“The continuing expansion of Internet accessibility enhances possibilities for working with intelligible and comprehensible non-native English speech samples that were unimaginable a mere decade ago.” (Murphy, 2014: 267)
That’s John Murphy of Georgia State University in his research “Intelligible, comprehensible non-native models in ESL / EFL pronunciation teaching” (System 42 (2014) 258-269). He investigated what contributes to a speaker’s intelligibility and comprehensibility (two sticky terms) to explore whether Spanish actor Javier Bardem could be used by students as a speech role model. Murphy’s article includes a useful list of recordings of non-native speakers of English who could serve as models – someone for students to listen to and imitate. We’re grateful to Robin Walker for drawing our attention to this article, which is explained in more detail on his blog. The idea of speech role models is also explored on Angus Grieve-Smith’s blog.
Here are links to interviews with ten of Murphy’s suggested models:
Murphy’s article is available here but only if you have institutional or personal access to the journal System. However, if you email firstname.lastname@example.org Murphy is happy to send you a pdf, and we are grateful to him for doing so.