So, you've finished writing your book and can't figure out where to put that extra bit of necessary information. Or maybe you've got everything mapped out, but seem to be struggling with writer's block.
Why is it important to teach pronunciation? What are some of the key areas of pronunciation? In this article, Adrian Tennant will be answering these questions as well as giving a few practical ideas to help teachers get started.
Introduction Pronunciation is one area of teaching which is often neglected. This is evident in the way that pronunciation is treated in most coursebooks.
Flicking through half a dozen books on my desk, I found only one which has regular pronunciation activities in the units! I also notice that when I talk to teachers, there are a few who say they try and do some pronunciation in most lessons; the majority either do very little or none at all!
Well, there are a number of reasons. First, many aspects of pronunciation are difficult to teach or at least that is the perception. Secondly, unlike a grammatical or functional area of language, it can be quite difficult to build a lesson around a pronunciation point and therefore such points are add-ons to a unit in a coursebook or a lesson in the class.
Thirdly, teachers often feel under prepared to teach pronunciation and many seem to struggle to learn the phonemic alphabet although this is certainly less true of many non-native-speaker teachers.
One problem is to do with the way in which pronunciation is presented. Quite frequently, the emphasis is on individual sounds and distinguishing these sounds from each other. Sometimes there might be a bit of work done on word or sentence stress, but this is usually limited to tonic prominence and contrastive stress.
Some work might also be done on intonation, but this mostly focuses on questions and question tags. It seems to me that these areas are chosen not because they are useful for students, or will help them be better English speakers and listeners, but simply because they are relatively easy to teach.
Let me give an example. But, if we actually look at the usefulness of teaching these endings, we will notice something significant. So, what should we teach?
To start with, we need to think about the main aim of teaching pronunciation. Is it because we want our students to speak with an RP Received Pronunciation accent? Or is it that we want them to be understood and to be able to communicate effectively?
For most students, the first target would be both unrealistic and, to be blunt, pointless. Not only would very few students be able to achieve such a goal, but very few native speakers speak with an RP accent and so it seems a rather unrealistic target.
However, if the second aim — intelligibility — is the target, then we need to work out what it actually is that makes people intelligible or unintelligible; in other words, we need to work out what aspects of pronunciation are key.
Important: ESL students need to have grade-appropriate cognitive challenges. Making things easier for ESL students in the mainstream classroom means making accommodations that help them to do the tasks that the native speakers are expected to do. Simple ESL Activity for Giving Advice / Making Suggestions. ESL Level: lower-intermediate & intermediate. Target skill: giving advice. Class Time: 10 minutes. Background: This is a simple speaking activity where students practice using the most common structures for giving advice / suggestions. It gives an overview of blogging websites, suggests why you might want to use them, and gives some practical advice on setting up blogs for use with your own classes.
Of course, the teaching of pronunciation should not solely focus on the production of sounds, but also on receptive skills, i. So, even if we think that our students may not be able to speak with an RP accent, should they at least be able to understand one?
One argument here is that English is now a Lingua Franca and is more likely to be used as the means of communication between two non-native speakers than between a non-native and native speaker. As such, a native model of pronunciation is not necessarily the best model.
This is not a simplified form of pronunciation, but rather a different model that can be used for teaching and learning.Learn what a prologue is, how to write a prologue, and what the benefits and downfalls of a prologue are.
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Advice for ESL Writers For the most part, multilingual writers or students writing English as their second or third language need the same support as native English speakers: feedback on drafts, opportunities to revise, tutoring, examples of good writing to emulate, and a community of other writers.
Simple ESL Activity for Giving Advice / Making Suggestions. ESL Level: lower-intermediate & intermediate. Target skill: giving advice. Class Time: 10 minutes.
Background: This is a simple speaking activity where students practice using the most common structures for giving advice / suggestions. Learn how to give advice in English with this lesson for upper-level ESL, EFL, TESL, and TOEFL English students. How to Give Advice With the "Should" Verb.
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