in touch with real speech
In touch with real speech

ELF

The abbreviations ELF and EIL stand for English as a Lingua Franca, and English as an International Language. These abbreviations are used in discussions about pronunciation standards. Around the world, there are more non-native speakers using English (EIL) than native speakers. When groups of speakers from different language backgrounds communicate in English, there is evidence of an emerging lingua franca (ELF) with its own pronunciation norms. English is often thought of as being the property of British and American native speakers, and British and American accents have become the benchmarks for proficiency in pronunciation and speaking. Recently, the appropriacy of these benchmarks has been challenged.

The people pictured below speak as well as, or better than, many native speakers while retaining an important part of their personal, social, and cultural identity – their accent. They are all expert communicators in English, with accents from their first language backgrounds – Polish, German, Japanese, etc. All of them use English in their professional lives. You can hear short recordings by clicking on their pictures, and going to the linked page.

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Poland …
Andrzej, whose first language is Polish, speaks about climate change.

 


Germany …

Anke, whose first language is German, talks about childhood trips to the cinema.


Japan …

Atsuko, whose first language is Japanese, talks about visiting an observatory.


France …

Caroline, whose first language is French, speaks about cycling to school.


Poland …

Dorota, whose first language is Polish, speaks about studying German at school.


Sudan …

Mohamed, whose first language is Arabic, speaks about learning French.


Argentina …

Ulises, whose first language is Spanish, talks about a very influential teacher.


South Africa …

Dora, whose first language is Sotho, talks about a wedding tradition.

If you would like to volunteer your voice for these pages email me richardcauldwell@me.com, and let’s see if we can meet and make a recording.