Teaching EFL vs Teaching ELF (English as a Lingua Franca)

A lot of you are probably familiar with the acronym EFL, or English as a Foreign Language. Some of you probably have heard as well about the acronym ESL, English as a Second Language, but more recently on this blog I’ve been talking a lot about the acronym ELF , English as a Lingua Franca. And […]

Teaching pronunciation for English as a Lingua Franca: The th sound

The ‘th’ sound is a very difficult sound to pronounce. But does it actually matter for intelligibility. Does it make any difference for clear pronunciation? Watch the video for more information. https://youtu.be/9H2VNu_fyD0 The ‘th’ sound, the interdental fricative is a really difficult one, isn’t it? As a student of English I remember struggling with it […]

How to use non-native speakers as pronunciation models

We all know that English is primarily used by ‘non-native speakers’ as a global lingua franca. Yet, for the most part, we still only use standard ‘native speaker’ voices to model pronunciation. We frown upon having a foreign accent. Thus, inadvertently, perpetuating native speakerism That’s why I’m really excited about this lesson plan prepared by […]

Five reasons for teaching pronunciation for English as a Lingua Franca use

You have probably heard quite a lot recently about teaching pronunciation for English as a Lingua Franca use. I’ve written quite a lot about it too. So perhaps you’ve been wondering why: Why would I change how I teach pronunciation? Why would I start teaching pronunciation for English as a Lingua Franca use? In this […]

How to write materials and lesson plans for teaching English as a Lingua Franca

Finally, after many previous unsuccessful attempts, I had a paper published in ELT Journal (yay!). ELTJ is one of my favourite ELT peer-reviewed journals for several reasons, but one of them is undoubtedly their focus on practice. The papers published there are short, to the point, and the researchers always try to highlight what practical […]

[LESSON PLAN] Idiomatic expressions across cultures and first languages

When you think of high proficiency levels, say B2 and above, one of the characteristics might be the use of idiomatic expressions. When you hear a student say I’m absolutely over the moon, you might think to yourself ‘oh wow, that’s a very natural way of putting it’ and wonder where the student might have […]