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Hi

I don't know if this is the appropriate forum to ask the following question.

If a student writes an essay using both spellings (American and British), what should the teacher do? Accept all?

Thanks,

Tom
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Well, I'd expect consistency. If a student mixes them up together, I would not be inclined to give a perfect grade. If they managed to consistently use either British or American, then that would be cause for celebration.

English spelling is one of the most difficult skills to master.

I used to be a rather decent speller, but these skills have all deteriorated since I started using word processors.Emotion: crying
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Thanks, AlpheccaStars!

[Can I discuss it further?]

So, should I understand from your response that a student who has written an excellent essay MAY be penalized because he has spelt the following words like this?

Color

Centre

paralyze

Centralise

And what about vocabulary?

Would you also expect consistency in vocabulary -- I mean, can the following mixture of AmE and BrE words be frowned upon in a very well-written essay/story?

Apartment

Vacation

Cookie

Lift

Elevator

Tom
I think it would depend on the essay, the level of the students, and the "official" class language (if you have mentioned the language variants in class.)

If she has color and honour together, or includes both labor and labour, that would be more inconsistent than just having color and theatre. If the essay is good, I would just make a comment, but not a demerit.

Besides spelling and vocabulary, there are other nuances, such as subject/verb agreement for groups.

It might be fun for an advanced class to play a guessing game -

Is this sentence American or Brit?

And if I give you the American version, can you give me the British version?
AlpheccaStarsAnd if I give you the American version, can you give me the British version?
Thanks again!

By the way, is the above question directed to me or was it the part of example you gave? If the former, then I would definitely like to try.

Tom
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Hi

It's an interesting question and, as Alphecca says, it's all in the consistency..

- The government insist that the team I'm travelling with wears the color blue

Dave Emotion: smile
AlpheccaStars
Besides spelling and vocabulary, there are other nuances, such as subject/verb agreement for groups.

...and this point made me think along some other lines. If a non-native student writes the following sentence in an international examination, the British teacher will accept it, and the American teacher will find it totally wrong.

The doctor recommended him to stay in bed.

Tom
Hi

I had never thought of that

I think it's generally accepted that "recommend" can take an indirect object and an infinitive..

- The doctor recommended to him to stay in bed.

But in the UK we would not be keen on the "to .. to" repetition so we drop the first one

- The doctor recommended him to stay in bed.

It does sound odd because it looks like "him" has become the object of "recommend" (which would be wrong). But I would plead that it is just an ellipsis of the preposition

So yes, it is usable in the UK. But I'd probably just say..

- The doctor recommended he stay in bed

Dave
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dave_anon Hi It's an interesting question and, as Alphecca says, it's all in the consistency.. - The government insist that the team I'm travelling with wears the color blue Dave
I would use "wear" because of the subjunctive, not because of plural/singular. But I'm told that Americans use the subjunctive more than than BrE speakers.

(What I think you were pointing out is that Americans would use "insists" because we tend to use the singular for entities like the government, but you switch from government/plural to team/singular.)