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    • #8994
      Manuel Flores Lasarte
      Moderator
          @manuel
          • Have any of the ideas raised in the unit changed how you will approach teaching pronunciation in the future?
          • Why/Why not? What is your main ‘takeaway’?

          Post your ideas in the forum for Unit 9 and make sure you comment on at least two other people’s posts.

        • #53398
          Robert Dailey
          Participant
              @robertd

              /heləʊ evrɪwʌn/

              Have any of the ideas raised in the unit changed how you will approach teaching pronunciation in the future? Why/Why not?
              I enjoy teaching pronunciation and have seen that it is incredibly useful for my students. They have also had some “fun with phonetics” by using, for instance, Underhill´s phonemic chart to revise vocab, and when I used it recently in the teaching of the pronunciation of past tense regular verbs it was quite a success.

              I don´t think that the ideas raised in the unit have really changed how I will approach teaching pronunciation; rather, the unit serves to remind me that I can – I should! – do more teaching of pronunciation, and that I can do it better and also make sure that I integrate it into (all of) my classes in some way. For instance, I introduced some vocab about clothes to a B2 class yesterday and it wasn´t until I was working on this unit about pronunciation last night that I realized that I had hardly included any work on pronunciation when I introduced the lexis. Additionally, I haven´t yet worked much with elements of connected speech such as elision and this is a definite “must do” for 2023.

              What is your main ‘takeaway’? 
              As above: to teach more pronunciation – especially connected speech – to integrate it into my classes and to teach it better.

              • #54360
                Manuel Flores Lasarte
                Moderator
                    @manuel

                    Hi!

                    θæŋks fə jər ˈɑːnsə ˈrɒbət! I agree with you that pronunciation can be fun to teach and is very useful for learners. I really like using or adapting the ideas from Pronunciation Games by Mark Hancock although there are plenty of other ideas online (for example here).  In any case, there is no need to spend a whole lesson on pronunciation as long as we integrate it into our teaching (as you said, we tend to forget about pronunciation when planning and teaching our lessons!).

                    And it is also true what you say that some units just remind us of (other) things we could/should be doing in our lessons. Indeed this unit has reminded us of some useful pronunciation techniques such as:

                    • Focusing on a particular sound using the phonemic script (as a visual learner and non-native speaker myself, I find this very useful!)
                    • Paying attention to word stress (e.g. eliciting where the stress is or grouping words according to word stress)
                    • Identifying connected speech features – here the aim is especially to aid oral understanding rather than producing features of connected speech.
                    • Showing learners where the sounds are produced in our mouths. Hopefully, all the terminology done in the unit and the explanation of the phonemic chart have helped you become more aware of how sounds are produced. You can learn more about how sounds are pronounced in the Adrian Underhill’s Pronunciation Skills Series.
                      In terms of connected speech, I recommend the BBC Tim’s Pronunciation Workshop. 

                    Enjoy :bye: !

                  • #54369
                    Robert Dailey
                    Participant
                        @robertd

                        Hi Manuel. ¡Feliz Año! Thanks for the recommendation about Tim´s Pronunciation Workshop – it looks great! Cheers!

                    • #53473
                      Peter Wilson
                      Participant
                          @peterw

                          Hello,

                          That’s good you enjoy teaching pronunciation Robert and that your students got into using the phonemic chart themselves. I have pretty much always shied away from getting students to learn the chart part from the odd one e.g. schwa.

                          For me, I’ve gained lots of ideas from this unit. I especially liked the ELT-Training.com videos. I thought they were really well done with clear explanations and useful, practical tips for teaching. I like the sound of the book she recommended called “The Book of Pronunciation” and the ideas for teaching weak forms and I liked the Jazz chants as well.

                          It’s definitely true that a lot of ESOL learners in the UK say they learnt English in their country and have really struggled with listening when they got here and it’s probably got a lot to do with us swallowing half the words due to English being a stress-timed language. I need to think of ways of getting learners to notice and have a go at saying weak-forms in useful dialogue.

                          Recently I’ve only really taught pronunciation in an opportunistic way, but doing this unit has reminded me that I have done a lot of pronunciation focussed activities in the past and should bring some of them back. I’ve done work on minimal pairs before by playing the telephone number game which was good. I didn’t use the phonetic characters but I could try that out as it might be useful for tricky short and long vowel sounds. I also remember getting learners to categorise words that rhyme together when the spellings tricky which was a useful activity.  When a student makes a mistake with a vowel sound I try t think of rhyming words then make a silly sentences out of it to help students remember.

                          So my main take away is a bit like Roberts, teach more pronunciation and also help learners to notice and understand weak forms, to get the ‘listening brains’ more tuned into native speaker connected speech. For sentence stress I like the idea of the absent minded booking agent as Harmer mentions. I prefer the idea of an integrated phase of a lesson rather than a whole lesson on pronunciation.

