I am a native speaker of English who speaks with a non-native, international accent.
Unless, of course, it is your desire to speak like an American, Australian, New Zealander, Canadian, or alas, someone from the UK, you will find my non-native, international accent very useful. I acquired it while teaching English in eight countries on three continents including the Middle East. In short, it has been well tested! I know of no one who has difficulty understanding me. I even receive compliments from my native landsmen and -women for having learned to speak English so well. Little do they know that I grew up in the same city or state as they. It makes me laugh.
My non-native, international accent is to your advantage for two important reasons: one, you will have no trouble understanding me; and two, I am well able to distinguish between good English phonemics and phonetics as a result of this transformation. You see, phonemics are what make it possible for a Japanese to understand an Indian, and vice versa. Phonetics, on the other hand, tell you where a Saudi, Russian, or Swede learned his English, or indeed, where each of these non-native English speakers is from — no matter that none of them speaks English with intelligible grammar….
My phonetic transformation has been accompanied by another very international quality. Although I understand and can explain colloquial language well, I rarely use it. This makes it easy for you to understand me without having to ask a lot of questions that are not relevant to your being understood well by others. Then too, none of this has occurred by accident, for I have always tried to make my tongue wag as closely to the way that my students wag theirs so as to be easily understood by everyone. This effort has made it possible for me to acquire good oral and written fluency in French, German, and Japanese in addition to my native English. Further, I have acquired important bits and pieces of Arabic, Cantonese, and Spanish, and smaller bits and pieces of Thai and Korean. This is also to your advantage, for if I know the rules of your native tongue, I am better able to help you learn the rules of mine. And, even if I do not know your tongue, because I know so much about language in general, there is hardly a student that I have not been able to help.
No, you need not fear that i will spend your money having you teach me how to speak your language. Unless, of course, it is your strong desire, I will likely dissuade you. I am a very focused person.
Finally, there are a few important lessons that I have acquired during my extended global journey that I would like to share with you below.
1) Nationality and race are burdens for some and sources of pride for others. That our own pride not become another’s burden. (Tōkyō, Japan, 2000)
2) I care not what you believe, but how you convert your belief into thought, speech, and action. (Jeddah, KSA, 2012)
3) When certification becomes the purpose of education, knowledge ceases to serve human kind and becomes a tool of profit for special interests and the state. (Seattle, 2015)
If you like what you have read, let’s get together and make it happen!