We have a new Global Blogger starting with us this week. He’ll be with us over the next couple of months and giving us a Global perspective from the other side of the world. Over to Martin…
My name is Martin McMorrow. I am from London and have taught English in Europe, Brazil and Australia. I emigrated to New Zealand five years ago and my main job here is to support international university students at Massey University. As a part of this work, I prepare a weekly podcast on academic English and Kiwi culture .. take a look if you like at http://tinyurl.com/6xy9hy! We have students from all over the world – there are many students from China and growing numbers from India and Saudi Arabia. July is a busy month for us, since it’s the beginning of our second semester. My first consultation of the month is with a Brazilian MBA student tomorrow morning and then I’ll be giving lectures and workshops about study skills and visiting various classes to tell them about our programmes.
I also teach migrants as part of a national voluntary scheme known as Language Partners http://www.englishlanguage.org.nz – and that’s where I’ll be using Global over the next couple of months. Auckland is a truly multicultural city, with migrants from all over the world – especially Europe, Asia and the Pacific. In fact, by 2021, it’s estimated that 30% of the Auckland population (and one in six of all New Zealanders) will have Asian ethnicity. The Language Partners organisation pairs up local residents with migrants who need help with their English – normally this involves weekly classes at their home. Over the last few years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with students from ex-Yugoslavia, Iran and Korea. We also run some informal classes – all with wonderful voluntary teachers, many of whom have come to New Zealand as migrants themselves. I’m looking forward to seeing how we all get on with Global!
I enjoyed David Crystal’s article about Global English (p. 15). I had the pleasure of meeting David when he spoke at our conference here a few years ago. I discovered we share a love for Brazilian music and culture. It’s interesting that David chooses ‘wee’ as a typical regional word. New Zealand is one of the few places outside Scotland where you’ll frequently hear the word – I guess it’s because we had so many migrants from Scotland. I suppose the English over here is mainly British, but of course with some interesting qualities of its own. Many words from Maori language are commonly used by nearly everyone. Perhaps I’ll blog about this next week. A really common expression here is ‘Sweet as’, which means the same as ‘No problem’ – so in our classes, we’ll probably add it into the ‘Social Expressions’ exercise (page 14).
That’s it for today. It’s a wee bit chilly here as we approach the middle of our winter. Like many other places, we do have our own Midwinter Festival .. Matariki .. take a look at http://www.matarikifestival.org.nz if you’d like to know more. Kia Ora (that’s hi and bye in Maori!), Martin