Why is a British footballer talking with a French accent? Good question. He was being interviewed by French reporters for French television. What does this mean to language teachers? Scott Thornbury recently posted some information about this on his blog. The idea of “accommodation” is something we take for granted, and how much should we accommodate so students understand?
Thornbury says that:
As we speak, for example, we are continuously monitoring our interlocutor’s degree of understanding, and adjusting our message accordingly. This is especially obvious in the way we talk to children and non-native speakers, forms of talk called ‘caretaker talk’ and ‘foreigner talk’, respectively. Both varieties are characterized by considerable simplification, although there are significant differences.. For learners of English, whose interlocutors may not themselves be native speakers, this may mean learning to adapt to other non-native speaker accents..