SLA teachers have come from all over the U.S to teach here, bringing unique accents and phrases along with them. Among these teachers are Math and Study Skills teacher Jonathan Estey and Physics teacher BJ Enzweiler who are from vastly different places with many different ways of speaking.
Estey who is from the east side of Providence, Rhode Island, has lived in three cities in Oregon including Portland, Hood River, and Eugene, before moving to Philadelphia four years ago.
He credited what he thought was an “east coast” accent to his college experience, first encountering his different way of speaking from his Sophomore geometry.
Estey said his Sophomores last year noticed the way he pronounced “NASA” and “Box”. Estey also explained that he became conscious of certain New England slang that he was saying that didn’t make sense to others. He occasionally uses words such as “wicked”, “bubbler” and “sub” that are staples of the Rhode Island dialect.
Despite realizing how often he uses unintelligible New England slang, he holds onto an appreciation for his hometown.
“Rhode Island has a very rich dialect that people don’t always appreciate it and I would like to see people recognize the linguistic uniqueness”.
Another teacher who comes from outside of the Tri-State Area is Physics teacher BJ Enzweiler. Enzweiler is from Bloomington, Illinois which is located in the central part of Illinois. He has also lived in Chicago, Illinois and then Central Texas, before moving to Philadelphia, where he’s lived for four years.
“I would say I definitely have a midwestern accent itself, I think in Illinois there is mostly just a normal midwestern accent for most people who live outside the Chicago area”. He also said people who live in Chicago or people who have family there, definitely have a Chicago accent and lastly the Chicago accent is also broken down with racial lines, Enzweiler explained.
Enzweiler first realized how different he spoke from those on the east coast when he first moved to Philadelphia. “I would say “Spring Garden and Broad” or I’m at “Spruce and 15th” when in reality any Philadelphian is going to say “15th and Spruce” or “Broad and Spring Garden”.
Enzweiler also realized that he used the phrase “Y’all” a lot more than most Philadelphians.
“Being from the Midwest you use a lot of terms so I use “you all”, “guys”, I will also say “Y’all”, and “everyone” or “folks”, “I would say either Soda or Pop I think it’s more common if you were to ask me this when I was younger I would probably more or likely say pop than I do now,” Enzweiler said.,
Both these SLA teachers Mr. Estey and Mr. Enzweiler have brought their unique phrases to SLA but both agreed that the word “Jawn” is very confusing and took some time to figure out what it meant, also Mr. Estey likes the word “but I half to help students not use it academically”. Mr. Enzweiler likes it as well and calls it “a fun little quirk for the city”.
In conclusion, no matter if they say a word differently their accents are fun and are unique in their own way and they both still have a special appreciation for their hometowns even though their teaching in Philadelphia.