Practical ideas for teaching and listening in an ELF context

In my post of December 6 I drew attention to ELF Pronunciation, the blog that Katy Davies and Laura Patsko run. Both women are practising teachers in Dubia and London, respectively, where they work with multilingual classes. Many of the students in these classes use English in ELF contexts, i.e. for international communication usually in the  absence of native speakers.

Teaching English as a Lingua Franca raises a number of practical issues such as what listening materials to use and how to use them, or how to get your students used to dealing with the countless different accents of English that they are going to encounter as they go about their professional and social lives. In November last year, Laura and Katy gave a seminar in Glasgow (that bastion of RP English) on how to deal with these practical problems, and their seminar has now gone live on the British Council web site. If you want to take a look at the ideas Katy and Laura put forward you can do so here.

The seminar explores practical ideas for teaching ELF pronunciation and listening based on Katy and Laura’s classroom experiences in Dubai and London, respectively.  In the seminar you will find practical suggestions for:

  • prioritising areas for pronunciation work in a multilingual class
  • adapting pronunciation activities from standard coursebooks for ELF purposes
  • exploiting authentic materials
  • raising students’ awareness of the responsibilities of the listener
  • dealing with students’ misconceptions/negative perceptions of ELF

Because the full seminar is offered as six short videos you can easily go to the part that most interests you, although I’d recommend finding time to see all six.

It’s great to see teachers finally taking on the challenge of teaching ELF pronunciation. It would be equally great to hear from those of you out there who are thinking of moving towards an ELF approach and have doubts about how best to do this, or from those who, like Laura and Katy, are already beginning to gather personal experience in teaching pronunciation for English as a Lingua Franca and want to share this.

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