Today’s post is about Sofía Vergara – the lady in the picture above. She is the Colombian actress who plays the role of Gloria in the TV series Modern Family. We have decided to write about her because there are some similar problems between our students and her problems with English: accent, grammar and vocabulary mistakes and what someone calls “little mispronunciations.”
Luckily most students don’t have problems with all these things at the same time.
What’s the purpose of learning a foreign language? If you ask most students in high school (i.e. compulsory education), they will probably say they do it to pass the subject. However, for most people the real purpose is communication and, let´s be honest, your accent, grammar, vocabulary mistakes and what someone calls “little mispronounciations” should not be an obstacle for that.
Here is a video made up of short clips of Modern Family which shows how Gloria manages to make herself understood, no matter what. These are some of the mistakes you will hear:
Self-confidence is really important when you speak a foreign language and Sofia / Gloria is a very good example of a self-confident person (“I have an accent but people understand me just fine,” she says; “do you need me to learn you English?,” she volunteers); besides, she doesn’t seem to notice the problems people have trying to understand her (“I honestly didn’t get any of that,” “I’m so confused right now,” say some of the people listening to her).
I wish all of our students could copy this attitude and were brave enough to answer back, like her, “You try to speak in another language!”
The next video is an interview with TV presenter Ellen DeGeneres. This interview shows to what extent your level of English is not that important when there is a combination of accent + confidence + body language + humour.
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