Webinar 1: Accent representation in English language teaching: what teachers need to know. – Gemma Archer

Session 1

For some students, pronunciation can be an anxiety inducing topic. One reason for this could be that their pronunciation, often referred to as ‘the face of language’ (Levis & McCrocklin, 2018, p.79), is immediately visible to listeners, revealing their identity as an international speaker. But rather than embracing this status, many students choose to listen and emulate the ‘face’ that continues to be most visible (or in this case audible)to them in ELT, that of the prestige model native speaker with a Standard British or General American English accent. In this session I’ll discuss the consequences accent dominance in English language teaching has on our students’ perception, production, and learner identity. I’ll then suggest ways we can support their comprehension and tolerance of diverse Global English accents, as well as their own intelligible pronunciation.


Gemma is an EAP teacher and programme co-ordinator in the English language unit at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. She is also the editor of the IATEFL Pronunciation Special Interest Group’s bi-annual journal ‘Speak Out!’ and is joint SIG coordinator. She specialises in pronunciation, with a particular passion for researching and teaching with diverse L2 and regional L1 accents. She is the creator of The Scottish Sound School, a resource to help new arrivals to Scotland acclimate to the unfamiliar sounds of Scottish speech.

Gemma Archer, University of Strathclyde

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