Pétur Knútsson, University of Iceland, January 2016
(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:
- How easily do speakers of different varieties of English find it to communicate?
- Where do the main lines of division lie? Which groups find it most difficult to communicate with others?
- What broad types of English pronunciation work best in the international arena?
- 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?
- 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.