Coal Creek, Colorado TESOL Online & Teaching English Jobs
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In this unit we covered the different aspects of pronunciation and phonology, including why these oft neglected subjects are important for language learners. By covering some of the reasons why teachers don't include structured time on the subject (including lack of confidence, lack of training, difficulty perceiving the different features, and difficulty in standardization), as well as the reasons the subject is important for students (especially allowing them a wider and more nuanced command of the language), the lesson provides encouragement for systematically incorporating pronunciation into EFL lessons.
The rest of the unit covers the basics of pronunciation and phonology, including intonation, stress, sound joining, articulation, and teaching techniques. I have found that there are very useful videos available on YouTube that provide helpful techniques and examples for teaching pronunciation in a practical way. In my practice teaching I have also discovered that using some elements of the phonetic alphabet are helpful, especially for sounds that are not naturally found in the students' L1. The unit suggests teaching the whole phonetic alphabet, with one of the reasons given as being able to use the pronunciation guide found in dictionary entries. I think this may be a helpful tool, but I am not convinced that taking the time to learn this whole new "alphabet" is necessary beyond this specific application. Another approach which I have used is to indicate pronunciation based on the sounds naturally found in the students' L1, adding in the phonetic alphabet characters for those sounds that cannot be represented in L1.