The Common Linnets’ English language report

Language Partners onderzoekt hoe het is gesteld met de talenkennis van onze BN’ers. Deze maand kijken we naar de Engelse talenkennis van Ilse de Lange en JB Meijers van The Common Linnets. Welk cijfer scoren zij?

The Common Linnets (Ilse de Lange and JB Meijers)

This is quite a long interview in comparison to some of the others that I have looked at. To be honest, (as with most of the reports that I have written so far), there are an awful lot of positives with their use of English and the ‘negatives’ are only very finicky things!

General issues and pronunciation
In my eyes (and ears!) Ilse de Lange does not really display an accent typical to Dutch speakers of English. JB Meijers also has a very good accent but there are odd occasions where I can hear the Dutch accent ever so slightly. For example, around the 3.48 point where he starts off ‘got to make sure that……’, there are some Dutch sounding phonemes. Both members of the band have got a slightly American twang which is to be expected.

Ilse de Lange had good articulation and pronunciation throughout and could tackle a very large range of vocabulary naturally and with ease. She was able to use words like ‘contribute’ and ‘participate’ on many occasions and was consistent with the pronunciation and intonation. The same can be said for JB Meijers. Towards the end of the interview he came out with some cracking expressions such as ‘do your head in’ and ‘in a nutshell’ which were used appropriately and it was nice to hear! Something else that was nice to hear was at 8.19 where he was talking about being in the studio, he used the word ‘gear’ which is perfect and to be honest I expected him to say ‘stuff’ so that was a pleasant surprise!

Both Ilse and JB showed very high levels of grammatical accuracy. Two very small things that I noticed were at 8.57, where JB said ‘if this would have happened on a very early age’. If he had said ‘at a very early age’, I probably would have missed this ‘mistake’. It was only when I played it again I noticed it! It would have been better to say ‘if it had happened at a very early age. To be honest, most native speakers would also construct such a sentence when speaking- myself included when I am off guard!

Coherence of the interview
The interview sounded very natural and both Ilse de Lange and JB Meijers appeared very comfortable and at ease speaking English. Answers were appropriate, there were no points where I could not decipher what they were saying. Ilse was slightly stronger from a ‘technical’ point of view, but I loved the expressions that JB Meijers came out with – especially ‘do your head in’! Both Ilse and JB were able to give long, detailed answers without any hesitation at all which itself is proof that they both have very high levels of English. I am guessing that because the other members of the band are from the USA, that they get an awful lot of practice.

Conclusions and ratings

This interview is living proof that ‘practice makes perfect’. Many students sometimes believe that by following lessons alone, their English will automatically improve, but unless they put it into practice themselves whenever they can, reaching a higher level can be a long, slow process.

The Common Linnets' English language report

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