a good example showing how tough it is to learn english. i had a kid in my class last year who’s first language was swahili – the letter sounds are similar to english, but the vowels are mixed. we had a nightmare.

even southern pronunciation is a bitch. i was reading an xmas story/poem to a year 1 class (about 6 years old) and it uses rhyming couplets. can’t remember the exact verse but it’s something like:

by the straw and next to the grass,

the tired, weary and sleepy ass,

sat down by the manger etc etc

that involves me saying ass, instead of arse. and i have to stifle a smile. and i still smile when someone is absent on monday and has packed lunch on tuesday/wednesday because it spells A/S/S in the register.

and in case you were wondering, about half the schools i know teach the classic ‘look, cover, write’ method (that i was taught as a kid) and the other half teach the new method where you learn banks of words that have similar suffixes. yep, it’s still hellaboring.

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