Saturday, January 05, 2008

ESL Writing for Indie Rockers/Confidence

Here's an illuminating post from Miho Hatori's blog. Hatori was the musician who first made me interested in exploring the use of English as an L2 in pop music, with her great band Cibo Matto. She wrote:

I had a dinner with my old friend Ami and talked about blog.
I am shy about writing in English in public ( I love talking in English ).
I often got nervous that people judge me about my bad grammar.
But you know what ?
The year of 2008, my slogan is....
"Who cares ? I don't care. A horses ass is better than yours."
Cibo Matto song, Beef jerky.
Going back to my principle of Art.
I just need to write here for my own sake.

Ami said "Miho, Don't worrrrrrry !!!"
So I believe my old friend.

So, I will have wrong grammar on this blog.
You can correct my English if you want.
That's the reason of comment section for.

I do think it's interesting that somebody whose English lyrics are often brashly weird -- really this is one of her great strengths as a vocalist/lyricist -- would still express reticence about writing in English. Still, this post displays the kind of creativity and confidence that I've come to appreciate about Hatori's music over the years. And it's the kind of creativity and confidence I hope my students can learn to have regarding their own use of English.


Another great post from David Crystal, "On Learning English," offers some encouragement to learners as well. It reads, in part:
...if you have adopted English as one of your languages, then you are able to adapt it - to take personal ownership of it. One of the great joys of making headway in a new language is that you can use it to talk about what you want to talk about - and if that means inventing new words, to express your local experience, then do not hesitate to invent them. Just translating the culture of your school and town into English - such as the names of localities and personalities - will immediately add dozens of new expressions. Don't restrict yourself to the words that are already in the dictionaries. English is yours now...