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Spelling changes with moving countries?
Old 12-03-2018, 04:09 AM
 
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OK, so a family moves countries. Emigrated. They will be permanent and apply for citizenship.

The two children aged 5 and 7.5 have moved from a country with American English. They are now in the UK for good. My question is...........

Should their British teachers be enforcing changing all their learnt American spelling to new UK spelling eg. when they write US 'mommy' instead of UK 'mummy'? It is starting to matter in their writing and in spelling tests yet the kids don't seem to care or want to change anything.



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Old 12-03-2018, 05:04 AM
 
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My husband lived in the UK from ages 7 to 14. You will learn to spell like they do.

Image his pain after 7 years of British spelling to revert back to American spelling. Huge PITA.

The spelling isn't the issue, it's different words for things. Biscuit, boot, lift, fortnight, fag. That learning curve is harder.

The biggest challenge is learning your place. Americans are "too much". We talk too much and over share. Our pecking order is how much money your have and your job. England has a social class structure. Birth right will hold more sway than how much money you have.

If the kids have a parent who is from the UK, and they have visited the country more than a few times, that culture shock will be less. I have friends who lived in Japan, then moved to England. Japan was much easier transition, than England. England was people separated by a common language. Lol..

Spelling is the least of the problems.
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half and half
Old 12-03-2018, 05:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Should their British teachers be enforcing changing all their learnt American spelling to new UK spelling eg. when they write US 'mommy' instead of UK 'mummy'? It is starting to matter in their writing and in spelling tests yet the kids don't seem to care or want to change anything.
I wouldn't take points off in writing assignments for American spellings of words they already know (maybe just note them at the bottom of the paper?) but I would push it on the actual school spelling words they're learning and being tested on. Those are words they should begin practicing "correctly" from the start.

I definitely wouldn't worry about the Mommy/Mummy thing, though. That's a nickname for a family member, and can really be anything they want it to be. (Look at all the different names for a grandmother - Grandmama, Granny, Nana, Mema...) I expect they'll unconsciously switch as they hear their friends use "Mummy" over and over - but if they don't, that's OK too.
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Old 12-04-2018, 02:44 AM
 
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I live in Australia, and we use a mix of British and Australian spelling. (more British overall). Many institutions though are beginning to accept either spelling for most words. When I taught year 3/4, I simply taught my students both spellings of any word we learned. We talked about how and why they were different, and debated which spelling made more sense. Interestingly, I found the discussions we had about words like that helped them remember and spell those words correctly more often than those which only had one spelling.

I know it seems confusing, but I feel like being able to adapt and spell words either way does not put you at a disadvantage. I find on PT I often automatically use American English, just because there are more Americans on here and it fits with the culture of the place.

All that to say......these children will be fine. They will learn to use British spelling, but given that many books they read will be American, they will also likely be able to spell like an American without much trouble.
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