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  1. I moved to Sweden and am now studying to become an English teacher. I am almost old enough to be the father of some of my classmates; I am also old enough to question the English teaching program. It is very sad that the beloved Benjamin Franklin’s phonetic alphabet was not seen for the pure genius that it was. The point I am trying to get to is that at my university we are currently spending, or wasting I should say, a great deal of time on phonetics. Articulatory phonetics is a valuable tool for those wishing to teach English in Sweden. But as for the rest of it, to use my teacher’s terminology, it is absolute rubbish! Maybe at English C & D level students might want to learn about the many “rules” of phonology, but as most of my fellow students are Swedish this information is a complete waste of time and there are countless other aspects of the English language that could be studied to achieve higher competence and confidence in the classroom. One sad thing I have learned during my thorough study of English is that “linguists”, as abundant as they are, should be doing something that might benefit mankind, rather than complicate the English language. Yes it is mankind; the whole sociolinguistic gender issue is a self-defeating battle that is only causing prejudice. I have 3 daughters and I worship my wife and mother, in fact I know that woman is God’s greatest creation. But, until women want to compete against men in the Olympic events, they need to stuff a sock in it and learn to recognize and cherish the differences that make them so amazing.

    WH

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