Special Education/Why is this case?


Why is this case? What would many Americans not believe her when she says that she is a natural born United States citizen and that is born in Los Angeles California, but has lived in the United Kingdom with her British parents since she was a baby? She says that she has an American and British passport, while her British parents only have a British passport. Why would American children find it wearied that the she speaks English different than they do?

What does a person have to do so his new born daughter will speak British English with a British accent, not American English with an American accent?  Can this only be done if the child lives in the United Kingdom or can this also be done in the United States with a British mother that speaks with a British accent? Why would a child speak English with an American accent in the United States, even if the British mother only speaks with a British accent? The European man wants; that if his daughter were to walk the streets in the United Kingdom everybody thinks that she is born in the United Kingdom and that is impossible to tell that she is born in the United States.  That is why he has a child with a British woman. British women are different than North American women.

What a person who wants his daughter to speak English with a British accent instead of American English with an American accent has to do is indeed move to the UK.  This is because the environment, i.e. the world surrounding the child is greater than one person, i.e. the mother.  If you're familiar with the Japanese Suzuki method of learning music, then you'll know that listening to music way before playing it plays a key role in how fast and well a person learns the piece of music.  If you're not familiar with the Suzuki method, you're welcome to google and learn about it.  The same principle as applies in the Suzuki method applies to a child learning her native and all foreign languages.  Language = 'music' to the ears and music is a universal language.  The world surrounding the daughter, the world which will speak British English if the parents and she move to the UK, will always be greater - thus have greater impact on the daughter's English and accent than one person - the mother.  This principle also explains why people who are born in, for example, Hungary and brought to, say, Australia at the age of 6 months will learn to speak Aussie English with the Aussie accent despite the fact that their parents may never lose their heavy Hungarian accent with which they speak English to the children at home.  And when a child born in, for example, Hungary and brought to AU at 6 months of age moves to, say, Canada at the age of 10 years, the child will eventually reorient to Canadian English and speak it with the Canadian accent still despite the fact that the child's parents will still speak English with the same heavy Hungarian accent.  

Well if the child never leaves the house and listens to and watches all things British, yes, you can prevent it.  But is this scenario realistic?  The answer is no.  Can any parent keep a child trapped in the house without letting her leave it?  No, s/he can't.  That gives you the answer to why it is that if a British child watches a lot of American TV shows on British TV the child will never speak English with an American accent.  That's why - because the child goes out of the house and absorbs British English from his/her environment.  Watching a lot of American TV shows is part of life, not life itself.  And the child will understand English spoken with the American accent very well, because it's still English - it's one and the same language, just spoken with different accents, just like any other language spoken in the north of the country where it's spoken will have a different accent from the saunter, and eastern, and western parts of the same country.  It's still one and the same language.

This really is not a special education question. It is really a literacy question.  

All people have acquire language through the language that they are exposed.  Parents are typically the greatest influence upon the language acquisition learned through speech.  Other influences are relatives who spend time conversing with the child, media exposure, etc.

At an older age, children can choose to change the accent they have.  I am a perfect example.  I was born and raised in rural Wyoming, son of a South Dakota native with poor language dialect and an English born WWII bride of that father.  She spoke with a clear British accent.  The combination of the King's English and "hick" from Wyoming gave me a strange accent which made people believe I was not very smart.  While in Graduate school obtaining my Masters (see, I must not have really been stupid), I became engage to marry.  At the dinner when my future wife and I told her parents my future father in law called me aside and asked me how I was going to deal with how much smarter my wife was than I...after all she is diagnosed as gifted and I was an uneducated Wyoming native.  I informed him that he was wrong about my lack of intelligence...but decided I needed to "sound" smarter.  I worked deliberately to eliminate the accent and sound like what I thought was intelligent.  About 15 years later someone called me sophisticated, which really caught be off guard.  I asked why and the answer was, "you speak so eloquently."  

I believe that for the self concept of a child, we should let the child naturally acquire language including accent, but we have to also inform them of perceptions.  I spoke with a variety of incorrect verb tenses which mimicked the uneducated.  That wasn't bad, but presented a perception that I did not want.

By the way, my mother's English accent was very faint in her 70's, which wasn't her choice, rather what she was exposed to...


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Dr. Norm Bishop


I have spent nealy 40 years in the area of Special Education. I have had the pleasure of teaching pre-school, elementary, middle, high school and college levels, as well as, served in school district administration buildings in classroom/legal support positions. I have also spent some time working in a State Department of Education Exceptional Student Services Office and am now currently Division Head and Director of Institutional Research at Alice Lloyd College in Pippa Passes, Kentucky. I also teach special education classes on campus. I have also taught full time teacher preparation at Northern Arizona University on the Tucson Campus, Seattle Pacific University, and at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming. In addition to that I have taught adjunct at Seattle Pacific University, City University in Seattle, Ashford University, and Grand Canyon University.


I have experienced directly special education legal issues, process and procedure, and have taught at all levels in every special education category except gifted. My major expertise is diagnostic prescriptive teaching, literacy as it relates to disabilities, technology in special education, and Educational Leadership. My greatest passion in the field is building new programs, implementing and doing the research to see how they work. My Dissertation and principle research interest is in the area of inclusive education, primarily co-teaching of students with disabilities in the general education classroom.

Council for Exceptional Children, Association for the Supervision of Curriculum, National Reading Council.

Teaching Exceptional Children, Published computer assisted instruction, titled PAL, Special Education Basics, college Textbook, Teaching with Precision, college Textbook, Various devotionals at the website, Preachitteachit.com.

I have a B.A. in Secondary Education, a Masters in Special Education (cross categorical), administrative certification, and a second B.A. in Elementary Education. I completed my doctorate in Educational Leadership at Northern Arizona University.

Awards and Honors
Best Summer Program in the Nation (Honorable Mention, when I was Teaching) Multiple local awards

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