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OT but curious about verbal and non-native English speakers

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uncbeers Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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OT but curious about verbal and non-native English speakers

Post Wed Sep 03, 2008 6:53 pm
I wondered this before my test and still do as I read posts on people's scores. I am interested in knowing if a study has ever been looked into or done on the following issue:

I would almost argue that a non-native speaker or native speakers with foreign language skills score better on the Verbal area of the exam. My reason being people who grow-up knowing English do not 'learn it' technically. Sure we take English classes all our lives and learn the rules but we truly can not answer a question of 'why does this go there or do this' in English. This holds true for most languages and the answer from most natives is simply, "It just does!" Also, the Gmat English is somewhat unique I believe. The test-takers are looking for certain items that many natives may not truly recognize or know (I know I found some during my prep).

I personally believe I didn't really begin to understand English better until I began my foreign language studies. In fact, all those English classes I took and I can only remember one as being very helpful. (Funny story is my Verbal score was no good to say the least!) I wonder how others feel about this and such a statement.

It would be very interesting to see if those who do not know English as their native tongue do better since they truly learn the rules better than the natives do. Also interesting to see if studying a foreign language helps the native English speakers as well. I am sure in a study you will have your outliers in both areas but I'd be least surprised if there was a pattern.

Maybe this would only hold true for the SC portion or maybe the lack of English practice would also mean non-natives pay extra attention to the CR and RC as well? Maybe I worry too much and nobody else is as interested as I am?! Laughing

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