St. Paul, Kansas TESOL Online & Teaching English Jobs

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This intensive unit explains phonology and how to teach pronunciation. Phonology is the study, science, analysis and classification of the physical properties of sounds and there are a few different components. Intonation is the variation and pitch in a whole sentence. It is fundamental in expressing emotion. Three different intonation types are rise/fall, fall/rise, and flat tone. This can be taught by using nonsense words to convey attitude, by sweeping hands up and down in gesture, by humming or singing the intonation or by using arrows on the board. Another component to phonology and pronunciation is stress, meaning the word or part of the word that bears emphasis when speaking. In a multi-syllable word or sentence, there can only be one stress, but there can be a secondary stress that is much smaller. Only syllables are stressed, not individual sounds. Some words including some auxiliary verbs, articles, pronouns and prepositions tend to be unstressed. Stress can be taught with the use of contrastive stress (voiced along side unvoiced words), gestures, choral work, and again on the board. The last and probably most difficult component is using the phonetic alphabet to focus on the sounds made in a word, rather than the traditional spelling, which can confuse students do to difference in spelling and pronunciation. The place of articulation is the place in the mouth that helps produce the sound. For example, Velar sounds are made at the back of the mouth when the tongue strikes the soft palate, creating /k/ and /g/ sounds. The manner of articulation is how the sounds escape your mouth. For example, when producing nasal sounds, air can only escape through your nose which produces sounds like /m/ and /n/. Teaching pronunciation of sounds can be done through peer dictation, by the teacher using their own mouth and over-emphasising the sounds, by visual diagrams, phonemes or tongue twisters. Lastly, this unit touched on teaching students how to make their speech sound more natural, with different ways of sound joining. Linking, sound dropping, sound-changing and extra lettering are all methods of doing so. These are not laziness but are just how native English teachers tend do speak.