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Models for ELT

Prof. Jette G. Hansen Edwards

Bolton (2002): there are approximately 1 billion English speakers in the world today; of those, 400 million are native English speakers and 600 million are nonnative speakers


Received Pronunciation (RP), the prestige British accent, is thought to be spoken now in its pure form by fewer than 3 per cent of British Speakers of English (Crystal 1995: 365), while the majority of British people have either regionally modified RP or a regional accent (Jenkins, 2002, p. 84-85).

British or American English the varieties taught / models for language learning around the world Based on colonization / media, finance, etc. Now, focus beginning to shift to indigenous or localized varieties of English

Which model(s)?

Why do you think this shift is taking place? In which local areas is the shift taking place? What is the impact on language teaching/language learning of this shift? Do you think it is a good one? Why or why not?

At least three models for English language teaching in HK: 1) a model based on a native speaker variety of English such as British or American, referred to as an English as a native language (ENL) (cf. Schneider, 2003 - an exonormative norm) or English as a foreign language (EFL) in HK; 2) a model based on an international variety of English, referred to as English as an international language (EIL) (see Jenkins, 2002); 3) a model based on a nativized variety of English in HK, referred to as Hong Kong English (see Hung, 2000), or China, referred to as China English (He & Li, 2009)


Which model(s) are more popular among teachers, students, schools, the government? Why? Has there been any change in this popularity over the past 10-15 years? Why? Why not? What model are you supposed to teach in school? Which model is actually taught? What model do you think one should teach? Why? Why does it matter?

As Jenkins (1998) states, the:

selection of pronunciation goals for EIL offers teachers and learners the best of both worlds: a universal, realistically teachable and learnable core, based on the native model (model being singular in the sense that the designated areas are common to all native varieties), which can then be fleshed out according to a wide range of acceptable, local non-native norms. (p. 124)

Areas 1. Consonantal inventory

Native Speaker Target all sounds

EIL Target all sounds except velar /l/, dental fricatives rhotic /r/ only intervocalic /t/ only

RP nonrhotic /r/ GA* rhotic /r/ RP intervocalic [t] GA invocalic flap 2. Phonetic requirements rarely specified

aspiration after /p/ /t/ /k/ appropriate vowel length before lenis/fortis consonants word initially, word medially long-short contrast L2 (consistent) regional qualities unhelpful to intelligibility inconsequential or unhelpful

3. Consonant clusters 4. Vowel quanity 5. Vowel quality 6. Weak forms 7. Features of connected speech 8. Stress-timed rhythm 9. Word stress 10. Pitch movement

all word positions long-short contrast close to RP or GA essential all

important critical essential for indicating attitudes and grammar

does not exist unteachable/can reduce flexibility unteachable/incorrectly linked to NS attitudes, grammar critical

EIL communication and intelligibility models based on native-speaker norms, the belief that the non-native vs. native construct is viable, and the principle that speakers of other varieties of English need to acquire EIL. EIL is essentially also an external, native-speaker model in many crucial aspects similar to traditional British and American English models.

11. Nuclear (tonic) stress important *GA = General American. From Jenkins (2001) p. 99

What do we mean by Hong Kong English?

There is no societal bases for indigenization or nativization of English in Hong Kong The norm or standard assumed by learners of English is an external one rather than an internal one Those Hong Kong Chinese whose English approaches native-speaker competence thus speak English with British or American accents, usually former. There is no such thing as Hong Kong English (Luke & Richards, 1982, p. 55, quoted in Bolton & Kwok, 1990, p. 149).

There are, we suggest, many highly educated speakers who are proficient in Chinese and English and still retain many localised features of speech, particularly at the level of accent (Bolton & Kwok, 1990, p. 149).

Bolton & Kwoks (1990) features:

/i/ for /i:/, /I/ /E/ for /ae/, /e/ /O/ for /O:/, // /u/ for /u:/, /U/ /{/ for // Diphthongs realized as monopthongs in closed syllables /ou/ for /U/ Schwa // often full, stressed vowel

Final consonants devoiced Consonant clusters reduced Final consonant deletion Non-release of final stops Substitution:

/f/ for /T/ /d/ for /D/ (initially) and /v/ for /D/ (finally) /w/ for /v/ /s/ for /S/ /r/ for /l/

/l/ and /n/ in variation in initial position dark /l/ deleted/replaced by vowel

Hungs (2000) features

/i/ for /i:/, /I/ /E/ for /ae/, /e/ /O/ for /O:/, // /u/ for /u:/, /U/ (note: same as Bolton & Kwok, 1990) Diphthongs: /eI aI aU oU OI I e U/

6 stops /p t k b d g/ 2 affricates /tS dZ/ 5 voiceless fricatives /f T s S h/ (voiced fricatives realized as voiceless in HKE)

/f/ for /T/ for some speakers /f/ /w/ for /v/

3 nasals /m n N/ 2 approximants /j w/ /l/ deleted or /w/ after vowels /l/ ~ /n/ interchangeable in syllable onset /r/ either as /r/ or as /w/ (the latter for a minority)

Acquisition or variety?

Chan & Li (2000)

Hung (2000): I shall not concern myself with the question of whether there exists a variety of English called Hong Kong English (HKE). The fact that native Hong Kongers speak with an identifiable accent means that they share a common underlying phonological system regardless of whether HKE is characterised as an interlanguage or a new variety of English (p. 337).

The transfer of L1 phonological features in L2 pronunciation in the process of learning a second language has long been attested . Partly due to the considerable typological distance between English and Cantonese, Cantonese speakers find it difficult to master standard English pronunciation (p. 67).

China English (He & Li, 2009)

Phonological features

Mainland China: the largest English-learning population the number of Chinese speakers of English a distinctive Chinese variety of English: China English Projection: no. of speakers of China English > no. of English speakers in the UK & USA native speakers may even become irrelevant [] and Chinese English will truly be in the forefront of the development of the language (Deterding 2006: 195)


// [s] // [d]

Insertion of final []

Lack of voiced fricatives Diphthong simplification Avoidance of weak forms for function words Pronounce multisyllabic words with syllable-timing

Identifiable HK Accent HKE as legitimate localised variety of English HKE = interlanguage lack of acquisition of L2, full of L1 transfer Accent = errors Deviations from standard models Model of English in HK = RP, GA external Transfer from L1 = acquisition process

Implications for pronunciation teaching

Aspects: Role of English American or British English English a foreign language (EFL) external norms standard British/American English privileging of native speakers teachers Phonology International English English as an international language (EIL) external norms core for comprehensibility (based on American/British English varieties) privileging of native speakers of core HK English English as a Hong Kong language internal norms / ownership of English Influenced by Cantonese

Accent = not errors Markers of HK identity


privileging of HK English speakers English appropriated within HK culture; teachers must understand HK culture / context to teach English developed largely in HK

Model of English in HK = local, indigenous Transfer from L1 = marker of HKE


culture of America, Britain; International English use of NS as foreign experts culture still derived from in both language and culture Western perspectives


developed largely within American or British contexts

developed largely in Western contexts


Implied communication targets

typically native or near-native international intelligibility like proficiency errors of core = deviant errors = deviant errors of non-core items = acceptable variation typically native speakers international community; both native and non-native speakers

English as a second/native/ bilingual language variation = accepted norm international and national