

  • But before we get into today's lesson I want to quickly let you know that,

  • if you're new here, every week we make fun lessons like this one,

  • so that you can understand fast speaking natives,

  • without getting lost, without missing the jokes and without subtitles.

  • Like Razi, who says that our lessons are the best way that she's found

  • to understand fast native speech. So we're going to help you a lot

  • with your English learning goals too. It's really simple, just hit that

  • Subscribe button and the Bell down below, so you don't miss any of our new lessons.

  • So here Sofía explains why she decided

  • to stop pursuing an American accent, and really it makes perfect sense.

  • Now, you as an English learner may or may not relate to Sofía in this case.

  • English as a second language expert suggests that there are some

  • students who expose themselves as much as possible

  • to native English and who want to sound as close as they can to a native English speaker.

  • But others, on the other hand, don't really care about sounding anything like

  • an "Inner Circle" speaker. Now you're probably asking what is

  • this Inner Circle. Now, that is definitely part of a much

  • broader discussion, so we're not going to dive too deeply into it but it is worth mentioning.

  • Now, in a world where there are three

  • times more non-native English speakers than native English speakers it's kind

  • of worth reconsidering the authority that we give to certain countries

  • over the type of English that people should want to learn and teach.

  • So English is spoken all across the

  • world, obviously, and there's actually been an expression of

  • this by three different circles. So, on the innermost circle we have the

  • native speakers, from countries like the US, the UK, and Australia.

  • Then we have an outer circle where

  • English is spoken as a second language, this is countries like India and the

  • Philippines and then finally we have the most outer circle

  • which has countries where English is taught as a foreign language

  • so this is countries like Brazil and Russia, France, etc.

  • So more and more there are students who actually

  • want to keep their accent because they kind of feel like it's a part of their

  • identity, it shows where they come from.

  • And Sofía Vergara certainly could be seen as a representative

  • of this type of thinking on a global scale and this is probably exactly why

  • there's been a lot of attention given recently

  • to an interview that Sofía gave on The Ellen Show and people raising the

  • question of whether or not it's okay to make fun of someone else's accent.

  • Especially when you don't speak any other languages yourself.

  • So, Sofía is extremely fluent and rarely

  • makes any vocabulary or grammar mistakes. Now on the clip with Ellen she brought

  • up the word "discombobulated." Now, this is a pretty rare word that you

  • probably won't hear in everyday English, so it doesn't really

  • reflect sophia's abilities to communicate in everyday language.

  • We believe that most learners still want to improve their accent,

  • but in a context where some prefer to

  • kind of maintain their native accent, for whatever reason,

  • really intelligibility becomes the key goal of pronunciation.

  • So, in other words, really you have to focus on correct pronunciation and clarity.

  • Because otherwise people might not understand you.

  • And you don't want it to keep you from communicating effectively

  • so just to give you an example say you go to a restaurant and you want to order soup.

  • But instead of saying soup you say soap.

  • Not only is this going to create kind of a confusing situation

  • but it might also cause some embarrassment for you

  • so another really great way to improve your pronunciation

  • and be able to understand fast speaking natives is with our Fluent with Friends course.

  • Now, in this 48-week course, we will teach

  • you the principles of native American connected speech.

  • So you can try it for FREE with our 3-Part Masterclass, which you'll find

  • by clicking up here or down description below.

  • Now, a while back we taught a lesson with a hilarious scene from Modern Family,

  • which I highly recommend that you watch because it is perfectly relevant to this issue.

  • Now, I should mention that you're seeing

  • the character Gloria, who unlike Sofía Vergara herself,

  • does make mistakes which get in the way of communication.

  • Now this is of course for humor, but before you watch the scene there's

  • actually a couple expressions which will be very useful to understand

  • so that you will understand the jokes here.

  • Now the expression "It's a dog-eat-dog world"

  • is used to describe a situation in which

  • people will do anything to be successful even if that thing harms other people.

  • So, for example, we could say that hollywood is a place

  • where it's a dog-eat-dog world.

  • Now when we say that something "is a blessing in disguise"

  • we're saying that although that thing seems

  • bad or unfortunate in reality it's something that really leads to great things.

  • So for example. let's say that you just lost your job,

  • but then, next week you get offered the job of your dreams

  • like the best job that you could ever imagine

  • and we would say losing your first job would have been a "blessing in disguise."

  • So if you want to learn more with Sofía

  • in a fun way like this, I want to let you know that we have an

  • exclusive lesson with her over on our Instagram.

  • I highly recommend that you check that out after you finish this video and

  • while you're there be sure to follow us because you'll get new inspiration,

  • tips, lessons, and more every single day. Now at the beginning this lesson we

  • posed some common questions that I hear all the time,

  • and no, you do not need to have a native accent in order to be fluent in English.

  • In fact, your accent can be a calling card for you.

  • A part of your identity that makes you unique,

  • as is the case of Sofia Vergara and other actors I'm sure you know,

  • like Deepika Padukone, who we actually did a recent lesson on,

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger and Penelope Cruz. And of course it's not just actors who

  • can be successful even while keeping their native accent.

  • American businesswoman, Ariana Huffington, very similarly to Sofía,

  • took accent reduction classes to try to get rid of her Greek accent.

  • But in the end she actually decided that she would rather maintain it

  • because it's part of her heritage. For her, she says that the focus is on

  • speaking and sharing her message.

  • So, of course, in the end it's up to you whether or not you want to do the hard

  • work that goes into trying to achieve a native accent when speaking English.

  • But personally, what I recommend to my students

  • is that, instead, they put their focus on having clear pronunciation.

  • So even though they'll have an accent, which I personally believe

  • makes them sound more interesting and exotic, they're easy to understand.

  • And of course, I don't condone laughing at other people's accents, specially if

  • you only speak one language. But one of the most

  • admirable things that we can learn from Sofía Vergara,

  • is that she doesn't really care when people laugh at hers,

  • she is part of the humor, she's part of the joke,

  • and really what we can learn from her is that she is proud of where she comes from.

  • She's comfortable with who she is and she's confident.

  • I speak several different languages myself,

  • and I know for me when someone laughs at the way that I say something

  • I try not to take that too personally

  • Instead I actually look at that as something that's kind of guiding me

  • towards where I need to still improve. It's kind of showing me

  • where my pronunciation still needs some work.

  • So, I want to hear from you. Let me know down in the comments below,

  • Do you want to have a native accent? Why or why not?

  • Now, thanks so much for joining me today

  • and now it's time to go beyond the classroom

  • and live your English! Aww yeah!!

Aw yeah, ladies and gentlemen! What's up?

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Speak English With Confidence, Fluency, and Clarity | Sofia Vergara and the Ellen Controversy

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/10/31
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