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Pétur Knútsson, University of Iceland, January 2016
UNU-GEST Draft program

 (NB Ths is simply the same text as in Moodle)

Monday 18 January 2016, 13:20-15:40‎

In the first session we’ll examine the basic varieties of international English and some of ‎the ‎historical reasons for these differences. In particular we’ll look at problems that arise ‎in ‎spoken communication between different varieties of English, and I shall introduce ‎some ‎basic principles of cross-dialectal phonetics and intonation to help us in this ‎examination. ‎We’ll be addressing the following questions:‎

  1. How easily do speakers of different varieties of English find it to communicate?‎
  2. ‎Where do the main lines of division lie? Which groups find it most difficult ‎to ‎communicate with others?‎
  3. What broad types of English pronunciation work best in the international arena?‎
  4. Should we aim for a conservative type of English based on the pronunciation of ‎the ‎UK and USA, or the more “international” varieties spoken in Europe, the Middle ‎East, ‎Africa, India and Asia?‎
  5. Is it constructive/unconstructive—practical/impractical— to think in terms ‎of ‎‎“correct” and “incorrect” English?‎

Monday 26 January 2016, 13:20-15:40‎

We’ll examine the types of spoken English used by the participants, and try ‎to ‎analyse them using some of the techniques introduced last week. We’ll try to assess ‎the ‎levels of comprehension and comprehensibility within the group, and negotiate solutions ‎to ‎any problems that arise. The plan we will be to set up programs for students to continue ‎to ‎work on their spoken communicative abilities as necessary.‎