The struggle is real

This week’s book chapter reminded me of my experience in China. I recalled how I was treated differently just because of my noticeable accent.

In China, some people tend to have the stereotype that people who come from certain cities, namely Beijing and Shanghai, are more likely to enjoy privileges than people in other parts of the country. These people hold the view that people who are from Beijing and Shanghai are situating on the top of the class ladder. Unfortunately, born and raised in a middle-class family in Beijing, when I went to university in Nanjing, the southern part of China, I got the stereotype due to the recognizable feature, which further led me to more trouble concerning social class. They stated that I enjoyed the privilege.

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What French do we learn in Quebec ?

Samuel Marticotte:

When I was growing-up, I remember that I had a very hard time in school when writing texts. I remember still today why this was the case. Perhaps this is true to a certain extent for all of you and all students. Writing is a difficult task because written language always departs to a certain extent from the variety that you speak where you grow up.

This makes me think of Maxime, who is a bilingual, but often complains that written French is so much more convoluted than the spoken French he knows. Having grown-up writing English, he gets the impression that writing English is easier because it is closer to the spoken language.

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Shopping for a dialect? You can have any one you wish!


Many of my students ask me to work on pronunciation but it not feasible to address all students’ pronunciation problems of a whole class as each language speaker has specific problems. I usually suggest that students take one on one tutoring to work on their accents. Many language students are very self conscious of their accents.

If you want to pick out your own dialect of English, you can in fact make this wish come true! You can select any accent that you want: Australian, Cockney, Deep South, Dialects of British Isles and Ireland, Aafrikaans, South Boston, are amongst the offerings online. Paul Meirer has trained many people to speak with different accents and has a website that offers a wide range of English language services (

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