Having given webinars, workshops, talks and plenaries around the world, and having interacted with hundreds of teachers, I'm always amazed by how many of us struggle to teach pronunciation EFFECTIVELY and with CONFIDENCE.
This is partly because of the implicit assumption behind most pronunciation teaching, namely - the more 'native-like' the student's pronunciation, the better.
That's perhaps why most course books focus either on Standard British or General American accent. Just look at the example below from Speak Out Elementary table of contents.
When we get students to repeat sounds or pronunciation patterns, the recordings are inevitably done in one of those two default accents.
As a result, we tend to spend quite a lot of classroom time teaching weak forms and other features of connected speech, sentence stress, word stress or vowel quality.
On the other hand, we almost never teach consonants. Or consonant clusters (that is, two or more consonants next to each other). Let alone nuclear stress.
You'd think then that we focus on word stress and strong and weak forms of words, because they're really important for intelligibility.
You'd think perhaps that focusing on weak forms will make our students more intelligible.
It's quite shocking actually to find out that there's little evidence that this approach is the most effective one.
In fact, research would suggest that we're barking up the wrong pronunciation tree.
And that there is a research-based approach that is more effective.
So the first thing that you're going to learn in this webinar is which pronunciation features you should focus on in class if you want to be more effective.
This will not only make you more effective as a teacher, but will also help you save tons of time and increase your confidence.
And the added benefit is that your students will start improving their pronunciation more.
Think about it...
Just how many of your students have managed to master all the pronunciation features you've tried to teach them and sound like a 'native speaker'?
Not many, right?
Well, maybe it's time to change our goal from 'native-like' pronunciation, to intelligibility in international contexts. And to embrace the global lingua franca nature of the English language that is now mostly spoken by 'non-native speakers'.
But I'm getting ahead of myself...
Come to the webinar and learn how you can become more effective and confident at teaching pronunciation, while at the same time helping your students really improve their pronunciation.
Hit the enrol button below and I'll see you during the live session.
Cover photo credit: Alejandro Escamilla
"This webinar is very important for us to move forward as teachers . Seeing (and hearing) from our students’ perspectives and demonstrating that it’s not about ‘accent reduction’ but about increasing intelligibility are fundamental to our professional development ."
- Carlos Ramos, English Teacher, Belgium
"I thoroughly enjoyed this webinar, and I look forward to liberating myself from the native-speaker paradigm by finally putting my students' needs first. Thank you, Marek for an enjoyable and eye-opening discussion."
- Hank Grimes, English Teacher in Saudi Arabia
I am a teacher, teacher trainer and founder of TEFL Equity Advocates. I have taught English in Latin America and in Europe, and am currently teaching at KU Leuven, Belgium. I hold a BA in English Philology, Cambridge CELTA and DELTA, and am now working towards a PhD in TESOL at the University of York, UK. I have delivered workshops, seminars and talks at many international conferences and events for English teachers in Europe and North America. I design and deliver f2f and on-line courses for English teachers at TEFL Equity Advocates. I also co-author a regular podcast about teaching and learning English at The TEFL Show.
"Marek's webinar on pronunciation is both enlightening and encouraging (especially for non-native speaker teachers of English and their students, who often worry about their accents). The bottom line is that intelligibility is the main criterion, so fluent and proficient speakers should not worry about and, instead, should actually cherish their accent and treat it as part of their bravery to learn a foreign language and as a marker of their identity. "
- Elisabeth Bekes, English Teacher in Ecudaor
"The content of this webinar is highly recommandable ; it is very well-tailored, knowledgeable and relevant to teaching and beyond. Thanks to your sharp insights and findings, I no longer feel alone as a non-native English teacher. "
- Farid Bourkache, English Teacher in France