The Worst Communicators


BBC article about communication between native and non-native English speakers


trigger (regular verb)
contradictory (adj.), contradiction (noun)
flop (flopped, flopped)
spiral out of control (expression)
baffle (regular verb), baffling (ing/ed adj.)
up [s/b’s] game (phrasal verb)
face value (idiom)
mumble (regular verb)
awareness (uncountable noun)
gist (uncountable noun)
patronize (regular verb), patronizing (ing/ed adj.)

Main Activity

Read the BBC article to discuss the following questions:

  1. Have you experienced the problem the author described?
  2. How can these problems be avoided?
  3. Why have solutions such as Globish or Esperanto not proven effective thus far?
  4. Let’s say an American or British company hired you to teach a course to their native-English-speaking employees to help them communicate in international English better. How would you design your training course? What would be the most useful information for native speakers to know about non-native speakers?