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English Down The Pub: The Language As It Is Spoken

This book is written for use by both students of English and Teachers of English. It will also be of interest to those wanting to know about modern English culture.

It is a constant source of frustration for many, that foreign people studying English are taught language that is not authentic. Although it is technically ‘correct’ English, much of it is English rarely used by real English people – at least not in the last fifty years. This book has been written in order to put that right. It provides the essentials of ‘real’ English – the colloquial language that you will find being spoken every day by real English people going about their normal lives. The author of this book believes that English Language teachers who are primarily instructing students who wish to speak modern functional English for practical conversational purposes, are doing their students a great disservice by not teaching them the language that the man in the street speaks. This includes giving them a working understanding of English swearwords – since we know that most people swear at least socially and often at work too.

The book is structured to deal with common social functions, such as meeting people and making introductions, ordering drinks and food and making conversation. The dialogue is not the stilted or ‘wooden’ language one normally finds in a textbook, instead it is vibrant in its authenticity and often very humorous as a result. Such amusing scenarios as ‘how to avoid a fight’ and ‘looking for love’ are covered, since many people go to pubs to meet a prospective partner and most of us have witnessed aggression in drinking venues at some time. In all scenarios both a formal and informal dialogue are given as examples. Of course it goes without saying that learners need to be taught the correct formal version at the same time as the colloquial. The rule in this book is that where people might swear or use slang in real life, this is reflected in the dialogue along with an explanation of meaning and where its use is appropriate. The author has found this very popular with students in the classroom and has witnessed great upsurges of student enthusiasm as a result.

At the end of the book we are provided with a useful reference section listing and explaining the many types of drinks served in pubs along with a further section on English slang and swearwords. This last section has proved popular due to its authenticity and causes much amusement. The book is also very informative about pub culture and modern trends, including the emergence of micro-breweries and micropubs. In addition it covers the background related to English brewing and beer drinking. This provides a pleasing and unexpected bonus to those expecting merely to learn about the English language.



Mark Swain



08 May 2014









Digital Copy






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Mark Swain was born in Singapore in 1958, where his father was stationed in the RAF. He has lived in many countries, and as a young man found it hard to break the habit of a nomadic life, spending a great deal of his youth hitchhiking around Europe.With a low boredom threshold, Mark has had dozens of jobs and quite a few careers, but only one wife. Studying Graphic Design at Hastings College of Art, he ran off and joined the Army in search of adventure. Later he found himself travelling the world on the QE2 as a silver-service waiter and caught up in a war. This life has given him plenty of source material and inspiration for writing.Mark particularly enjoys the Short Story form, admiring American short story writers such as Raymond Carver, Richard Brautigan and Richard Ford as well as classic short story writers Franz Kafka and Anton Chekov. He is also a great admirer of George Orwell, John Steinbeck, Norman Maclean, Albert Camus and Jonathan Raban. Two collections of Mark's own short stories - including the award winning story 'Special Treatment' - have been released by his UK publisher, Tinderbox Publishing Ltd along with the bestselling "Long Road, Hard Lessons" a non-fiction book with photographs and maps about a 10,000-mile life-changing cycle journey he made with his teenage son from Ireland to Japan.Shoehorned into his busy life, Mark enjoys film, motorcycling, long-board surfing, cycle touring, English micro-pubs, growing vegetables, travelling in his VW Camper-van, drawing, painting and sculpture. He is at home in England, but is constantly travels.

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