Research for 2018-2019

Activity: Other


I have three projects lined up for 2018-2019:

1. Beauty is in the ear of the beholder - This project has received £19,750 in UMRI funding and is an interdisciplinary project involving the assistance of a Biologist and a Phonetician. We are investigating the ways in which accent contributes to our evaluation of individuals as potential long- or short-term partners (or not).

2. Putting an accent on EFL - This is a joint project with the assistance of an EFL lecturer at UCLAN. Together, we are focusing on the ways in which various accents of British EFL teachers are evaluated in the classroom, by both the EFL students and senior staff. While there is a stigma that is sometimes attached to EFL teachers who themselves are L2 English speakers, what about the more regional accents of EFL teachers who are nonetheless L1 English speakers? For EFL, is RP 'better' than, say, Scouse? This topic has yet to be more fully explored and can reveal the ways in which value judgements are ascribed to teachers, and competencies questioned, based, partly at least, on the accent EFL teachers use.

3. Teaching standard EFL - This study is now completed, and obtained the views of 36 EFL teachers and students, from all three circles of the English-speaking world, in order to obtain their views on the status of World Englishes (e.g. Indian English) and the role they should play, if any, in the EFL classroom. For example, in Korean English, it is acceptable to say 'grand open' (as opposed to 'grand opening'). Now, is this 'bad' English, 'good' (i.e. legitimate) Korean English or something else? In a sea of international Englishes nowadays, what role should they play in the EFL classroom? Do we dismiss them as 'incorrect' and thus suggest a kind of linguistic imperialism and a rigid one size fits all approach? Or, do we adapt a more loose approach, and yet risk creating a linguistic free for all? Or can't we have both, time and context permitting? The book on which this study is based was published in 2019 (please see below):

Baratta, A. (2019). World Englishes in English Language Teaching. London: Palgrave Macmillan.