Being interviewed by Dirk Lagerwaard for his NovELTies vlog : NovELTies EP25: Mark Hancock – Teaching Pronunciation. Among the topics up for discussion is the idea of ‘correctness’ in the context of pronunciation. I suggest that mostly, there’s no such thing as ‘correct’. When people say things like ‘No, it’s not pronounced like that’, they are using a sneaky passive. Not pronounced BY WHO? By what right do these ghostly referees define what is correct and what is not?
Do you remember the millennium bug? We were all warned that on new year’s day of 2000, our computers would cease to function properly. Didn’t happen. What DID happen around that time however was a quiet but seismic shift in assumptions about the goals of pronunciation teaching.
In the late nineties, people like Brian Jenner were already worrying away at the unchallenged assumption that learners should aim for one of the standard, prestige accents of English such as RP. Jenner (Jenner 1997) pointed out that millions of people were able to make themselves understood in any number of regional or global native accents, so why would we insist on a specific variety? Continue reading “Post-ELF 1: The ELF-Premise”
Video of Mark being interviewed by Rebecca Place of TESOL Spain. Here are the main points: Continue reading “Pronunciation: Teach a skill, not an accent.”
In this article, I will present and explain a map of the vowel system specifically created to guide the general English language learner. The map is designed with three main aims in mind:
- To provide useful insights for the learner.
- To support memorable and effective classroom activities.
- To be relevant in an international context by being flexible enough to deal with accent variation.
Here’s a link to a video of a seminar I did at the British Council in London, with an assortment of classroom activities to focus on phonemes.
Here’s a link to the webinar I gave at Brazil’s English Teachers (BRELT) ‘Pronunciation Week’. In it, you’ll find explanations of the rationale for dividing pronunciation material into four broad categories: workouts, puzzles, pairworks and poems.
IATEFL PronSIG is holding an event in the beautiful city of Chester on February 17th, 2018. Only 2 hours by train from London, Chester is a place steeped in layers of history, and the event will take place at the city’s University. ‘Pronunciation: the Missing Link’. As the title implies, many of the presentations at this event will be about the link between pronunciation and other areas of language teaching – links which are often neglected.
Presenting in Moscow at the MISis University conference on EAP, ESP and EMI. I suggested that pron teachers need to keep in mind the three questions what, how and why. (Thanks to Beata Walesiak for the photos)
Moscow, 24th Nov 2017: The globalisation of English has multiple implications for the teaching of the language, especially to those learners whose main use of English will be for international communication, often in the absence of native speakers. Nowhere are these implications more far-reaching than in the teaching of pronunciation. This symposium looks at the goals of pronunciation teaching in this new era, and at learner attitudes to new goals, and at classroom practices suited to achieving the new goals.
Mark Hancock at TESOL Italy, Rome, Nov 17th 14:00
“Pronunciation: be a teacher not a preacher”
Pronunciation teaching can be fun, but in a world where English is a lingua franca, we need to take a flexible approach. We can’t simply preach a single ideal target model, instead, we must teach learners to be adaptable, both receptively and productively. In this session, I will demonstrate this.