Pardon my bad English, but I have something to say.

If you are not a native English speaker, you’ll probably find your English being corrected more often than you’d want or need.

This is especially common in social networks where people feel free to give opinions without much consideration for others or the consequences that such opinions may have on other people’s lives. Online forums, Facebook groups and pages, even personal profiles can be the arenas for unsolicited corrections.

Don’t get me wrong. I know my English is not perfect and I still have a lot to learn, but believe me it won’t help that you correct me in public.

I don’t know if it is an occupational habit, but many ESL teachers are very prone to doing that. There are students who want to be constantly corrected, it is their way of learning, but for the rest of the mortals it is disrespectful.

Language is not a neutral medium of communication, it is a site for struggle where voices fight to be heard (Heller, 1987) and I fight with my bad English because I know you can understand me.

I write (or speak) to express my opinions, to share my knowledge and experience, to connect with other people, I don’t write to be exposed by the ‘deficiency’ of my language. I write because, in spite of not being a native speaker or a highly proficient English speaker, I have something to say.



Heller, M. (1987) The role of language in the formation of ethnic identity. In J. Phinney
and M. Rotheram (eds) Children’s Ethnic Socialization (pp. 180–200). Newbury Park,
CA: Sage


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