Do you ever use TED talks in your classes? This nonprofit organisation, with the tagline ‘Ideas worth spreading’, is a great place to find interesting authentic audio. TED talks are also really useful if you want to familiarise your students with a wider range of accents than most coursebooks tend to offer (as suggested by Anne Hodgson in a comment on one of our previous posts – thanks Anne!). Here are links to 25 TED talks by speakers of English whose accents might not be represented in your students’ coursebook:
N.B Information on some of the speakers’ L1 is not available, and so we have indicated their nationality instead, followed by an asterisk. Given the huge variety of L1s in a country like India (including English), we appreciate that this does not necessarily enable the listener to predict any particular features of pronunciation. However, the overarching purpose of this blog post is to simply expose learners to different voices, including different accents. If students would like a more detailed account of the distinctive features of particular L1s, they should look in Robin Walker’s book, Teaching the Pronunciation of English as a Lingua Franca, which has annotated tapescripts at the end.