Do native English speakers learn the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) when they start to learn English as children in kindergarten or primary school?

The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is intended to represent pronunciation. When learning a new language, using the IPA allows learners to map spelling to new pronunciations. The IPA helps you pronounce words you have never heard.

Native English learners learn pronunciation long before school. They learn to speak by listening to their parents, friends, TV and so forth. There is no need for them to use IPA to understand their native language.

How different are Scots and Scottish English?

Scots is nearly as different from Scottish English as Scots is different from English English or British English. There is a small number of shared words but there are a lot of different words too.

Scottish English is English. It is just as close to English as Scouse in Liverpool, Jordie in Newcastle, Estuary in North Long and Essex, Brummy in Birmingham, West Country in Cornwall, Potteries, Mancunian, Yorkshire, Cockney, etc. Scottish English is just an accent of English.

What is the most difficult language to learn for a Chinese native speaker?

It would be simple to point out that English is a very hard language to learn. Complex tenses, cases, irregular verbs, huge vocabulary, spelling that truly is just random at times and obtuse at others, plus pronunciations that just don't fit the Chinese tongue. English is a difficult language.

Is it OK if a teacher says, "I don't know" to students?

It depends a bit on what the question was and whither you should reasonably be expected to know the answer in order to be competent or not. If the question is on topic, and you are often stumped, then it suggests that you didn't prep sufficiently.

If the question is off topic, then it is quite fine to say, "I don't know". More over, if the question is well off topic and distracting form the lesson, then it a distinct benefit to disengage with a quick short reply even if you in fact do know the answer.

Why shouldn't I quite frequently and generously use the dreaded adverb superfluously in my wonderful writing?

The answer is in the question. If it is superfluous, then you don't need it. Concise writing is effective writing. When you add superfluous words, you create waffle. Use words when they are required to convey meaning. Omit words when the meaning can be conveyed without verbosity.

Using a thesaurus allows you to be specific in your choice of language. You can choose words that convey the meaning, without the addition of excess adjectives or adverbs.

Should a foreign language teacher use their native language while teaching or should they solely the foreign language?

The native language should be used minimally. There may be some instances where using the student's native language can help to explain a point efficiently, especially with beginner level students, or to bring students into order and discipline them. As students advance, the need to drop into the native language should diminish. The objective should always be to maximize the student's exposure to the new language in order to maximize their learning – even if that means something is harder for the teacher.


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