How to motivate students using recordings of successful E(LF)nglish users

A lot of the times course books feature a rather narrow range of recordings of standard ‘native speaker’ voices.

Just to give you a few examples:

  • Syrbe and Rose (2016) note that most characters presented in books are ‘native speakers’ (mostly either US or British)
  • ‘Non-native speakers’ also tend to contribute much less in dialogues, and few examples of ‘non-native speaker’ to ‘non-native speaker’ interactions are present (Matsuda, 2002)
  • ‘Non-native speakers’ are often presented as tourists in Inner Circle countries,  very seldom interacting with other ‘non-native speakers’ in ELF (English as a Lingua Franca) settings (Vettorel and Lopriore, 2013)
  • Tomlinson and Masuhara (2013) show that the coursebooks they analysed focus specifically on contemporary middle-class British English.

And typically, we might encourage students to imitate these ‘native speaker’ models as closely as possible.

However, aren’t we then encouraging them to imitate a model few will ever be able to achieve?

I’ve had lots of students in the past who have been frustrated and demotivated by not being able to speak English like that ‘native speaker’ in the recording in class.

As a student of English in the past I also certainly found it rather frustrating and somewhat discouraging that I was never able to speak English like the ‘native speakers’ I could hear in the recordings.

That’s why in this video, I’m going to show you how you can use recordings of successful English as a Lingua Franca users to motivate and engage your learners.

And as an added bonus: to also contribute to tackling native speakerism in our profession.

What are you going to learn in the video?

  • 2 reasons why recordings of successful E(LF)nglish users can be motivating for your students
  • 9 examples of E(LF)nglish users that will be great for your classes
  • how to choose the right recordings
  • a 5-minute prep lesson framework that works with any recording.

So after watching this video you will know how to motivate your students in the next class using a recording of a successful E(LF)nglish user.


Watch the video below.

Did you enjoy the video?

Would you like to watch more similar videos and learn exactly how to teach listening for ELF contexts?

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  • Matsuda, A. (2002). Representation of users and uses of English in beginning Japanese EFL textbooks. JALT Journal, 24(2), 182–216.
  • Syrbe, M., & Rose, H. (2016). An evaluation of the global orientation of English textbooks in Germany. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, 12(2), 152–163. https://doi.org/10.1080/17501229.2015.1120736
  • Tomlinson, B., & Masuhara, H. (2013). Adult coursebooks. ELT Journal, 67(2), 233–249. https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/cct007
  • Vettorel, P., & Lopriore, L. (2013). Is there ELF in ELT coursebooks? Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 3(4), 483–504. https://doi.org/10.14746/ssllt.2013.3.4.3
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