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Bad English

Bad English English, baby! Video Lesson

Date: Apr 13 2007


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

When you are learning another language, it is difficult to blend what you learn in books with how people actually talk.

In every language, people stutter, insert extra words and use expressions that are not in the dictionary.

English, baby! members sometimes comment on the “bad English” of our cast members. For example, they say we shouldn’t be saying “like” so much. But “like” is very common in the spoken language. Of course, you would never use the expression in writing unless you were quoting someone.

Listen to Amanda and Kevin talk about bad English.

3. Watch - Watch the video without reading the dialog.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Amanda:  So what’s interesting is I have a four year-old son…

Kevin:  OK.

Amanda:  ... and so we’re trying to teach him the language. The English language. But it’s very difficult to realize that, how we speak with all the slang and the poor construction using “like,” “um,” the pausing…

Kevin:  The colloquialisms.

Amanda:  Yes. Pausing, “um,” “Like, well”... It’s so difficult to curb that while you’re teaching a child because you don’t want to teach that or pass it on. It’s near impossible.

Kevin:  Well, it is but his English will eventually get good. But it does take sort of coaching, right?

Amanda:  Absolutely.

Kevin:  And, and good teaching, both from the parents as well as in school.

Amanda:  You don’t realize how much you do it yourself.

Kevin:  Mm hm.

Amanda:  You know which mistakes are mistakes and you just, that’s how you’ve taught yourself.

Kevin:  Yeah.

Amanda:  You’ve trained yourself incorrectly.

Kevin:  It’s very interesting.

Amanda:  And it’s so hard to rewind and go the right way even though you know what’s right.

Kevin:  I used to be an ESL teacher and a lot of students would write in essays the word gonna... g-o-n-n-a.

Amanda:  Oh no.

Kevin:  Which they didn’t realize was OK verbally but written, is, is not appropriate.

Amanda:  Right.

Kevin:  So it takes a lot of practice.

Amanda:  It does. I’m working on it…

Kevin:  It will come.

Amanda:  ... still!



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Amanda is teaching her four-year-old how to talk. It is making her realize her own poor speaking habits.

Kevin has a lot of teaching experience. He assures Amanda that her son will learn how to speak properly despite her own mistakes.

Kevin also points out that his ESL students would use colloquialisms (like “gonna”) as written language.

Do you have bad habits in your native language?

Would it be hard for someone to learn the difference between the spoken and the written in your language?



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Even a native speaker could be wrong sometimes, so there’s nothing to worry about. Let’s go for it.

06:19 AM Apr 14 2007 |



yeah really good lesson, very usefull especially for me cause I didn’t know that you can’t write gonna,gotta… when you write

04:37 PM Apr 13 2007 |



i am new here so how’s things go around here, please somebody tell me

03:07 PM Apr 13 2007 |




yes, you can make mistakes when you are learning english language but as a students we have to use formal english or try to curb to blend what you write with how people speak.

02:55 PM Apr 13 2007 |




really we can’t express words in writing

10:28 AM Apr 13 2007 |



Russian Federation

hi there!as for me we will make mistakes unless we live somewhere along with native engl.speakers.but again unfortunately we easily pick up slang than decent ones

05:36 AM Apr 13 2007 |




it’s hard to correct a mistake that we always pass on.

03:44 AM Apr 13 2007 |



Saudi Arabia

This one I like very much,excellent
thumbs up

02:17 AM Apr 13 2007 |

ellen chiang


yes,I think sometimes it’s hard to distinguish verbally english and written english,and sometimes I find write down the colloquialisms is nearly impossible.

12:24 AM Apr 13 2007 |

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