Ancient and modern pronunciations — страница 7

  • Просмотров 6739
  • Скачиваний 66
  • Размер файла 55

and students have no idea what you are doing in order to produce that particular noise. If you have ever tried to teach a Japanese student how to say an American /r/, then you have experienced the frustration of trying to get a student to produce tongue movements they can't see. There are books out there with diagrams, and with a little practice you can probably produce sketches of them yourself. If you can't, get hold of a good reference book so that you can flip to the relevant pages. Your students will thank you for this insight into the mouth, especially since there is no danger of the embarrassment of bad breath with a drawing. [8, 26] While this may sound time consuming and unnatural, you have to realize that you are in the process of reprogramming you students' brains, and

it is going to take a while. New neural pathways have to be created to learn new facial movements and link them with meaning. In the classroom, we are recreating an accelerated version of the infant's language learning experience. We are providing examples and stimulus through grammar and vocabulary lessons, but with pronunciation lessons we are also breaking down language to the point of babbling noises so that our students can play with the sounds, as infants do, and learn to distinguish meaningful sounds on an intuitive level while making use of more mature analytical skills that an infant doesn't have. If you regularly take ten minutes of your lesson to do this kind of focused phonemic practice, your students articulation and perception of phonemes will see improvement after

several weeks, and you will get them all to the point where you can practice pronunciation on a word or even a sentential level. Pronunciation games for children can be found in this English Language Games for Children book: English Language Games for Children Moving on to Pronunciation of Words The progress will be more pronounced with younger students, but even adults will begin to give up fossilized pronunciation errors when reciting vocabulary words in isolation. It's time to make the next leap – correct pronunciation in the context of natural conversation. Make no mistake; this is a leap, not because it is more physically challenging, but because you are about to address a completely different set of barriers. When we teach on the phonemic level, we are struggling to

expand physical and neurological limitations. We are taking irrelevant noises and making them significant to our students, while trying to teach them a greater range of articulation with their mouths, tongues, and lips. But when we work on pronunciation at a lexical or sentential level, we are dealing with complex emotional, psychological, and cultural motivations that require their own kind of re-education. Three Big Barriers to Good English Pronunciation Anxiety, learned helplessness and cultural identity are the three biggest barriers to students' successful adoption of a second language. Not every student will have all of these problems, but it is a sure thing that all of them will have at least one of these problems to a greater or lesser extent. As English teachers we have

to find ways to bring these problems to our students' attention in non-threatening ways, as well as suggest tools and strategies for dealing with them. Anxiety is a fairly straightforward problem to discover. Students who feel a lot of anxiety in speaking are generally well aware of the situation and they know that it is impeding their progress. The impact on pronunciation specifically can be seen in their unwillingness to experiment with sounds, a general lack of fluency that makes it hard to blend sounds correctly, and poor control of the sentential elements of pronunciation, such as intonation and syllable stress. The best remedy for anxiety is highly structured, low- pressure practise. In other words – games. Jazz chants, handclap rhymes, reader's theatre, and dialog

practise from textbooks can all be helpful. Structure and repetition reduce the pressure on the students and allow them to focus on pronunciation and intonation. Classroom rituals, like starting the lesson with a set greeting and reading aloud a letter from the teacher are also excellent ways to integrate pronunciation practise into the rest of the lesson while reducing stress for the student. Rote phrases, drilled for correct pronunciation, will eventually be internalized and the correct pronunciation will improve overall pronunciation. [9,74] Learned helplessness is much harder to bring to a students attention, and may be difficult for the teacher to recognize. The term "learned helplessness" comes from psychology and refers to the reaction people and animals have to