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A brief introduction about myself
Hi, everyone! My name is Joe, and Ive created this blog in order to share my academic interests as well as personal life activities with whoever that comes across.
Strange as it may seem, my life is based on staying current with continuing education to keep my passion alive. Consequently, after earning my BA in English and MA in Translation and Interpretation, I decided to pursue my second masters degree in Applied Linguistics (English Language Teaching). Upon the completion of my second MA studies, I intended to continue my education towards obtaining a PhD in the same field; afterwards, which would allow me to further refine my language teaching and research skills.
To become a better researcher in language studies, Ive been actively concentrating on literature review related to my research interests. My main areas of interest include translation pedagogy, academic discourse analysis, and phonetics & pragmatics in second language acquisition. Im also particularly interested in/ in love with English as a Lingua Franca, World Englishes, and English language teaching (ELT).
please dont hesitate to contact me via e-mail: email@example.com should you have any questions, ideas, or suggestions.
A reflection on my favorite paper in English as an International Language
Jenkins, J. (1998). Which pronunciation norms and models for English as an International Language?. ELT Journal, 52(2), (pp.119-126)
In this article Jenifer Jenkins details a range of radical issues regarding a paradigm shift in pronunciation norms and models for English as an International Language (EIL). The main argument of her article focuses on the traditional role of English pronunciation teaching which needs to be urgently re-examined and revised if authentic communication in EIL contexts is to be established, and teachers awareness of the issue should be raised. To begin with, she outlines the basic conflict of todays world communication by questioning the acquisition of a native-like pronunciation that is no longer realistic to cope with cross-cultural communicative situations amongst non-native speakers. As she said that English is not taught mainly for the purpose of communication with its native speakers anymore, English, on the other hand, serves as a worldwide lingua franca for its overwhelming numbers of non-native users. All things considered, Jenkins, therefore, presents analternative paradigm for framing and implementing a Lingua Franca Core (LFC), based on the native common model of all varieties, in classroom pronunciation pedagogy. She emphasizes on modifying any phonological features of the native speakers that tends to impede international intelligibility while promoting fluency and confidence of the learners. The features of the Lingua Franca Core fall into three primary categories: segmentals, nuclear stress, and articulatory settings that are not only practical but also attainable forlearners pronunciation goal. That is to say, these are realistic and essential for creating mutual intelligibility. Segmentals in the core features include most consonant sounds except for the dental fricatives /th/, and the distinction between long andshort vowel sounds as well as cluster sounds in an initial position of syllables. The correct placement of nuclear stress is also of utmost importance in the pronunciation of LFC. Articulatory setting, the final area of LFC, is concerned with the core sound production, enabling the speaker to operate these sounds to produce nuclear stress such as to lengthen sounds or utter them with stress. For areas open to variation, Jenkins points out other aspects of phonological features which are neither necessary nor easily teachable for the majority of learners in EIL contexts. The first feature is word stress which has manifold exceptions. The second one is running connected speech including elision, assimilation, linking, and weak form. Last but not least, rhythm in English which is related enormously to stress-timing can be disregarded because this feature is not found in most of the worlds languages, resulting in unnecessary complication. Finally, Jenkins indicates implications of LFC in teacher education programs that teachers must firstly realize the difference between a model and a norm, and they should secondly be able to promote the fact and acceptability of L2 sociolinguistic variation. To clarify, they should be awareof a compromise solution. If the aim is to reach the norm of a native-speaker pronunciation, it is of course unrealistic for most learners to do so. However, if teachers use such pronunciation as points of references or models of guidance to prevent local non-native varieties from international unintelligibility, it is definitely relevant and realistic for students to practice their pronunciations in EIL settings. Moreover, teachers need to be ready for adjusting attitude towards the Lingua Franca Core, and then, at the same time, convincing students to understand and be open-minded to the realm of English as an international communication before actually implementing the LFC in classroom.
This article is important to me for several reasons. First, it is one of my favorite articles on EIL which has satisfied my further curiosity since I read Richard Watson Todds article The Myth of the Native Speakers as a Model of English Proficiency. It reflects the fact that a native speaker pronunciation is not always necessary the same thing with international intelligibility. Furthermore, it confirms my belief that I, as an English teacher, can enjoy a status as a non-native speaker teacher in my own territory of EIL settings. This means I have my own choice not to follow the norm of a native speaker pronunciation since identity is an important part of every English user including me myself. Everyone can be proud of their English pronunciations so long as it is not a hindrance to international intelligibility. As we can see, a number of non-native speakers can become proficient in English while enjoying the pride of being themselves.Second,the article provides the credible evidence triggering my idea that any linguistic bias should be eliminated from our global community if we truly want our world to become communicative democracy. The recognition of linguistic and cultural diversities of non-native speakers, the majority of English users, can be equally expressed through their English pronunciations like those of the native speakers. Lastly, Jenkins brings up an important pedagogical issue relating to me personally.That is to say, she has successfully raised my awareness of the importance of international intelligibility that I once did not have a clue what it was. My major goal in the past was only to pursue the acquisition of native-like competence without realizing the existence of other varieties of English and their impact on todays world communication. Also, her theoretical framework broadens my horizon that a critical need for new perspectives, principles, and practices in the teaching of English to multilingual and multicultural societies must be assured so that English can become a real international language for everyone from different nationalities. In particular, I am firmly convinced that English language education in Thailand needs a new paradigm of English as an International Language (EIL) instead of using the traditional English as a foreign language (EFL) paradigm which merely promotes the discourse of native-speakerness. Specifically, it is rather evident that the dominant EFL paradigm in Thailand is incompatible with globally communicative needs which emphasize on intercultural communicative competence rather than just follow the conventional model of communicative competence of the native speaker norms. Hopefully, Thai users of English, in the future, will be considered as proficient multilingual speakers having their own linguistic and communicative repertoires rather than deficient L2 speakers evaluated by the norms of native speakers.