Alex Case wrote:I taught with a teacher from Belfast who I could barely understand, but he was one of the most popular teachers in the school
I find it interesting how a strong accent is sometimes difficult to understand, yes it is often loved by the students.
I'm from Bristol in the UK, so I'm quite prone to using the Bristol 'al' sound at the end of certain words, like bottle and kettle. I actually got rejected by one Chinese training school during interview, reason given was 'you have a heavy dialect'. When I'm in the classroom I think BBC, and try and concentrate on the way I'm speaking. Many schools in China take the attitude that if one does not sound like CNN (American English), they're not interested and the students will have difficulty understanding what is spoken.
I'm currently teaching in a Mongolian middle school, I'm the only foreign teacher here, and AFAICT from S. and T. feedback, my Bristol accent is actually loved and appreciated here.