In his Jan. 1 letter, “Problem with Asian English,” Robert Thornton states that most Asian native speakers have problems with English. Let’s abandon the notion that one has to master a language like a native speaker to teach it. If that were so, a native English speaker friend of mine, who still pronounces Kamakura with the wrong accent despite living in Japan for years, would not have been able to work as a Japanese-language instructor at a school in his home country now.
In a highly globalized world like this, English, or any language for that matter, does not belong to native speakers alone. With hard work and high aims, anybody can learn a language and teach it, too. I am sorry to observe that Thornton, who says he has been in the English business for 40 years, doesn’t seem to know this basic fact.
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