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The role of cultural scripts in non-native speech generation

The article analyses the way non-native speech can be brought closer to authentic speech (that of native speakers) via a number of key parameters. Arguments are offered in favour of the view that approximation is necessary due to intensification and expansion of international contacts causing the need for deeper cross- cultural understanding. Language teachers face the challenge of forming and developing non-native speech habits exceeding the level of communicative sufficiency. The level of non-native speech needs to be raised so that it sounds like authentic speech. The script-based approach is offered as a solution to the problem. These are dialogues, which reflect the foreign language as it is actually used in practice, focusing on current language usage and culture. Cultural scripts, as they are known, are viewed as constituent parts of the ethnic culture constituting the cognitive substratum of verbal communication. Native speakers’ verbal behaviour ‘moves along the tracks’ of cultural scripts. Therefore, the scripts must be embedded into students’ linguistic and cultural competence and included in the generative models of speech. The research is based on English language material contrasted with Russian language material. The article is intended for experts in speech production and foreign language teaching.

KEYWORDS: speech generation, linguistic and cultural competence, authentic speech, non-native speech, idioethnic speech, cultural script, communicative sufficiency


Vladimir Savitsky. DSc in Linguistics, Professor in Foreign Languages Dpt, Samara University of Social Sciences and Education (Russia). Author of about 180 published studies, including 8 monographs and 3 manuals. Research interests cover the theory of idiomatics, cognitive semantics, and speech generation issues.

Aryuna Ivanova. Assistant Professor in Foreign Languages Dpt, Faculty of Economics, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University). Teaches courses in Chinese and English. Research interests mainly cover typological and comparative linguistics. Author of numerous articles and one monograph. Member of the Business and Vocational Foreign Languages Teachers National Association.


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