Sunday, September 2, 2007

ESL, Mobile, and Cell Phones

Is it a cell phone or a mobile phone? Here's another one of those American versus British vocabulary differences. The majority of Americans say "cell phone," although some are starting to say "mobile."

I think that for English language learners, the best vocabulary to teach is the one that is used in the culture where they'll be living/visiting/studying. Although, the American English versus British English differences are useful for students to know.



Anonymous said...

I can't agree more. I think ESL teachers who would like to teach in, say, Korea, should first know which English is dominant in that country. It's not appropriate to say "lift" when people normally call it "elevator" in any particular country.

Anonymous said...

I'm from Poland and the problem is that most ESL curricula in my country are based on BrE.

And it doesn't even matter that nowadays teenagers are more often exposed to AmE through video clips, Hollywood movies and other popular culture items - it is AmE that is dominant...

So, yes, by all means teach the language variety that is going to be used by students not what the school authorities think is appropriate for your students.