How to teach talking to New Yorkers

cloa

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2017
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
Australia
Current Location
Japan
I am an Australian. My student has a friend in New York (her husband also goes)and my student doesn't understand at all New York people. My strategy so far has been to teach New York lingo. What should I do next? The student is lower intermediate.
 

Yankee

Key Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2013
Member Type
Retired English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
I would suggest that you use your favorite search engine and search on "New Yawk (oops!) York accent". You will learn among other things that the 5 boroughs of the city have slightly different linguistic styles.
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
How long will they be living there?
 

cloa

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2017
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
Australia
Current Location
Japan
They will visit for maybe two weeks at a time. Apparently, her husband was good at talking in New York but I never could get him to explain. Her husband teaches kendo there. They are Japanese and the wife's friend is Japanese but been in New York for ten years. She need to be able speak on tbe street. Pronunciation and speaking style would harder than accent probably for her.
 

Charlie Bernstein

VIP Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2009
Member Type
Other
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
New York City accents vary a lot depending on location, class, and ethnicity. And over a third of New Yorkers were born in other countries, and a lot of them brought their accents with them.

So it's hard teach someone how to talk New York. A better first step would be to get your student used to the generic "TV American" accent. It's as common as any other accent in the city, so it would be a big step toward forward. And it would be more useful overall - for instance, in California, Florida, Hawaii, North Dakota, Ohio, Texas, or Vermont.

And if your student is old enough, watching movies about New York - for instance, by Woody Allen, Spike Lee, and Martin Scorcese - would expose him or her to a wide variety of New York accents.
 

cloa

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2017
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
Australia
Current Location
Japan
You are a bit confused. I only asked how to teach talk to New Yorkers not talk in any New York accent or pronunciation .- that is understand New York people such as transit workers or bus drivers or shop people or hotel staff and be able to respond.Sure accent awareness is of some value but pronunciation and talking style matter a bit more.
 

jutfrank

VIP Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
England
Current Location
England
You are a bit confused.

I'm not sure who is more confused here.

I only asked how to teach talk to New Yorkers not talk in any New York accent or pronunciation

No, you didn't. You asked what you should do next. What does teach talk mean?

that is understand New York people such as transit workers or bus drivers or shop people or hotel staff and be able to respond.

So you want to teach your student how to communicate with people? In other words, you want to teach general speaking and listening skills. Did you learn anything about this on your teacher training course?

It seems to me you need to narrow your goals a bit—think about what specific difficulties your learner has, why he has these difficulties, exactly what kind of vocabulary, grammar and other language skills he lacks, and then build an approach from there.

You will also benefit from Charlie Bernstein's advice in post #5.
 
Last edited:

cloa

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2017
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
Australia
Current Location
Japan
It is very hard for a learner to know what her specific difficulties are. I am from Perth and I could go around a whole day in public areas and never communicate (talk to is a synonym) with another person so I can't really can't give comparable real conversation testing. American talk more than Australians in public to strangers.
Speak like an American is what a teacher would ask if they wanted American accent etc. training- I know there is vast variation across the USA. Accent training is very hard so I really need to do it? Update from from student is that she unlikely to go back to New York- well certainly not long visits as she doesnt get much vacation time. She wants to go where her husband goes in Finland and Denmark.
 

Charlie Bernstein

VIP Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2009
Member Type
Other
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
You are a bit confused. I only asked how to teach a student how to talk to New Yorkers, not talk in any New York accent or pronunciation - that is, understand New York people such as transit workers or bus drivers or shop people or hotel staff and be able to respond. (space) Sure, accent awareness is of some value, but pronunciation and talking style matter a bit more.
Again, there is no one way to talk with New Yorkers. New Yorkers talk in a lot of different ways.

Whether you call it accent, pronunciation, style, or attitude, there is not one way that all New Yorkers talk. The Puerto Rican bus driver, the Italian-American shop clerk, and the African-American hotel concierge will all talk differently.

That's why I suggested having your student listen to New Yorkers - for instance, via New York movies. That will help.
 

cloa

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2017
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
Australia
Current Location
Japan
Any particular movies do you have in mind?
 

emsr2d2

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
Of, if you want to start with "Are", you can say "Are there any particular movies you have in mind?"
 

Do228

Banned
Joined
Dec 18, 2017
Member Type
Other
Native Language
Esperanto
Home Country
Philippines
Current Location
Europe
Not a teacher

Donald Trump and CNN host Chris Cuomo are New Yorkers. Both speak a very clear, easy-to-understand English. There are tons of videos of them speaking on Youtube.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Top