Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Study Calls For New Approach To Teaching English As A Lingua Franca

The point is that speaking a language is both a token of group membership and a method to communicate. It's hard to be a member of a group. It's much easier to learn to communicate.

Study Calls For New Approach To Teaching English As A Lingua Franca:
"Doctoral student, Wafa Zoghbor from the School of Education said, “I was taught English as a foreign language and after years of learning Standard English pronunciation I found a wide gap between the target I have been trying to achieve and the level of intelligibility required to communicate effectively. Very few users of English today would claim that aiming at native-like pronunciation is necessary or even desirable. I hope that my contribution to this field can challenge the existing stereotypes of teaching English pronunciation. ”

Her research explores the notion that teaching native pronunciation might eliminate a significant indicator of an individual’s identity. She said, “We recognise Indian, South African, Egyptian and Chinese speakers from their accents. As long as they are intelligible and have the potential to communicate effectively there should be no reason for them not to retain their accents – something which they might like to do as this accent carries their identity, ethnicity and indicates the group of people they belong to.”"

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