Nativeness (2) – just who do you think you are?

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 […]

The Nativeness Principle

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

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 […]

From Moscow to MES

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 […]

Kenworthy, J. (1987: 4–9)

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 […]

Jenner and Jenkins

My lords, ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to bring before you now the two academics who many would argue have done more than anyone else to shape the world of pronunciation teaching as we know it today. With no expense spared, and in the sincere desire to quench your limitless thirst for knowledge, […]

Intelligibility

In concluding ‘A’ is for accent (2), my second post in this pronunciation blog, I argued that ‘[a]ccent has given way to intelligibility as the main focus of pronunciation teaching in the 21st century’. A couple of weeks later, I ended the post on comprehensibility by tying accent and comprehensibility to a third term, intelligibility, […]

Habit formation

H At the 2014 IATEFL International Conference in Harrogate, there was a veritable buzz of excitement among members of the Pronunciation Special Interest Group. Pronunciation was about to leap forward into the 21st century – ‘listen and repeat‘ was dead. In part, because it was boring (or so we were told), but dead principally because […]

Fricatives (and functional load)

In my posts for ‘B’ and ‘D’ I talked about bilabial and dental consonants. These terms are an indication of where the sounds in each category are made in the mouth. In other words, they are an indication of the place of articulation. In contrast, the term fricative is an indication of how a consonant sound is made. […]

ELF – English as a lingua franca

There are various options for ‘E’, such as elision or epenthesis. However, since English as a lingua franca (ELF) is the thing put my comfortable little pronunciation teacher’s world totally on its head back in the late 1990s, the other ‘E’s will have to wait.  I’ve written about ELF basics so many times that I’m […]

Dental consonants

‘D’ could be for quite a lot of issues in pronunciation including dialect, diphthong or devoicing, but I thought I’d follow up from my post on bilabials with this one on dental consonants. There are two dental consonants in English, /θ/ and /ð/, as in thing and that, respectively. The two sounds are made in the same way, […]