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  Step 4: Using 'non-native speakers' as models


We've already mentioned a couple of times that 'non-native speakers' are not treated as valid models of the English language. While 'non-native speakers' might feature sometimes in course books, usually it's either a fake or an exaggerated accent recorded by a 'native speaker' actor. More often than not, the 'non-native speaker' plays the role of a tourist struggling to communicate in English. However, it's important to raise students awareness of the fact that many 'non-native speakers' are successful and highly proficient users of English.

Video Task:

Before you watch the video, think about and make some notes on the questions below. Then watch the lecture and check your answers:

  1. What have you learnt so far about how typically pronunciation is taught in ELT?
  2. Why would you want to use 'non-native speakers' as models of pronunciation?
  3. What things should you consider when choosing an appropriate recording?
  4. Where can you find such recordings?
  5. Can you think of a simple pronunciation lesson framework using a 'non-native speaker' as a model? What steps would you include in this framework?

Where can I get more materials?

  • YouTube Tumblr Accent Challenge - people from different countries were asked to pronounce a fixed set of words and phrases;
  • One Young World Summit - a lot of inspiring videos on a range of different topics from speakers from all around the world;
  • TEFL Equity Advocates - lesson plans and activities for teaching and teacher training;
  • TED-Ed - lesson plans based on TED talks, YouTube videos and animated presentations - diverse speakers and diverse topics;
  • ELF Pron blog - the whole blog is an absolute must for those interested in ELF, but the Resources section is particularly useful if you're looking for materials and lesson plans.
  • BBC Recordings - this series features speakers from all around the world who are interviewed about life in Britain as seen through the eyes of immigrants. Very useful for intercultural competence (see Lecture 1).
  • IDEA International Dialects of English - absolute gem, features recordings of speakers from all around the world divided by region and country.

Another great place for finding authentic and unscripted examples of ELF communication is the VOICE corpus. Especially because it only features dialogues. The dialogues are divided by theme and type of interaction. The corpus might be a bit overwhelming at first, so I put together this short video explaining the basics.

Putting it into practice:

Below you can find a video where several international students talk about their experience of doing a university degree in Germany. Watch the video and decide how you could use it in class:

  • prepare a lesson plan following some of the suggestions from this and previous lectures;
  • post the lesson plan in this Google drive folder for feedback (you can use the comments section below to brainstorm ideas);
  • make notes on how the lesson went - consider inviting a colleague to observe you;
  • share your observations and thoughts about the lesson in the comments section below.