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Language model

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, …

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Teaching english as a Lingua Franca: How to use first language to facilitate communication

For a long time, there has been a rather negative view of using first language (L1) when communicating in English. It might sometimes be seen as: an example of lower proficiency or of not being fluent enough in English or of not knowing the right word. However, research clearly shows that multilingual individuals, which all …

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How to teach real English using TED talks by Lewis Lansford

For my whole career as a teacher, I’ve heard language learners talk about how they want to learn the ‘real’ language – not just stuff in books. And it makes sense. You want to learn language you can really use – maybe the language as it’s spoken in New York, London or Sydney. Ask English …

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The ‘native speaker’ myth: vocabulary

The other day when I was scrolling through FB, I came across this post by Hugh Dellar: It reminded me of the assumption that many students, but also teachers and recruiters, hold; namely, that: a) any ‘native speaker’ knows more vocabulary than any ‘non-native speaker’ can ever hope to know b) as a result, any …

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What do students think and feel about Native Speaker English? by Steve McVeagh

Why is this important?  Six years ago, during postgraduate study, I first considered the idea that Native Speaker English (NSE) might not be the one English model to rule them all. I read Bhatt and Pennycook  on Singaporean and Indian English, and others, and Modiano and Jenkins  on universal concepts like EIL. There was support …

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How to tackle native speakerism by writing materials that promote English as a Lingua Franca

We all know that there’s a huge problem in ELT. Around three quarters of all jobs are for ‘native speakers’ only. There is still also quite a widespread belief in our profession that ‘native speakers’ make better teachers. That they’re more proficient. Have wider vocabulary. Intuitive feeling for collocations. Intimate knowledge of the culture. The …

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Are ‘native speakers’ better pronunciation models for our students?

This is an important question. Not only because the answer will determine how we teach pronunciation, but also because it lies at the very core of the ‘native speaker’ fallacy, or the belief that a ‘native speaker’ is always a better teacher, which is so rampant in our profession. Our gut feeling might suggest that …

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Going beyond the native speaker model in ELT – on-line course for teachers, trainers and materials writers

Recently TEFL Equity Advocates has launched on-line courses which tackle a variety of issues concerning ‘native’ and ‘non-native speakers’, their roles in ELT, and the lack of professional equality between them. You can check out all the courses here. Going beyond the native speaker model in ELT It’s become sort of an article of faith …

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NS and NNS identity: issues of self-confidence, language ownership and authority.

Two days after Silvana Richardson’s brilliant plenary: The Native factor (read more about it here), there was an equally fascinating Q&A session. However, since it was impossible to address all the questions posed by the audience then and there, Silvana and I decided we would continue the discussion on this blog. We gathered all the …

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Proficiency: is there a minimum level for a language teacher?

Two days after Silvana Richardson’s brilliant plenary: The Native factor (read more about it here), there was an equally fascinating Q&A session. However, since it was impossible to address all the questions posed by the audience then and there, Silvana and I decided we would continue the discussion on this blog. We gathered all the …

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