Unit 13

Question 1 : How do we use ‘in return’ in a sentence?
Question 2: Will you ever go back to China, what drives you to create so much work?
Question 3 : How do I change my accent- is it possible to do this?

Unit 13

Hi everybody, this is Misterduncan in England. How are you today? Are you OK? I hope so! Are you happy? I hope so!
Here I am once again on yet another hot and steamy day in the UK,  with some more of your e-mail questions and comments concerning the English language and my work here on the world wide web.

So before I …pass out through heat exhausted, let’s have our first question for today.

Question 1: How do we use ‘in return’ in a sentence?

This question comes from Ahmad Al-hribi, who lives in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The word ‘in return’ form a clause in a sentence, which shows that a favour must be repaid with a favour also. I do something for you, so you must do something in return for me. It can show that a favour must be given later. If I help you today, you must do something later for me in return. So the favour can be given back (returned) straight away or at a later time. But it must be given at some point…

A very nice email

I have received a very nice e-mail from Igor Brito who lives in Brazil and teaches extensive English there at the University of Amazon, in the northern part of the country. Igor writes to thank me on behalf of his students for my lessons. Well thank you Igor for your very touching words and a big hello to you and your students in Belem do Para.

Question 2: Will you ever go back to China, what drives you to create so much work?

This question comes from Wei, or Simon, to use his English name, who works in China. As many of you may know, I have worked in China teaching ESL, which I did for over four years between 2003 and 2007.

Should the opportunity arise, I would love to return there for a visit. I have many fond memories of my time in China and many of my experiences there led me to do the work I’m carrying out today. So even though I’m far from China now, the time I had there still lives in my heart. As for your other question, the driving force behind all my work is of course the students who follow me.

I love teaching and as long as there is a need for my work, I will go on creating it. I now devote most of my time to this project. I also put virtually all of my own money in to it too. My goal is to help as many people as possible. I know I’m a small man and a tiny player on the internet, but making a change for even just a few people is reward enough for me.

A fruity idiom

Did you know that the word ‘Banana’ can be used as an idiom?
The expression ‘Go bananas’. ‘He or she has gone bananas.’   ‘The crowd went bananas after the match.’ It means to become crazy of act in a mad of overactive way.

Question 3: How do I change my accent- is it possible to do this?

This question was sent in by Louisa Yi, who comes from China, but is now living in Canada.

One of the most sensitive issues surrounding language is accent. The way you speaking identifies you and your background. It is a very personal part of your character.

The traditional train of thought with teaching is that it is better to teach a second language to young students in a kindergarten, rather than adults in a train centre. But even then the end result could be a child speaking with an accent. It is not what they learn which sets the accent, but where are learning it.

Here is an example of this occurrence. A person lives in England for 25 years and they have a strong (local) English accent. They move to California (USA) when they are 26. By the time they are 35, they speaking with an American accent (local accent). Maybe they are using local colloquialisms. Over time their accent has changed.

The amazing thing is that this person is probably unaware that this has happened. This will not always happen, but it does show that if we can change the way we speak without realizing it, then it is possible to do it intentionally.
Of course, just like any other change, it will take time. Whether you try or not is up to you.

Ah…that feels so good!

Before I dash off today, I would like to say a special hello to…Duy Pham, who lives in Vietnam and is a …big fan of my English lessons. Thank you for your kind words Duy.

 A big hello to Tania Pestana, who lives on the beautiful Portuguese island of Madeira. Yes Taria I did visit Madeira in October 2007 and had a lovely time there. It really is a great place to escape to and relax. I even sampled some of the delicious Madeira wine while I was there.
Finally a big hello to MC Bibo in Cairo (Egypt), who is a friend of DJ Boudy, who I said hello to last week. I gather (feel) you both enjoy music and share an interest in deejaying.

I can let you in on a little secret now. In the past I have worked as a DJ on the radio… It’s true!

That’s all from me for today. I’m now going outside to enjoy some of this lovely summer sunshine before the big grey clouds return. This is Misterduncan in England saying…thank you for asking me and of course…ta- ta for now.


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Hi everybody, this is Misterduncan in England.
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