It would be safe to say there’s been a linguistic revolution in Europe. Europeans are increasingly turning to English to communicate with one another. But just how efficient is this new means of communication?
At present, European English is spoken with many different accents, and some of these may be more difficult to understand than others. Now that there’s more emphasis on pronunciation training in the classroom, the question arises if European learners should be taught to sound more like native speakers. Would that help them to communicate with other non-native speakers? An alternative would be to investigate the different accents of European English, and to determine what, if anything, they have in common. Such a lingua franca approach could be used to arrive at a non-native pronunciation target, which some researchers view as more realistic.
This lecture tries to shed some light on the controversial issue of European English as a lingua franca, and uses empirical data to examine if speakers of European Englishes are beginning to develop a set of shared norms for the pronunciation of English.