Tonight I received an e-mail from a blog reader of mine and he painted a pretty dire picture on discrimination on the grounds of lack of English fluency.
This particular e-mail illustrates situation in India where a lot of college students speak fluent English and those who don’t are experiencing an awful lot of pressure to catch up with the rest, but I’m guessing the same kind of an attitude is faced by non-native English speakers all around the world 24 hours 7 days a week!
The heck – even I’ve been sometimes treated as a less intelligent human being because of my poor English skills, so why should I be so shocked and appalled at this kind of a thing going on?
Simply because I’ve forgotten how bad it feels when you’re treated like that! 😡
Now that I’ve achieved a certain degree of fluency in the English language I don’t really have first-hand experiences of discrimination on the grounds of lack of English skills, but there was a time in my life when I was getting such an attitude on a daily basis:
- People judge you on the street because of your foreign accent;
- Superiors at work speak with you as if you were a child – (it’s as if your poor spoken English means you’re mentally handicapped!)
- And most painfully – those foreigners whose English is better treat you as a lesser human being!
I’d like to stress the last point – your FELLOW FOREIGNERS are also judging you.
It’s what my blog reader wrote to me in the e-mail as well, and I can totally relate to that because I know only too well what it feels like to be judged by your peers.
It’s basically a dog eat dog world out there – fellow foreigners competing with each other in the jobs market and also social life, and quite obviously those with better English skills are more likely to succeed.
Fair enough, it’s understandable, but why give the other person a hard time if you’re so good at it?
If you’re such a good English speaker, wouldn’t it be expected that you’d rather HELP your peer who’s struggling a little bit with it instead of criticizing and looking down on him?
Well, obviously such attitude is still alive and kicking, and I’m not going to change a bit in people’s opinion. The best I can hope for is that my video and this article is going to get some discussion going on, so please don’t hesitate to comment on this post and share your experiences with me and other blog readers ❗
Thanks a lot for reading,
P.S. Would you like to find out why I’m highlighting some of the text in red? Read this article and you’ll learn why it’s so important to learn idiomatic expressions and how it will help you to improve your spoken English!