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Unit 13 discusses the issue of how to teach pronunciation of the English language. Different pronunciations of the same words may convey very different meanings to those words and reflect different feelings and personal reactions of the speaker. As such, pronunciation plays a central role in any spoken speech and an effective teacher considers it an integral part of the course.
Phonology is the study, analysis, and classification of the physical properties of sounds produce in human speech. Phonology is a very technical branch of science and its study is best left to specialists. However, the English student can best learn about the role played by pronunciation in day-to-day verbal communication by becoming familiar with the basic principles of phonology in three different areas:
Intonation: generally considered the variation in volume and pitch in a whole sentence, intonation carries
the message in the sentence. It is fundamental to questioning, agreeing, confirming, and also
in expressing emotions and feelings, such as, sadness, happiness, disbelief, etc.
Stress: works by placing emphasis either in individual words within a sentence or in individual syllables
within a word. It is a very efficient way to convey very different meanings to any part of a speech.
Phonemic Alphabet: the set of all basic sounds that are put together to form words when speaking in English, regardless
of any regional or personal variations.
Unit 13 describes in detail the most important characteristics and features of these three areas. It also presents some specific techniques for teaching those features and how they are used to better understand and convey meaning when listening and speaking in English. All this information is presented in a very concise and visually organized format that makes Unit 13 a very practical reference document that might be used even in a classroom context.