Teaching Pronunciation in the ESL Classroom. Questions to Consider. How do we define correct pronunciation? What “pronunciation” goals should we set for our S s ? H ow do we remain sensitive to the needs of our Ss when teaching pronunciation?
English is spoken around the world. Australians pronounce words differently than Americans. Americans pronounce words differently than British speakers of English. Our goal is to understand and to be understood. We want to speak English in order to communicate with one another effectively.
When we work on pronunciation, our goal does not have to be to have perfect American pronunciation. Our goals are to understand others and to be understood!
What pronunciation errors do you continually hear in your classrooms?
2. Determine how seriously these pronunciation errors
interfere with intelligibility.
3. Decide your pronunciation priorities. “How important is
covering the pronunciation feature for Ss’
communication needs?” Analyzing pronunciation issues that
negatively affect Ss’ intelligibility can help you prioritize
areas for improvement
4. Research the matter
You can use explicit instruction when teaching pronunciation with the purpose of helping Ssrecognize aspects of pronunciation patterns involved in speech. Raising awareness of various sounds and sound patterns can help Sswith comprehensibility.
In addition, encouraging Ssto practice sound patterns when they are away from the classroom is important.
Teaching aims to enable Ssto develop strategies for coping on their own and for continuing to learn.
Initial Approach: Ss have to develop muscle memory.Some sound patterns made in English do not exist in other languages; therefore, Ss have to learn the mechanics. As a result, achieving proper pronunciation can be very challenging.
Teach Mechanics of Articulation: The goal is to teach Sswhat their lips (shape), tongue, jaw (relaxed/not relaxed), teeth, and air flow are doing in order to producesound so that Ss can try to recreate the sound.
Purpose: Drawing attention to the way that particular sounds are made can help Ssrecognize how to reproduce sound. Bring awareness through teaching with the intention of giving Ssthe tools to practice on their own.
Manner of Articulation Sounds in English http://www.slideshare.net/jdspider/manner-of-articulation
Voiced: There is vibration in your throat. You can hear the sound. (All Vowel Sounds and B, G, L, M, N, R, V, Y, Z and voiced TH)
Voiceless: There is no vibration in your throat. You cannot hear the sound. You hear the manipulation of air.(F, K, P, S, SH, TCH, X, or voiceless TH)
Teaching Voiced vs. Voiceless helps when teaching the following:
3 Fan fan van
2 Veil fail veil
3 Face face vase
2 Very ferry very
I have four volleyballs.
The funny man drove his van very fast.
I bet Fran went to the vet.
I have a fancy vase full of violet flowers for my very special lover.
I was very sad when Fran flew to France for a volleyball tournament on Valentines Day.
0 fit 5 feet
1 ship 6 sheep
2 chip 7 cheap
3 rid 8 read
4 pitch 9 peach
224-5539: chip chip pitch feet feet rid peach
When aregular verb ends with a voiced sound, the ed ending is pronounced /d/.
When aregular verb ends in an unvoicedsound, the ed ending is pronounced /t/.
The ed ending is pronounced /id/ when the verb ends in the sounds /t/ and /d/.
Initial Approach: Every language has a system of sounds, stress, and intonation patterns that give it a rhythm and melody. When speech is unintelligible, conversation becomes difficult. Improper intonation can cause speakers to be perceived as abrupt or even rude. Learning to recognize stress and intonation patterns can help learners understand and be understood.
Teach Mechanics: We want to teach Ss what intonation, stress, rhythm, etc. are, and allow Ss to recognize and practice patterns in speech.
Purpose: By studying how to use pitch, intonation, stress, rhythm, Sscan develop an “ear” for language and how to use pronunciation patterns when speaking. Bringing awareness will help students to begin to recognize these patterns. This can in turn help them to understand underlying meaning.
There are multiple ways to say the same thing. Meaning can depend upon context:
Jazz Chants Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAYwoLZso7s
“It’s warm in here.”
Request for someone to open the window
You have been outside in the cold and you just came in the house
You are unsure if it is warm in a particular room, so you phrase it as a question
A: Hi, how are you?
B: Fine, thank you. And you?
A: Just great. So, what have you been doing lately?
B: Oh, not much. But I've been keeping busy.
A: Well...it's been good to see you.
B: You too...bye!
1) Two people who have just met but don't really know each other, and feel obligated to engage in small talk in the elevator
2) A sick person in a hospital and a friend who visits
3) Two people who have trouble hearing clearly 4) A single man and woman who are shy but attracted to one another
5) A single man attracted to a woman who is not attracted to him 6) An intimidating teacher and a student who is nervous to see the teacher
7) Two people who were angry at each other and just saw each other for the first time in years, but who are trying to act nice
8) A landlord and his overdue tenant
Youtube.com/BridgeTEFL. (Producer). (2009). Teaching Pronunciation with Jazz Chants - TEFLVideos.com[Internet Video]. Available from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAYwoLZso7s
Celce-Murcia, M., Brinton, D. M., & Goodwin, J. M. (2010) Teaching pronunciation: A reference for teachers of English to speakers of other languages. Cambridge University Press.