An evaluation of the pronunciation target in Hong Kong's ELT curriculum and materials: Influences from WE and ELF?

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The present study evaluates the pronunciation target in Hong Kong’s ELT education at senior secondary level with reference to the pedagogical proposals of World Englishes (WE) and English as a lingua franca (ELF). It trian­gulates information from various documents, namely the new ELT curriculum, public examination papers and reports, and three sets of listening and speaking commercial textbooks. The findings suggest that the new curriculum apparently has taken account of the WE and/or ELF perspectives in its design such as (i) promoting communicative competence, (ii) downplaying the importance of NS norms, and (iii) exposing students to more varieties of accent, but seems to be conceptually still guided by native­speaker norms. In practice, one breakthrough in the listening examination is the inclusion of Hong Kong English phonological features in localised tasks. However, the commercial textbooks seem to be lagging behind this development in the curriculum, though textbook writers do seek to include ELF­ using contexts in some of the textbook tasks due to Hong Kong’s global status. The paper argues that an important step in the move towards a WE/ELF­oriented pronunciation teaching is to recognise the role of English in particular sociolinguistic settings because by embedding the tasks in a simulated authentic language­ using context, it is likely that teachers and students will be aware that the speech and pronunciation of non­native speakers are most relevant.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-170
JournalJournal of English as a Lingua Franca
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2014


  • lingua franca approach
  • nativised endonormative model
  • pronunciation model
  • norm
  • communicative competence
  • ELT materials
  • Hong Kong


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