Why on Earth would someone write a book and name it “My English, My Rules”? The author may be an English native speaker, right? Well, in case she isn’t, who is she to say that the English language is hers and, even worse, that she creates the rules on how to ‘use’ it?
Hi! My name is Fernanda Carvalho, I’m Brazilian and I currently work as a language coach. I wrote the book “My English, My Rules” to help language students all over the world to feel empowered in the language they speak and help language teachers put themselves in their students’ shoes.
As a language student, I remember feeling very frustrated because I couldn’t speak English fluently. Later on, I came to realize that my concept of “fluency” was simply impossible to achieve. Therefore I felt my English was never enough. For me, being fluent meant not making any grammar mistake, not having people asking me “what did you say?” or saying “I’m sorry, I didn’t understand what you said”. I wanted to watch movies and understand every single thing and, obviously, I wanted to sound like a native speaker.
Well, everything changed when I started teaching international students in the United States.This experience made me realize that my students were going through the same struggles as me, trying to achieve an unachievable concept of fluency and, as a consequence, feeling constantly frustrated and insufficient. You know what is really sad about it? They end up losing their voice and becoming invisible…
Our students need more than language, they need to feel empowered. Instead of having native speakers as role models, why not have non-native speakers that went through the same learning journey as theirs and became ‘succssessful’? Why are native speakers allowed to be creative ‘using’ English and our students are not? Is language a property? Who owns it?
As professionals in the education field, it’s also our job to raise our students’ awareness about language empowerment. That is why I wrote the book “My English, My Rules”, to help language learners realize that there is nothing wrong with having an accent, that they don’t need to sound like native speakers, and that failures in communication are not always THEIR fault.
The purpose of this book is to give learners a sense of belonging in the English language and bring a new perspective into teaching and learning English. It includes theories of language teaching, neuroscience, and coaching in a practical way.
I really hope that “My English, My Rules” can reach as many language students as possible and help them find their voice in English or any other languages they speak. My message for my fellow teachers is: what else can we do besides teaching language? Our students have important things to share with the world, language cannot become a barrier, it should be a bridge. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08432VGMT?pf_rd_p=2d1ab404-3b11-4c97-b3db-48081e145e35&pf_rd_r=JAKHP0R1RVN2QH66Y88Y