Tuesday 10 June 2014
1730 - 2030 | British Council, 10 Spring Gardens, SW1A 2BN, London, UK
London + LIVE ONLINE
Accent and identity, prejudice and insecurity
What accents do you like and why? Do you insist, in teaching, on correct pronunciation? If so,
In this seminar the presenter shall begin by confessing to a personal history of prejudices (defined as
an ‘unreasoned opinion arrived at without consideration of evidence’.), insecurities and desires about
his own and other peoples’ accents. Then he will survey, through the use of recorded examples, the
somewhat contradictory evidence concerning both the acceptance of differences and the continuing
prejudices towards regional and overseas accents in the UK.
In the presentation, Richard will track the history of his prejudices, and find evidence of continuing
prejudice of much the same kind in other people. He will give a quick survey of the accents of the
British Isles - including accents of non-native speakers who live in England. He will demonstrate both
a ‘coming together’ and a resolute ‘desire to be different’ when accents come into contact. He will
conclude by suggesting [a] that three factors (the requirement to be mutually intelligible, the desire to
assert or preserve one’s identity, and the durability of prejudices about accents) all influence one’s
sense of self-worth as an individual, and [b] that prejudice must be guarded against and fought both
within oneself as an individual human being, and as a member of society.
Before attending participants should consider the following questions:
Participants will gain an awareness of their own attitudes towards accents, as well as an awareness
of the range of opinions that exist about accents, and strategies for determining pronunciation goals
for their students.
Richard Cauldwell has taught English to speakers of other languages for over thirty years. Since
2001 he has been designing and publishing electronic materials for the study of listening and
pronunciation. Two of his publications have won British Council Innovations prizes: Streaming
Speech (2004) and Cool Speech (2013).
Practical ideas for teaching pronunciation and listening in an ELF context (English as a lingua franca)
Katy Davies & Laura Patsko
This seminar explores practical ideas for teaching pronunciation and listening based on the
presenters’ classroom experiences in Dubai and London, respectively. With almost 200 nationalities,
Dubai is a true melting pot, and London is "widely recognised as the most multilingual city in the
world" (Graddol,2006:28). One of the main implications for the classroom is with regards to
pronunciation (the priority is not to assimilate, but to be intelligible), and listening (the challenge of
dealing with a myriad of unfamiliar accents).
In this seminar Katy and Laura will make practical suggestions for the following:
This session aims to give teachers practical ideas about how to develop students’ ability to
understand the speech of other non-native speakers, and develop students’ pronunciation in order to
be understood in an ELF context.
Teachers will come away with suggestions for adapting coursebook activities and using authentic
materials, as well as ideas for how to approach pronunciation and listening in the classroom in a way
that acknowledges the needs of the many students whose main aim is to communicate in an ELF
Who is this for?
All English Language teachers - EFL, ESOL, EAL, EAP - from newly qualified to experienced.
Students and researchers.
Katy Davies teaches full-time at the British Council in Dubai and recently completed her MA in
English Language. She is particularly interested in the use of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) in the
UAE, and designing materials to support teachers whose students need to communicate in an ELF
Laura Patsko works at St. George International in London as a senior teacher and teacher trainer on
the Trinity CertTESOL and DipTESOL courses. She completed her MA in ELT & Applied Linguistics
in September 2013. She is particularly interested in teaching pronunciation and investigating the
practical applications of linguistic research.
1800 – 1815 Welcome and refreshments
1815 – 1900 Accent and identity, prejudice and insecurity with Richard Cauldwell
1900 – 1915 Comfort break and refreshments
1915 – 2000 Practical ideas for teaching pronunciation and listening in an ELF context
(English as a lingua franca) with Katy Davies & Laura Patsko
2000 – 2030 Networking reception
Attendees will also have the opportunity to discuss global job opportunities with
the British Council.
Every seminar is free of charge, however places are limited.
The British Council Seminar Series takes place across the UK, including once a month in London. The seminars are intended to provoke debate and discussion on current issues in English Language teaching and can contribute to the continuing professional development of English Language teachers based in, or visiting, the United Kingdom.
Every seminar is free of charge and includes the opportunity to network with fellow ELT practitioners.
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