The Phonology of English as an International Language

The Phonology of English as an International Language

Format: Paperback
See also: Mixed media format | Paperback
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Highly Commended, English-Speaking Union Duke of Edinburgh Prize
Shortlisted for the BAAL Book Prize and the British Council Innovation Awards

This book advocates a new approach to pronunciation teaching, in which the goal is mutual intelligibility among non-native speakers, rather than imitating native speakers. It will be of interest to all teachers of English as an International Language, especially Business English. It proposes a basic core of phonological teaching, with controversial suggestions for what should be included.

  • ISBN: 978-0-19-442164-5

English is the main language of international communication, and almost everyone wants to learn it. But which English should we teach, and how?

In this book, Sandra Lee McKay challenges the cultural assumptions underlying much of the English teaching currently taking place. She looks at the implications of the spread of English as an international language for what we teach and how we teach it.

Key features

  • Describes the spread of English worldwide and its practical and educational consequences
  • Discusses the problem of how we define standards when the notion of a single 'standard' form of English is no longer valid
  • Explores the critical role of culture in language teaching
  • Looks at the implications of English as an international language for current teaching methods
  • Suitable for trainee and practising teachers and other ELT professionals, especially curriculum and materials developers.

Read more...

The series attracts single or co-authored volumes from authors researching at the cutting edge of this dynamic field of interdisciplinary enquiry. The titles range from books that make such developments accessible to the non-specialist reader to those which explore in depth their relevance for the way language is to be conceived as a subject, and how courses and classroom activities are to be designed. As such, these books not only extend the field of applied linguistics itself and lend an additional significance to its enquiries, but also provide an indispensable professional foundation for language pedagogy and its practice.

The scope of the series includes:
  • second language acquisition
  • bilingualism and multi/plurilingualism
  • language pedagogy and teacher education
  • testing and assessment
  • language planning and policy
  • language internationalization
  • technology-mediated communication
  • discourse-, conversation-, and contrastive-analysis
  • pragmatics
  • stylistics
  • lexicography
  • translation

Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction

1 The background: Changing patterns in the use of English
The historical shift
Changing ownership; changing terminology
Appropriate pedagogy for an international language
The EIL phonological problem: where do we go next?

2 The variation problem 1: Inter-speaker variation
Inter-speaker variation
Inter-speaker segmental variation and its effects
Inter-speaker suprasegmental variation and its effects

3 The variation problem 2: Intra-speaker variation
L1 and IL intra-speaker variation: a distinction
Phonological intra-speaker variation and its effects on interlanguage talk

4 Intelligibility in interlanguage talk
What do we mean by intelligibility?
Defining intelligibility in interlanguage talk
Bottom-up and top-down processing
The role of phonology in ILT: miscommunication in the ILT data
Intelligibility and the spread of English
Conclusion

5 The role of transfer in determining the phonological core
The complex process of L1 phonological transfer
Conclusions: transfer, intelligibility, and teachability

6 Pedagogic priorities 1: Identifying the phonological core
Establishing the Lingua Franca Core
The origin of the Lingua Franca Core
Features of the Lingua Franca Core
Redefining phonological error and correctness for EIL

7 Pedagogic priorities 2: Negotiating intelligibility in the ELT classroom
Accommodation theory and intra-speaker variation in ILT
Communicative efficiency and interlanguage
Accommodation and IL repertoire
Accommodating classrooms

8 Proposals for pronunciation teaching for EIL
An overhaul of pronunciation teaching in English language teacher education
An overhaul of pronunciation testing
Radical improvement in the status of 'NNS' EIL pronunciation teachers
Pronunciation learning for 'native speakers' of English

Afterword: The future of the phonology of EIL
Bibliography
Index

Reviews

  • 'The book challenges major aspects of current practice with honesty, rigour, and depth, and the author is to be congratulated firstly for having the courage to take on an area of ELT which is both linguistically and culturally a minefield, and secondly for offering such a fresh vision of the teaching of the pronunciation of English. Without doubt, the book is essential reading for teachers, teacher educators, publishers, and examining boards alike.' - Applied Linguistics Journal
  • '... thoroughly thought-provoking and well worth studying.' - IATEFL Newsletter
  • 'Challenging to the end... a wholly thought-provoking text.' - Wayne Trotman, EL Gazette, June 2001