                           

                          Merry Christmas everyone :yahoo:

                          • #53530
                            Erica
                            Participant
                                @erica

                                Hi Peter,

                                I also liked Jo Gakonga’s videos – I think she explains things very well.

                                You said that you preferred the idea of an integrated phase of a lesson rather than a whole lesson on pronunciation. I think the same but I was also wondering whether it is also because of time constraints and course type. I mean we teach general English so we have various items on the syllabus as opposed to teaching pronunciation solely.

                                 

                                 

                              • #54361
                                Manuel Flores Lasarte
                                Moderator
                                    @manuel

                                    Hi Peter,

                                    It’s great to know that this unit has been useful and reminded you of great pronunciation exercises you used to do in your lessons. For example, I love the rhyming exercise that you mention: I used to struggle to pronounce ‘sew’ until someone told me it was pronounced as ‘so’!

                                    As for the use of the phonemic chart, I think it is quite common for teachers to avoid using it. It can be argued that it is confusing, especially among learners who use other alphabets. However, as a non-native speaker and visual learner myself, I have always found it extremely useful. For example, I used to struggle to hear the differences between minimal pairs such as /s/ and /z/ as we don’t have these phonemes in Spanish. I understood how to produce the two different sounds but I did not hear the difference so having the phonemic transcript was extremely useful to help me improve my pronunciation.

                                    So, although not every learner will find the phonemic transcription useful, I recommend using it frequently in the classroom, together with other techniques such as drilling, rhyming or listening exercises.

                                    Finally, yes to the idea of teaching more connected speech as this is what makes listening so difficult in English: the more we make students aware of connected speech features, the easier it will be for them to understand spoken English.

                                • #53528
                                  Erica
                                  Participant
                                      @erica

                                      Have any of the ideas raised in the unit changed how you will approach teaching pronunciation in the future? Why/Why not?

                                      I really enjoyed this unit as it helped me to develop and reflect on how I teach pronunciation. At the beginning of my career I tended to avoid teaching pronunciation as I was terrified but then I slowly started to teach it using the activities suggested by the course books. In my previous workplace I taught young learners as well which, much to my surprise, gave me the opportunity to experiment with pronunciation games, rhymes and songs. At present I am still working on how and when to teach pronunciation and for this reason I think this unit has supported my own development. It encouraged me to work on aspects of pronunciation that I still haven’t focused on in the classroom, such as connect speech and spelling/sound correlation. I have always taught sounds to say words or learn phonemes but I believe that teaching other important pronunciation features will greatly benefits students’ listening as well as speaking. So I will try to do like Peter ”  help learners to notice and understand weak forms, to get the ‘listening brains’ more tuned into native speaker connected speech.”

                                      What is your main ‘takeaway’?

                                      Harmer wrote, it’s important to raise students awareness and encourage them to think about their learning needs. In order to help the students notice mistakes I should teach pronunciation more consistently. In this way I could get them into the habits of “listening” to themselves when speaking and/or recognise sounds, stress, and other pronunciation features after some listening activities.

                                       

                                      • #54362
                                        Manuel Flores Lasarte
                                        Moderator
                                            @manuel

                                            Hi Erica,

                                            Really glad to know you have found the unit useful and great to see that you are experimenting with incorporating more pronunciation into your lessons. The more confident you become with pronunciation, the easier it will be to teach it. I remember not covering connected speech at all in my lessons as I wasn’t sure how it worked. Now, it’s something I do in every lesson, drilling words not only individually but also in chunks to help learners notice features of connected speech. This helps them a lot with their listening skills.

                                            You also had a good comment in response to Peter’s post: is it possible to spend a whole lesson on pronunciation when there are syllabus and course constraints? I would say that it is better to integrate pronunciation into the lesson, to make it more meaningful. However, you can include ‘focused’ moments into the lesson (e.g. an activity to focus on selected features of connected speech after a listening exercise, categorising new words according to word stress, etc). The important thing is to raise awareness of pronunciation features while focusing on communication.

                                        • #54099
                                          Aytaj Suleymanova
                                          Participant
                                              @aytajs93

                                              Hi everyone!

                                              Here are my responses:

                                              Have any of the ideas raised in the unit changed how you will approach teaching pronunciation in the future?

                                              I am familiar with the phonemic chart but I rarely use it with my students even though it was really helpful back when I was a learner myself. It became clear to me that I need to implement the phonemic signs into my teaching so the students become more aware of the sounds in English.

                                              Why/Why not? What is your main ‘takeaway’?

                                              The main takeaway is that the students do not need to know the phonemic chart by heart and instead they only need to be able to recognize the signs from it in order to improve their phonemic awareness.

                                               

                                              • #54363
                                                Manuel Flores Lasarte
                                                Moderator
                                                    @manuel

                                                    Hi Aytaj,

                                                    I can see that like me, you found the phonemic chart useful as a student. However, it is sometimes difficult to use it as a teacher (we feel we don’t have the time to teach it or we think the learners are not familiar with the symbols and it will just confuse them). However, I would argue that the more exposure our learners get to the symbols, the better: we can just introduce a few symbols at a time or point to the symbol (having the phonemic script on a wall in class really helps) when correcting a student’s pronunciation, for example. As you say, learners do not need to know the symbols, they just need to be able to recognise them.

