Lay off the stereotyping

Shamrocks, leprechauns and red hair?

Every Irish a drunk?

I think not.

Stereotyping is tricky.

Especially when you’re using English as an international language with people from all over the world. From different cultures. Many stereotypes often tend to have a grain of truth to them… but they are still over generalisations that people don’t like to be labelled with (or simply might not be true of every person).

Have a watch of this:

Italians eat pasta an pizza, Asians are good at math and all Brits love tea.


There is a grain of truth.

If you go to an Italian restaurant in the UK, chances are you’re going to eat pasta, pizza… or a combination of the two.

A research article in Asian Scientist journal found that yes, generally speaking, Asians do score higher on math tests (not surprising considering that’s how the education system is set up) and there are a lot of Brits who love a cup of tea.

But there is Italian cuisine that’s neither pasta NOR pizza…

I know more than one Asian who’s shit at maths. And I know at least one Brit who HATES tea (me!).

People are people.

And not making assumptions is only going to make international communication easier, not harder.


P.S. If you’re interested in the Full Irish lesson series, go here.


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Meet the Author

Julian Northbrook

Julian Northbrook is an unconventional punk of the business English learning world. A leading expert in English education and direct response marketing, he’s fully equipped to drag you kicking and screaming from English-mediocracy to speaking at an outstanding level. After being turned down for his dream job in the art industry, Julian suffered three long years as a crap Japanese speaker. He understands exactly what it’s like to feel like a total idiot every time you speak. But Julian overcame his language problems, mastered the language, and went on to work first as a freelance translator, then as an executive member of a Japanese company. But he soon grew sick of the corporate world and left it to pursue something infinitely more satisfying — running his own business helping small business owners and entrepreneurs get so good at English that they forget that it’s not their first language. He writes the infamous Doing English Daily Newsletter which you can (and should) subscribe to.