Ancient and modern pronunciations — страница 6

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clear enunciation. Some students lack confidence in speaking or are unsure of their pronunciation, and therefore speak either very quietly or unclearly. Obviously this makes them more difficult to understand, and students should therefore be reminded that speaking audibly and clearly is an important aspect of pronunciation. The ideal approach to student pronunciation problems is for you to work individually with each student, listening for problems, explaining the proper pronunciation (intonation, etc.), modelling correct pronunciation, and listening to the student practice. However, this is usually not possible because of time limitations and class size, so the discussion below will focus on approaches which can be used with a class. [6,52] 1.6 The role of teaching Pronunciation

in FLT Teaching English pronunciation is an area of language teaching that many English teachers avoid. While there are many textbooks and instruction manuals available, as well as books on the theories and methodologies of language teaching there is comparatively little on learning pronunciation. Why? Is it because we don't need to teach pronunciation or because it cannot be taught? Certainly, we need to teach pronunciation. There is a big difference between a ship and a sheep and a pear and a bear! When teaching any language as a foreign or second language, our first goal for our students is basic communication, and that can't happen if no one can understand what they are saying. How NOT to Teach Pronunciation When teachers decide to focus on pronunciation practise many of them

make the mistake of trying to teach pronunciation along with introducing vocabulary. This can work with students who have a "good ear," or who perhaps speak a related language. However it can be hit and miss with students whose mother tongue has no relation to the target language. This brings us back to the question of whether pronunciation can be effectively taught at all? The answer is yes, of course it can be taught, it's just that the way many textbooks tell us to teach it is actually one of the least effective. Most textbooks will have you drill pronunciation with repetition of the vocabulary. Some of the better ones will have you work on it with spelling, which is an important skill, especially in English with its many irregularities and exceptions. Very few will

start you and your students where you need to start, however, and that is at the level of the phoneme. Start with Phonemes (but not necessarily phonetic script) The dictionary defines "phoneme" as "any of the perceptually distinct units of sound in a specified language that distinguish one word from another, for example p, b, d, and t in the English words pad, pat, bad, and bat." This definition highlights one of the key reasons that we must, as language teachers, start our pronunciation instruction at the level of the phoneme. If a phoneme is a "perceptually distinct unit of sound" then we have to realize that before students can consistently produce a given phoneme, they must be able to hear it. Thus the first lessons in pronunciation should

involve your students listening and identifying, rather than speaking. [7,85] Introduce your phonemes in contrasting pairs like /t/ and /d/. Repeat the phonemes in words as well as in isolation and ask the students to identify them. In order to visually represent the differences they are listening for, you may want to draw pronunciation diagrams for each sound showing the placement of the tongue and lips. You might also consider teaching your students the necessary symbols from the phonetic alphabet, because although T and D are written differently in English, the TH in "there" and the TH in "thanks" are written exactly the same, despite the difference in pronunciation. This isn't essential, and really works best with adults rather than children, but it is

worth it for any students who are highly visual or analytical learners. You can play all sorts of matching games with this material to make the drills more fun and less stressful. You can have students play with nonsense sounds and focus on the tiny differences between contrasted phonemic pairs, the key being to get them to hear the phoneme. All these games are included in the English Language Games Digital Book for adults with 163 games and activities! From Recognition of Phonemes to Practise Once they can hear and identify a phoneme, it's time to practice accurate production of the sound. For this, pronunciation diagrams are useful. Your students need to be able to see where to put their lips and tongues in relation to their teeth. Most sounds are articulated inside your mouth