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Friday, November 5, 2010

lingua franca core and pronunciation

Teaching the pronunciation of English as a lingaua franca
A brand new book from Oxford University Press, called Teaching the Pronunciation of English as a Lingua Franca (by  Robin Walker)

Reviewed by Scott Thornbury

In the entry under phonological core in An A-Z of ELT, I defined it as being “those features of pronunciation that are considered essential in order to be understood when speaking English as an International Language (EIL)”.  I went on to say that “proponents of the phonological core challenge the traditional view that the best model for teaching English pronunciation should be a native speaker one, and received pronunciation (RP) in particular. 
There’s no hint here of the controversy that the notions of both English as a lingua franca and the phonologicial core (PC) have generated. Jenkins’ subsequent book (2007), reviews – and attempts to defuse – some of this heat. Likewise, Robin Walker devotes a large section of his new book to demystifying some of  the ‘concerns’ associated with an ELF approach, a principal one being that the phonological core represents a lowering of standards. As he points out, the standards are no less high, simply different.  

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