Wordsworth’s White Wife – Review 3

Review in the Hastings Independent by Christine Sanderson

When Wordsworth McAndrew died in 2008, he was hailed in his home country of Guyana as a ‘National Treasure’ and the voice of Guyanese folklore. But to Rosie McAndrew, who lives locally near to Ore village, he was her ex-husband and an influence that changed her life completely.

‘Mac’, as Rosie usually called him, was ten years older than her and already well-known in 1968 when the two first met. Both were attending courses at the BBC in London, his in connection with his job in broadcasting and hers to prepare her for Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) – in the same town, Georgetown, Guyana, working for Broadcasts for Schools (BS) her first real job as a young graduate. There was an instant attraction well before either knew much about the other. Continue reading

Wordsworth McAndrew – August 2008

– written for the memorial services held for him in New York and London

I first met Mac at the BBC, in London, where he was just finishing a TV course with some guys from Guyana Broadcasting Service.  I was doing an extra week’s training in radio there before I went out to Guyana, to do Voluntary Service Overseas at Broadcasts to Schools with Celeste Dolphin.

As it happened, my group shared a lounge with the Guyanese crew, so I was introduced to them all. I was immediately drawn to Mac, and as I had to find someone to interview for a radio project, I rashly asked him if I could interview him about Guyanese folklore and culture.  Of course, I could hardly have chosen a subject closer to his heart!  He told me all about Queh queh and Cumfa;  I found him fascinating, and as we saw a lot of each other for the rest of that week, I invited him down to stay with my family before he went back home.  When I arrived in Guyana, some weeks later, I didn’t have to be part of the usual VSO crowd, as I had an open door into his world. Continue reading

Politeness Cultures – PowerPoint

Here is the PowerPoint presentation I refer to in my article “Becoming Aware of Cultural Differences”.  It was designed for Teacher-Training purposes.

As I explained in the introduction to that article, in this context, the terms ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ are not in any sense intended to convey approval or disapproval.  They simply refer to opposing ends of a continuum of accepted behaviour in a particular cultural context.

‘Positive’ could loosely be equated with directness, and ‘negative’ with indirectness.  In fact, I wish such terms had been the ones linguists had coined for discussion of these culturally sensitive matters!

politeness-cultures-by-rosie-mcandrew

Becoming Aware of Cultural Differences

I was giving a PowerPoint presentation on Positive and Negative Politeness Cultures at a conference where Mario Rinvolucri was one of the participants.   Following on from the seminar, he asked me to contribute an article for ‘Humanising Language Teaching’ on how I became interested in cultural differences, and here it is…

becoming-aware-of-cultural-differences

By the way, in this context the terms ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ are not in any sense intended to convey approval or disapproval.  They simply refer to opposing ends of a continuum of accepted behaviour in a particular cultural context.

‘Positive’ could loosely be equated with directness, and ‘negative’ with indirectness.  In fact, I wish such terms had been the ones linguists had coined for discussion of these culturally sensitive matters!