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Teaching Pronunciation. Fernando Trujillo Sáez. What is Pronunciation?. The Production of Significant Sound. Significant because it is used as part of a code of a particular language it is used to achieve meaning in contexts of use. Auditory Phonetics = The perception of the sound.

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teaching pronunciation

Teaching Pronunciation

Fernando Trujillo Sáez

what is pronunciation
What is Pronunciation?
  • The Production of Significant Sound.
    • Significant because
      • it is used as part of a code of a particular language
      • it is used to achieve meaning in contexts of use.
  • Auditory Phonetics = The perception of the sound.
  • Articulatory Phonetics = The production of the sound.
is there a correct pronunciation
Is there a correct pronunciation?
  • “insisting on “correct” pronunciation may not always be desirable. And it may not be feasible, either.” (8)
  • “The relevant question to ask is not: what is correct in relation to a native-speaker norm (RP or otherwise), but: what is appropriate and necessary to be able to communicate in specific situations?”(12)
  • “The task of pronunciation teaching, as in the teaching of any other aspect of language, is to establish models for guidance, not norms for imitation.” (6)
    • Dalton, Christiane & Barbara Seidlhofer (1994): Pronunciation. Oxford. Oxford University Press.
  • Size of unit
    • Sound segments
    • Prosodic units
  • Focus of attention
    • L1 interference
    • L2 communicative value: frequency and functional importance.
  • Exposure Procedures:
    • Communicative tasks with no explicit teaching of pronunciation.
  • Exercise Procedures:
    • Identification of sound features.
    • Practice in perception and production.
  • Explanation Procedures:
    • Sensitizing and Awareness-raising activities about phonetic and phonological facts.
teachability and learnability
Teachability and Learnability
  • There is an inverse relationship between communicative importance and teachability.
  • Sound segments =

[+easy to teach, - communicatively important]

  • Intonation =

[-easy to teach, + communicatively important]

  • Ear training and Awareness building
    • Before learners can be asked to produce the sounds of a new language, they need to learn to perceive them.
    • So, one of the first objectives of PT is to help learners perceive the differences between the significant sounds of English.
    • Important: We tend to hear the sounds of a new language through the filter of our first language.
  • Communicating vs. Noticing
    • Foreign Language Learning =
      • Comprehensible input + Comprehensible output

( + Language Awareness)

    • The need of reconciling a narrow focus on sounds with the communicative objectives of learner involvement and meaningful interaction.
  • Innocence vs. Sophistication
    • The younger the learners, the more able they are to learn pronunciation by mimicry.
    • The older the learners, the more sophisticated the instruction that can be used (and the higher the standard of achievement per hour of instruction).
  • Paradox:
    • A decisive element for communication but
    • A continuous problem for pronunciation teaching.
  • Topics:
    • Prominence: a combination of loudness, length, paralinguistic features and, above all, pitch movement.
    • New and Given information (fall-rise for given info & fall for new info).
    • Floor (high for keeping it and low for yielding it).
  • Subliminal activities: Sensitizing and Awareness-raising.
  • Two aspects:
    • Word-stress patterns = important for intelligibility.
    • Prominence = important for communication.
  • Procedures:
    • The impossibility of providing rules.
    • The contrast between stressed and unstressed syllables (foregrounding and backgrounding).
connected speech
Connected Speech
  • Three processes of connected speech:
    • Assimilation: the changes of a sound provoked by the surrounding sounds.
    • Elision: The leaving out of a sound or sounds in speech.
    • Linking: the insertion of a sound in order to make a smooth transition from one sound to another.
  • Modelling and mimicry.