Post-ELF 2: Accent Snobbery

Post ELF series - Article 2. The emerging rainbow beam is the post-ELF idea
Post ELF series – Article 2. The emerging rainbow beam is the post-ELF idea

In my first post, article 1 in this series , I suggested that we must take account of the ELF premise – namely, that English is now used as a global lingua franca – when we are thinking about the goals of pronunciation teaching. One broad implication of this premise is suggested by the prism and light metaphor in the image above. The prism represents the ELF premise. In a pre-ELF scenario, our model of pronunciation is like the white beam of light before it enters the prism. It is a single, monolithic model – perhaps RP or General American. The vision is that everybody would learn to speak that way and everybody would come to understand English spoken that way. There was a symmetry therefore between productive and receptive pronunciation. Continue reading “Post-ELF 2: Accent Snobbery”

PronPack at IATEFL Brighton!

PronPack had an exhibition space at IATEFL 2018 in Brighton, sharing with others in the Independent Writers & Publishers Group. (Many thanks to Rob Howard for his hard work organizing this).

Mark with the first PronPack customer of the day Higor and pre-production book reviewer Oksana
Left, Mark with Higor Cavalcante, right with Oksana Hera at IATEFL Brighton

Here’s Mark with Higor Cavalcante, first customer of the day, who is taking a set of the books back to Brazil. On the right is Oksana Hera from Ukraine, who we owe thanks to for being one of the reviewers of the PronPack manuscript. Continue reading “PronPack at IATEFL Brighton!”

What does ‘correct’ mean in pronunciation teaching?

image of Mark and Dirk during the interview
Mark being interviewed by Dirk Lagerwaard for his NovELTies vlog

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?

Continue reading “What does ‘correct’ mean in pronunciation teaching?”

PronPack Shortlisted for ELTons!

PronPack 1-4 Shortlisted for ELTons 2018!
PronPack 1-4 Shortlisted for ELTons 2018!

Proud and delighted to announce: PronPack 1-4 is a finalist of the 16th British Council ELTons Awards for Innovation in English Language Teaching 2018 in Innovation in Teacher Resources. This publication has been selected as a finalist by a panel of experts from among 110 international products, publications and services as meeting the stringent criteria for innovation and practical application. Read about the other shortlisted books in the Innovation in Teacher Resources category . Continue reading “PronPack Shortlisted for ELTons!”

PronPack Review in CATESOL Journal

Banner Graphic for CATESOL Journal • Volume 30 • Number 1 • 2018
CATESOL Journal • Volume 30 • Number 1 • 2018

There are loads of really great pronunciation articles in in the current special edition of The CATESOL Journal (30.1) – click on the link at the bottom of the CATESOL page  (they are all free-access).

Check out, for example, the article on the status of word stress in ELF pronunciation teaching by Lewis and Deterding. This remains what Jennifer Jenkins called a ‘grey area’, but after this article, tipping a little more in the direction of ‘yes, do teach it’.

There are also some reviews in the journal, including a review of PronPack from an American perspective by Ellen Rosenfield.

“In Hancock’s latest work, PronPack, he delivers a marvelous collection of classroom-ready online materials for teaching and practicing key features of English pronunciation.”

Continue reading “PronPack Review in CATESOL Journal”

Post-ELF 1: The ELF-Premise

Post ELF series - Article 1. The emerging rainbow beam is the post-ELF idea
Post ELF series – Article 1. The emerging rainbow beam is the post-ELF idea

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”

Putting Vowels on the Map

Putting Vowels On the Map
Putting Vowels On the Map: from article in Modern English Teacher

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:

  1. To provide useful insights for the learner.
  2.  To support memorable and effective classroom activities.
  3. To be relevant in an international context by being flexible enough to deal with accent variation.

Continue reading “Putting Vowels on the Map”