Thursday, January 27, 2022

How ‘Friends’ help people around the world learn English

Another reason, Angela Laria Espinar, professor in the Department of English Studies at the University of Córdoba in Spain, said that people who teach foreign languages ​​have gradually shifted over the past two decades from a “communicative” approach that emphasizes grammar. Which encourages cross-cultural understanding and reflection.

“Culture is a difficult thing to teach, and if you rely on textbooks then what you get is conservatism,” she said.

To avoid the textbook trap, English teacher Ms. Cones in California created lesson plans around the 1994 pilot episode of the sitcom. In addition to the question of whether Monica, played by Kourtney Cox, was invited to Rachel’s wedding (Answer: False), there are exercises that ask students to analyze scenes, idioms, and character motivations.

For example, why does Rachel breathe in a paper bag? And what does Monica mean when she tells Joey Tribiani, played by Matt LeBlanc, to “stop killing” her friend? (Answer: “She is afraid of her decision to live on her own” and, “To try to start a conversation with someone you’re interested in.”)

Ms Konas said her students – who hail from Brazil, China, Colombia, Japan, South Korea and Turkey – generally prefer the “friend” text and watch the show binge on their own. They also slide lines out of it in the conversation, including Joey’s signature “How do you ‘?” Greetings, and mimic the depressive way in which David Schwimmer’s character, Ross Geller, says “hi”.

After a class, a Turkish student noticed that her teacher’s English was not only native, but also “not Turkish”. Ms Konas said she took the comment as high praise.

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