                                                • #55376
                                                  Manuel Flores Lasarte
                                                  Moderator
                                                      @manuel

                                                      Hi everyone,

                                                      Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this forum.

                                                      Some key points derived from our discussion:

                                                      • The use of the phonemic chart in our teaching and whether we should use it with our learners. Perhaps we can take tips from some of the methods outlined in our reading. This useful article discusses the IPA in more detail.
                                                      • Focusing on aspects of connective speech to help address our learners’ pronunciation problems. Tim’s Pronunciation Workshop is a useful resource for connected speech.
                                                      • Also equally focusing on individual sounds. A useful resource is the book Ship or Sheep.
                                                      • Making pronunciation fun. From my experience, learners always love developing their pronunciation especially if we can gamify it. A really good resource for helping developing aspects of pronunciation including connected speech is this.
                                                      • Explicitly and regularly focusing on pronunciation in our lessons rather than believing that all of our learners will develop aspects of intelligibility via osmosis.
                                                      • Asking our learners to consider what aspects of pronunciation they struggle with – perhaps via self-reporting, or, better, by getting them to record themselves.

                                                      Phonology tends to be an area that many DM1 candidates struggle with, so we would strongly encourage you to spend some time reviewing both terminology (including how to transcribe the IPA) and what kinds of pronunciation problems learners typically have. Although this is marketed as an entrance level resource, I think the following is a great revision tool for reviewing our phonological awareness.

                                                      Please do continue to post in this forum including commenting on each other’s posts.

                                                    • #56060
                                                      Andrew Burke
                                                      Participant
                                                          @andrew

                                                          Still not convinced that teaching the phonetic alphabet to students is worthwhile; it seems like a massive commitment by all parties for something that may or may not work. In addition, with my own accent, I find my phonetic ‘translations’ are often inaccurate. I do see the benefit for autonomy but perhaps that’s for an individual student to get on top of if they want to learn it. As a teacher, if I can add the phonetic symbols to the board, this would obviously be beneficial to the odd student who knows / uses it.

                                                          I teach elision/ linking / assimilation and intrusion without knowing the terminology, so it’s good to know the terminology. I guess the more you do it in class, the more you will notice it and point it out to students.

                                                          • #56795
                                                            Nicholas Northall
                                                            Moderator
                                                                @nick-northall

                                                                Hi Andrew,

                                                                Thanks for sharing. I do think you make some relevant points about not using the phonemic alphabet. Here are some reasons for and for not using it. The points made here could be used (albeit with some tweaks) to answer a Paper 2, Task 3 style question ‘on the benefits and drawbacks’ of using the chart ‘for learners (and teachers)’. This kind of question stem is quite common!

                                                                I personally think it should be up to the teacher whether to use it in their context. The main reason I have for not using it is that often learners simply don’t know it and trying to get learners who may already be struggling with the English alphabet (say, Arabic learners) can be very, very confusing. Still, with sounds learners have trouble with (such as /p/ and /b/ for our example Arabic learners), it can be very useful. Not sure I have ever transcribed full sentences though (apart from when I did my diploma!).

                                                                You raise an important point about terminology. Whether teachers know the terminology or not is one point, but what about learners? Often we use terminology (metalanguage) in the classroom expecting learners to know what it means (e.g. Today we’re going to look at the present perfect OR Today we are going to do some skim reading). Do you think learners need to know terminology? And to what extent?

                                                                Cheers,

                                                                Nick

                                                            • #56915
                                                              Amira Madkour
                                                              Participant
                                                                  @amy-madkr

                                                                  Have any of the ideas raised in the unit changed how you will approach teaching pronunciation in the future? Why/Why not?

                                                                  I have always believed in teaching pronunciation and learning the phonemic alphabet. As a non-native speaker, transcribing words and applying the features of connected speech were essential to improving my accent. I currently work with teachers in the Middle East; one of the objectives  is to develop their accents. I have seen first hand that learning aspects of connected speech increases their autonomy and helps them interpreting challenging accents and fast-paced speeches.

                                                                  What is your main ‘takeaway’?

                                                                  I will continue introducing phonemic alphabet and highlighting its value to students. Thank you

                                                                  • #57249
                                                                    Nicholas Northall
                                                                    Moderator
                                                                        @nick-northall

                                                                        Hi Amira,

                                                                        Thanks for sharing. I think features of connected speech are really important not only to help learners speak clearly but also to ensure that they develop their listening skills. I read somewhere (sorry I can’t remember the reference) that we listen as we speak – so if a learner doesn’t use aspects of connected speech in their utterances, then they won’t hear them.

                                                                        Cheers,

                                                                        Nick

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