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Lecture 4 What a language student should learn. Teaching Pronunciation.

Key questions:

1. The role of TP in FLT.

2. Peculiarities of English Pronunciation and Intonation.

4. Methods of TP.

5. Types of ex-s for TP.

6. Typical pronunciation mistakes.

The communicative approach holds that teaching pronunciation and intonation is important for the purposes of communication. Mastering pronunciation and Intonation of a FL presents too many difficulties though the goal of teaching pronunciation is not to make the learners sound like the native speakers. A more realistic approach is to enable the learners to pronounce the language without detracting from the ability to comprehend the message. The approach to teaching pronunciation is approximating. However mistakes in pronunciation and intonation may cause many comprehension problems, because the language learners find it difficult to distinguish FL sounds and patterns of intonation different from those in the native language .

According to the Audio-lingual method teaching pronunciation as a necessary prerequisite was a very important for teaching Speaking. Nowadays when we teach FL for communication teaching correct pronunciation and intonation is very important because this we’ll enable our students to use the language as a mean of communication. It is not an easy thing to teach correct English pronunciation but it is 40 times difficult to get rid of pronunciation mistakes. It presents too many difficulties both for the teacher and for the pupils. Because in this case we face the problem of articulation, palatalization, aspiration, the problem of interference (inter and intra). Articulation movements accompany the process of using the language not only when a person is speaking but also during listening, reading and writing. Hidden articulation movements were registered when a person seemed silent just listening to somebody else talking or when reading a text.

Teaching FL Pronunciation was always one of the problems in FLT. But this problem was solved differently by different specialists, by different trends in Methodology. There was time when teaching pronunciation was overvalued. H. Palmer, Henry Sweet insisted on pure phonetic introductory course for beginners. The results were altogether unsatisfactory because of the lack of the interest, interference of two systems (graphic and sound).

The target of teaching pronunciation is to develop in learners phonetic competence, which is the knowledge of the English phonetic means such as phonemes, syllable formation, word stress and intonation.

Each language has its own trouble spots so does the English. We should distinguish between errors and mistakes. Error is a slip of the tongue. Mistake is more serious and should be corrected. Constant correction is necessary because false habits are formed and difficult to break. English presents many difficulties because it has its own specific phonic system.

Wrong pronunciation and intonation often leads to misunderstanding, e.g. wide-white, it- eat, etc. Phonematic mistakes include the following: the substitution of long sounds by the short one and vice-verca e.g. sheep- ship; the substitution of voiced consonants by the voiceless e.g. his-hiss; the substitution of one consonant phoneme by another one e.g. pang-pan; the incorrect placing of stress e.g. present- present; the incorrect division of sentence into sense groups.

Methods of TP.

O’ Conner says: ‘There is only way to master pronunciation of FL to repeat the sound features over and over again, correctly and systematically until they can be said without any consciousness, until the learner is incapable to say them another way’. They call them drill. ; 4) the most rational approach is the analithical-synthetical which implies all three mentioned above. Because in fact none of them can be universal. Taking into account the analithical-synthetical approach the procedure work on a certain sound should be as follows:

Procedure of teaching sound

Teacher Pupil

A sentence

A word



There are techniques for teaching pronunciation that have traditionally been used and are still being used in instructed settings. The traditional approach to teaching pronunciation that still survives is the “pronunciation drill”. Drills are still very popular and there are a number of reasons for that. Drills mean engaging the students in the narrowly defined tasks. This provides emotional security for the learners and teachers. Drills are relatively easy to perform. They guarantee in most cases the immediate result of mastering the learning material. In other words “drill works” and that is what matters. It is evident that one can’t master pronunciation of the foreign language without some form of repetitive drilling. Repetition can be by the whole class, individually in the fixed order, slow tempo and fast tempo, repetition in small groups etc. (Nunan, D. 1991. Language Teaching Methodology. Phoenix ELT. P. 104).

Listen and imitate. Students listen to the teacher provided models and repeat to imitate them. E.g.1: back, lack, lap, tap, map, cat, fat...(phoneme [a] in the closed syllable). E.g.2: Why Willie, why wink widely, weep wildly, whoop weirdly...? (every word begins with [w]). Repetitious exercises train the learners to pronounce long chains of words and/or phrases. E.g. lunch, much, crunch, such, touch... At lunch I like to crunch so much and touch what I can crunch.. Analogy exercises consist in filling in the gaps in word chains on the analogy. E.g. My loved one is so near, and dear, but I ... (fear) that he will not come here.


Phonetic drills needed for overcoming mistakes. As phonetic drills we can use proverbs, sayings, poems, tongue twisters e.g. The black cat sit on a mat and ate a fat rat. Betty Botter bought some butter but she said the butter is bitter but a bit of better butter will make my butter better. A sailor went to the sea to see what he could see and all he could see was sea. She sells sea shells on the sea shore.

Techniques for teaching Pronunciation and Intonation are as follows: intonation exercises, pronunciation drills, listen and imitate exercises, tongue twisters (This thin feather is thinner than that thick leather), learning by heart.

Pronunciation should be developed through the all course of studies. Phonetic drills should be used at the lessons irrespective of the stage of the teaching. Pronunciation is an integral part of FLT, it is closely connected with teaching Vocabulary, Grammar, L-g, R-g, W-g, S-g.



Date: 2014-12-22; view: 857

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