I posted a riddle last Thursday and Jessica and Darren cracked it right away! Ha! You guys are so sharp!
Yeah, the book I was talking about was The Phonology of English as an International Language: New Models, New Norms, New Goals (Oxford Applied Linguistics)
The author was Jennifer Jenkins.
The unattainable standards we were striving for were a NS accent, and often received pronunciation or general American.
The things Jenny identified as really important for speakers of English as a Lingua Franca were:
- the consonants (except voiced and voiceless TH)
- consonant clusters (especially word initial)
- vowel length (especially when the vowel is followed by a voiceless consonant, which shortens it)
- sentence stress (also known as tonic or nuclear stress)
There’s a terrific interview with Jenny over at Darren Elliott’s superb ‘the lives of teachers’ blog. And very excitingly Jenny has agreed to be a panelist in a forthcoming BESIG panel discussion on ELF. Wehey! (More details on that later.)
Many thanks to Robin Walker for helping me get the pronunciation stuff right above. (Hoping to bring you more from Robin later!)
I’ve never really understood why Jenny’s work has attracted the controversy it has. Did I miss the point? It seems so benign and practical to me. Anyway, I’m interested in BELF (business English as a lingua franca) and I plan to be writing more about about that. So please stay tuned.