‘It’s not what you say. It’s the way that you say it’. How many times have you been chided or have you chided someone for using the wrong tone when speaking. And it’s so important to get the tone right. Or is it?
I used to do so much work on rhythm in my classes. I loved bringing songs into the classroom to that end. They’re fun to do. But are they helping? Is there any point in stress–timing your English? Are languages like English really stress timed?
Well, this is quite a mouthful of a name, so as this blog is always about pronunciation, let’s just refer to receptive competence, which is the listener’s ability to make sense of whatever it is that the other person is saying, or, to put it technically, to decode the incoming acoustic signal. Receptive competence, as […]
One of the key messages in my last post on priorities for English vowels, was that you don’t need the twelve pure vowels (monophthongs) of RP in order to be intelligible in English. Evidence for this assertion is pretty overwhelming, and in addition to common sense observation of English in daily use, this evidence lies […]
Sorry, I’m a late with this. I got distracted. They’re busy re–roofing the garage and I’ve been negotiating what I want them to do and for how much. “It’s a big job,’ the roofer said, ‘And I guess you want it done well, so it’s a question of both quantity and quality. That’s not going […]
I have a Word doc where I store ideas for future posts under the letters of the alphabet. Novel idea, eh! Not surprisingly, some letters look thinner than others (any ideas for Y other than yod?), and others could keep me going way past the end of even the worst pandemic. P, for example, could […]
When I started teaching English back in 1981, a friend put a book in my hand and told me to study the teacher’s notes before each lesson and to do exactly what they said. And don’t use Spanish, she insisted. Only English. Her advice kept me alive for the first few months, and since I […]
I was cleaning out old photos to reclaim a bit a space for my computer’s ailling memory when I came across this one from the 11th International Conference of English as a Lingua Franca, which was hosted at King’s College London back in July 2018. (So wish we could get back to that age of […]
Welcome back! I signed off in July saying I’d be back in September, and I swore to myself that I’d be back at the beginning of the month, but I didn’t make it! The other thing that I promised was to return to blogging with the letter ‘N’, and there I can manage to be […]
M is halfway through the alphabet so it’s a good time to take a break. End of term, let’s say, and time for the northern hemisphere’s summer recess. I’ll be back in September, however, with more mind-numbing reflections on pronunciation, beginning with N and the nativeness principle, and moving on to other irresistible delights such […]
Sorry about yesterday’s evasion of duties. It’s raining now, however, so let’s get down to business by first fleshing out the incidents and practices yesterday’s post dangled cryptically in front of you. First the flight to Moscow, where I’d got into a long conversation with a businessman who’d been born in East Germany, was bilingual […]
Sitting on a flight from Osmk to Moscow back in 2008, the German–born businessman from the food industry I was next to, finally plucked up the courage to tell me that he was having real problems understanding his colleagues from Leicester. Some Spanish native speakers on hearing my self-taught Spanish are amazed at how good […]
OK, so at this stage we all know which are the components of the Lingua Franca Core (You don’t! Which planet do you live on? Click here and read the first part of the article.). Just as important, we all now know what’s not in the LFC, and why it’s not there. (Not you again! […]
This should have been the easiest post so far – after all, I do know a thing or two about the Lingua Franca Core (LFC) – but it’s been driving me crazy for days. The problem is you. Who are you? What do you already know about the LFC? And what don’t you know? So […]
K Most books are fairly normal, some books should never have gone into print, and a very small number of books should never have been allowed to go out of print. For me personally, Joanne Kenworthy’s Teaching English Pronunciation falls into the latter category, and thirty years after acquiring my own copy, I can still […]