Chasing Encounters Special Summer Episode
“ I thought I was getting a Canadian teacher,” Vijay Ramjattan says when an English student thought he was a white English teacher. In this special Summer episode of Chasing Encounters, Vijay delights us with a provocative conversation about how race, whiteness and accent intersect. It is not only in Canada, but a global issue that white native speakers are preferred in the English language teaching market, especially if they speak the American variation. We discussed how a raciolinguistic narrative permeates in society through our bodies - people judge based on the relation of body/accent. White people = perfect English, People of Color = low-rated English, thus less knowledgeable. Race is the floating signifier and accent becomes the tool to whiten a person. We problematize how we read bodies and use that to determine what type of language to use in what context. Vijay urges us to unravel the ideologies representing good accent and he warns us of the so call accent reduction programs as he invites us to focus on pronunciation training instead.
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Suggested citation for this podcast (APA):
Ortega, Y. (Producer). (2019, July 8). Chasing Encounters – Episode – 13 – Race and Accent [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from https://soundcloud.com/chasingencounters/chasing-encounters-episode-13-special-summer-episode-race-and-accent