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    Do ESL/EFL students really need to learn to speak English with no accent at all?

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    I am constantly reminded that the majority of my students (Chinese) will utilise what they learn with me, to communicate with other non native speakers.
    Native speakers should realise that we are not going to be there as some kind of high priests to arbitrate.
    No accent is impossible but accent minimisation is essential.Robbo
    You need to be clearly understandable. And what on earth means without an accent??? Just the number of native accents that is around is enormous. And many of them are not easy to understand. Why require a standard from your student you will never be able to fulfill yourself? I\'m not saying that pronunciation training is not important or that thriving for the best possible result is a waste of time, but \"accent\" needs to be redefined. I rather have a student with a mild local accent who can express him- or herself fluently and naturally without using recited phrases inappropriately and on top of that having some weird Texan accent cause this is where his/her former teacher came from. I continue finding it easier to understand some of my students than some teachers I worked with in the past. Of course you leave a part of your accent with them - but I don\'t have to promote it. I\'m a great fan of standardisation in the classroom with regard to local differences - as I said before \'clearly understandable\' - whether you are Chinese, French, German, American, Scottish, English, South African or from any other place. Carrying a country\'s passport doesn\'t make you a native and doesn\'t automatically turn you into an English language authority. Possibly all those who voted \'yes\' can solve a mystery for me: What is correct: British English or American English. Just that I know what I need not to teach in my accent-free classsroom.Angel
    You need to be clearly understandable. And what on earth means without an accent??? Just the number of native accents that is around is enormous. And many of them are not easy to understand. Why require a standard from your student you will never be able to fulfill yourself? I\'m not saying that pronunciation training is not important or that thriving for the best possible result is a waste of time, but \"accent\" needs to be redefined. I rather have a student with a mild local accent who can express him- or herself fluently and naturally without using recited phrases inappropriately and on top of that having some weird Texan accent cause this is where his/her former teacher came from. I continue finding it easier to understand some of my students than some teachers I worked with in the past. Of course you leave a part of your accent with them - but I don\'t have to promote it. I\'m a great fan of standardisation in the classroom with regard to local differences - as I said before \'clearly understandable\' - whether you are Chinese, French, German, American, Scottish, English, South African or from any other place. Carrying a country\'s passport doesn\'t make you a native and doesn\'t automatically turn you into an English language authority.
    Possibly all those who voted \'yes\' can solve a mystery for me: What is correct: British English or American English. Just that I know what I need not to teach in my accent-free classsroom.Angel
    I think accents are fine but most employers want no accent English so unless we teach the students to speak without one, they will be at a disadvantage.Elizabeth Martin
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