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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

Comprehensibility

The term ‘comprehensibility’ isn’t part of our everyday ELT vocabulary. We’re more used to talking about comprehension in terms of the questions accompanying a reading or listening text we are working on with our students. But ‘comprehensibility’ is a term used in pronunciation that is related to accent and also to intelligibility, and which, together […]

A load of crap?

Last Friday I was travelling home by train. As we approached the mountains that separate Asturias from the great plains of Central Spain, I struck up a conversation with the man sitting next to me, who I’d seen using English in a message he’d been writing on his phone. He turned out to be an American […]