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Teaching Pronunciation

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1 Teaching Pronunciation
Fernando Trujillo Sáez

2 What is Pronunciation? The Production of Significant Sound.
Significant because it is used as part of a code of a particular language it is used to achieve meaning in contexts of use. Auditory Phonetics = The perception of the sound. Articulatory Phonetics = The production of the sound.

3 Is there a correct pronunciation?
“insisting on “correct” pronunciation may not always be desirable. And it may not be feasible, either.” (8) “The relevant question to ask is not: what is correct in relation to a native-speaker norm (RP or otherwise), but: what is appropriate and necessary to be able to communicate in specific situations?”(12) “The task of pronunciation teaching, as in the teaching of any other aspect of language, is to establish models for guidance, not norms for imitation.” (6) Dalton, Christiane & Barbara Seidlhofer (1994): Pronunciation. Oxford. Oxford University Press.

4 Selection Size of unit Focus of attention Sound segments
Prosodic units Focus of attention L1 interference L2 communicative value: frequency and functional importance.

5 Presentation Exposure Procedures: Exercise Procedures:
Communicative tasks with no explicit teaching of pronunciation. Exercise Procedures: Identification of sound features. Practice in perception and production. Explanation Procedures: Sensitizing and Awareness-raising activities about phonetic and phonological facts.

6 Teachability and Learnability
There is an inverse relationship between communicative importance and teachability. Sound segments = [+easy to teach, - communicatively important] Intonation = [-easy to teach, + communicatively important]

7 Sounds Ear training and Awareness building
Before learners can be asked to produce the sounds of a new language, they need to learn to perceive them. So, one of the first objectives of PT is to help learners perceive the differences between the significant sounds of English. Important: We tend to hear the sounds of a new language through the filter of our first language.

8 Sounds Communicating vs. Noticing Foreign Language Learning =
Comprehensible input + Comprehensible output ( + Language Awareness) The need of reconciling a narrow focus on sounds with the communicative objectives of learner involvement and meaningful interaction.

9 Sounds Innocence vs. Sophistication
The younger the learners, the more able they are to learn pronunciation by mimicry. The older the learners, the more sophisticated the instruction that can be used (and the higher the standard of achievement per hour of instruction).

10 Intonation Paradox: Topics:
A decisive element for communication but A continuous problem for pronunciation teaching. Topics: Prominence: a combination of loudness, length, paralinguistic features and, above all, pitch movement. New and Given information (fall-rise for given info & fall for new info). Floor (high for keeping it and low for yielding it). Subliminal activities: Sensitizing and Awareness-raising.

11 Stress Two aspects: Procedures:
Word-stress patterns = important for intelligibility. Prominence = important for communication. Procedures: The impossibility of providing rules. The contrast between stressed and unstressed syllables (foregrounding and backgrounding).

12 Connected Speech Three processes of connected speech:
Assimilation: the changes of a sound provoked by the surrounding sounds. Elision: The leaving out of a sound or sounds in speech. Linking: the insertion of a sound in order to make a smooth transition from one sound to another. Modelling and mimicry.

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