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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Text book English v real life English    

Text book English v real life English


Text book English v real life English

Can anyone recommend any good internet sites or written texts that deal with the difference between text book English and real life English e.g:

1a. Why don t you call them?
1b. Why dontcha call em?

2a. What did you say?
2b. Whatja say?

3a. I m going to do something about it.
3b. I m gonna do sumthin aboudit (or abou it)

30 Jul 2009      

United States

Hi Jayho

Those examples are really just how some people articulate or should I say don t articulate!
Not everyone speaks like this. In my ears some of it sounds very "thug" like!

I think the closest we get to official oral English contra written English are contractions - such as don t, can t, won t and so on.

Regarding your examples - I probably say Why donchoo call call em.
I never say sumthin and I have no British friends who this either.
But what my singing students do, is pull the last consonant over to the next word to keep the flow going in a sentence.
I hope you find help with this somewhere.

30 Jul 2009     

United States

i dont know why your looking for "sucha" site-but those examples are of real slag lang. and its not appropriate to teach kids.

30 Jul 2009     


Hi Libertybelle and shoshsmile
Thanx for your prompt replies.
Yes true, not everyone speaks like this but then again in real life many people do.  I must admit the third example does indeed sound thuggish but we often do naturally drop the last g sound when saying this word.  Im not sure what slag lang is.
My new intake of international adult students, who all studied English in their own country to an IELTS 5 level, are finding it difficult to communicate even in the most basic of day to day transactions beyond the walls of their English class, such as at the local grocery store.  Often text book teaching does not reflect the real language spoken by the average English speaking person and if students have studied EFL in their own country they are often only communicating in text book language.   Some pronunciation books do deal with real life language but Im after some more resources for myself as well as my students because listening seems to be their biggest hurdle - when they go to Uni they often only understand 50% of what the lecturer is actually saying because the lecturers do not speak in text book language. Also, lecturers are not ESL teachers - they dont speak grammatically correctly and they dont slow down for non-native students - they are everyday people who speak real life English.  This is an obstacle for international students.
These sites have some info on it but Im after more.  All contributions welcome.

30 Jul 2009     


In this part of the country, we as well don t teach students what you are suggesting. 
As Libertybell said it s how some people don t articulate.
I don t think you wouldn  hear that sort of language in an office.
Perhaps the students don t understand conversational English to the full extent because they haven t grasped  the knowledge of phrasal verbs. 
In Canada phrasal verbs are used often in everday conversation.

30 Jul 2009     


Ok. I get your point.
The same happened to me when I lived in the Uk.
I was taught a very posh English RP pronunciation, but language is a living organisim. So, the first time in London, I didn t get a thing because everybody talked with a different accent and some of the consonants weren t even articulated. It was difficult to get used to it. But I did.
 But as the rest of the girls, I suggest you to keep the "formal" language in your classroom. Because that is the role model.
Try to include a lot of phrasal verbs, everyday expressions, idioms and, finally, try to look on youtube some examples.
There is a very interesting web page with "real english". www.realenglish.com

30 Jul 2009     


Hi everyone
Good news - I have been PM d a comprehensive list of websites to scour - just what I needed because I didn t know where to start.
Thanks for your posts. 

31 Jul 2009     


FANTASTIC LINKS!  This is what I was after.


23 Aug 2009