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Language model

Let’s Talk About Accents: Sense 8 Series Lesson Plan by Andrea Grassi

So I got back from the ELTons, where my course “The Ultimate Guide to Teaching English as a Lingua Franca” was nominated for innovation in teacher resources. While I didn’t get to win (congrats to the team behind Teaching On-line, who won the award), it was amazing to have been nominated, especially considering the fact …

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Why Now is the Perfect Time to Learn How to Teach English as a Lingua Franca

When researchers such as Barbara Seidelhofer, Jennifer Jenkins or Alan Firth first started writing about English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) in the late 90s and early 2000s, who would have thought that now: there would be a regular ELF conference, which for the first time last year had an entire day devoted only to …

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How to Teach Pronunciation for English as a Lingua Franca Use

Previously on this blog I wrote about the fact that despite the fact that standard ‘native speaker’ pronunciation still remains the default standard in teaching and course book writing, there’s no evidence that it is more intelligible in international contexts (read the post here). Now this is hugely surprising! After all, our gut feeling would …

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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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