It’s almost the end of February and already the year has kicked off in fine style – at least as far as ELF and pronunciation are concerned!
In this post, we’ll summarise what’s already happened and what there is still to look forward to…
1. Accentuate! Bringing pronunciation to the fore
This weekend, there was an excellent joint event in London all about teaching pronunciation, including several sessions focusing on the relevance of English as a lingua franca to pronunciation instruction. Places to attend in person sold out fast and over 1,000 people watched the live stream online. Very well done to the organisers from IATEFL PronSIG and NATECLA London who made it happen!
You can watch recordings of several of the sessions here.
In the lead-up to this event, the British Council also collated the details for several pronunciation- and ELF-related events, papers and podcasts. You can read their post here.
2. ELFpron EnglishAgenda podcast
The British Council’s latest podcast featured ELFpron’s own Katy Simpson, talking about how to deal with pronunciation in class from an ELF perspective.
You can listen to the podcast via this link, or by clicking the play button below:
Here is a quick line-up of upcoming presentations by Laura Patsko of ELFpron which you might like to attend if you’re in the area…
1. BELTA Day (25 April 2015, Brussels, Belgium)
‘Teaching pronunciation and listening for English as a lingua franca’
This talk will outline the needs of English users in an ELF context and make some practical suggestions for the classroom, focusing on pronunciation and listening skills. Teachers will come away with an appreciation of the need to understand and be understood among an ever-widening range of English speakers, and how to help learners achieve this.
Watch a trailer for this session here:
2. IATEFL PronSIG Pre-Conference Event (10 April 2015, Manchester, UK)
‘How to identify pronunciation priorities in the multilingual classroom’
For teachers of multilingual groups, it can be tricky to identify which pronunciation features to focus on in class. Where to begin when the students all have different needs?
3. IATEFL Annual Conference (13 April 2015, Manchester, UK)
‘The ear of the beholder: helping learners understand different accents’
The use of English as an international lingua franca means learners will be exposed to a wide variety of accents, both native and non-native. How can teachers prepare them to cope with such diversity? This workshop features practical tasks, informed by relevant theory, which participants could try out in their own classrooms.
4. ETp Live! (20 June 2015, Brighton, UK)
‘English as a Lingua Franca and the multilingual classroom’
In many UK cities, the typical English language classroom contains students from a number of first-language backgrounds. One class might comprise 12 students who don’t share any language other than English! In fact, this situation is representative of the majority of interactions in English in the world today. Even before it becomes the focus of instruction, English is already “the communicative medium of choice and often the only option” (Seidlhofer, 2011:7). So how can we best exploit the multilingual nature of such ELT classrooms, which reflect so well the communicative setting learners are likely to engage in outside class?
Do come and say hello if you manage to attend any of these. We’re always happy to hear from ELFpron blog visitors!
And one last thing… ELF8
The 8th annual conference of English as a Lingua Franca will be held in August 2015 in Beijing. Jennifer Jenkins, Li Wei, Anna Mauranen and Wen Qiufang have already been confirmed as keynote speakers. The theme of this year’s conference is “Conceptualization and Pedagogical Solutions”.
You can watch videos from last year’s (2014) ELF7 conference here, including a presentation by ELFpron’s own Laura Patsko; you can read our series of ‘soundbites’ from the ELF7 conference here; and you can watch Laura’s presentation of her MA research at ELF6 (2013) here.