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English: Personal Experiences: Track 1

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How has the English language influenced your life? How would you define your relationship with English? In this collection these questions are explored by Poet Benjamin Zephaniah, writer Sindiwe Magona, and author Jung Chang amongst others. They discuss the impact of the language; and describe the part English has played in their life. For many of us the language can broaden experiences and opportunities, for others it can create obstacles and become a hindrance. How often do you change they way you speak to adapt to different environments or accommodate other peoples assumptions? Can we get an insight into who people are by how the use grammar and pronounce words? In a series of conversations we’re given access to the varying perspectives on the English language from a range of personal experiences.

This material forms part of The Open University course U214 Worlds of English.

By: The OpenLearn team (The Open University,)

  • Duration 45 mins
  • Updated Wednesday 18th May 2011
  • Posted under Education
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Track 1: Benjamin Zephaniah

Benjamin Zephaniah describes his love for the organic nature of English language.

© The Open University 2011

Tracks in this podcast:

Track   Title Description
1 Benjamin Zephaniah    Benjamin Zephaniah describes his love for the organic nature of English language. Play now Benjamin Zephaniah
2 Colin Goh    Colin Goh explains how English influenced his life growing up in Singapore. Play now Colin Goh
3 Derek Simpson    Derek Simpson discusses how growing up in a working class area changed his accent. Play now Derek Simpson
4 Garth Judd    Garth Judd describes his experience adapting his accent to accommodate different environments. Play now Garth Judd
5 Jennifer Childs    Jennifer Childs explains how she's inherited elements of her mothers speaking habits. Play now Jennifer Childs
6 Jung Chang    Jung Chang considers the experience of growing up under Mao and how that affected her access to English. Play now Jung Chang
7 Li Xing    Li Xing describes her relationship with the English language and how it altered her career. Play now Li Xing
8 Megumi Kato Inman    Megumi Kato Inman debates the benefits and obstacles of belonging to different cultures. Play now Megumi Kato Inman
9 Najabulo Ndebele    Najabulo Ndebele explains as a child he was unaware that English was a bi-product of colonialism. Play now Najabulo Ndebele
10 Roline Salomons    Roline Salomons talks about how young she was when she was exposed to English. Play now Roline Salomons
11 Sindiwe Magona    Sindiwe Magona reminisces about how she couldn't decipher English as a child. Play now Sindiwe Magona
12 Vatsala Vedantam    Vatsala Vedantam explains how the English language helped unify her family. Play now Vatsala Vedantam




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