How To Improve Immigrants’ English (1940s Instructional Film) [HD]. Originally called ’48 Paddington Street’, British Pathe issued this as a cinema newsreel in the 1940s, although it was produced by ‘British Instructional Films Ltd’
Today the video comes across as quite harsh in its tone, and looks a little racist perhaps.
Others have said the clip looks like the basis for a Two Ronnies sketch. Several comedy characters in recent years such as Matt Lucas’ Marjorie Dawes in Little Britain or Catherine Tate’s translator have parodied this kind of attitude towards people who speak English as a second language.
Produced by British Instructional Films Ltd, Welwyn Garden City, for British Pathe Ltd.
Directed by Mary Field
Photographed by Frank Mundy
Recordist – D. Howells
The Professor – A. Lloyd James (Secretary to the BBC Committee on Spoken English)
The Student – Dr. M. D. Ratnasuriya B.A.. Ph.D.
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