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#ELTchat summary for 12th October 2016
How to help teachers become more comfortable teaching pronunciation
#ELTChat Summary for 12/13 October, 2016
Students wish for better pronunciation a LOT more than teachers lead us to believe, because they are not comfortable teaching it.
Pronunciation, though KEY, is not a favourite with MANY teachers, who don’t often understand it themselves, and feel it isn’t necessary to put themselves out to learn how to teach it.
So what frightens people about teaching pronunciation?
@SueAnnan: a bit of them all
@MConca16 : all of them
@AdeleRaemer: my students are shy as it is. I am concerned it might put them off talking in class.
@rapple18: many coursebooks fight shy and relegate pronunciation work to the TB, if at all.
@cecilianobreelt : as a Nnest, I’d say it is our own accent and @GulistanKul agreed
Is it :
Their own accent, which might not match the phonemic chart?
Fear of not being consistent?
Feeling that you don’t know enough?
Inability to hear and model consistently?
Teachers feeling that it isn’t necessary?
What about Teacher Training?
@SueAnnan mentioned the fact that Trinity College, London are very focussed on phonology, right back to the pre-course work for the Cert. and there is an obligatory assignment for the DIPTESOL. Even at Cert. level there is a need for the knowledge as part of the Learner Profile assignment.
@TeresaBestwick said that she, personally loved pronunciation but was aware that colleagues concerns were based on not having enough knowledge.
@Marisa_C found her DELTA trainees were like chidren with a new alphabet.
@fionaljp thought the CELTA foreign language lesson was useful for highlighting the need for pronunciation work. This was then discussed as it would appear that not all Celta courses are hot on pronunciation work, and the FL session doesn’t really focus on how to teach it, although the trainees are put in a position where they are aware of the need for it.
mailto:it.@rapple18 @rapple18 agreed that the attention varied between centres. And @GemmaELT said that she had a bit in her pre-course task but the course itself presumed knowledge.
Would a course or extra training help?
Marisa_C : said that she offered a course and became disappointed when it had no takers.
AdeleRaemer asked how speaking was assessed in our schools, and explained that every student has to be tested in Israel, necessitating teachers travelling to other schools as examiners.
If not much on the Celta or Delta courses, then how can teachers get up to speed?
How should we change things?
Use recordings from an online dictionary
Work on it little and often
Determine where the easiest place to start is ; eg sentence or word stress, individual sounds, or intonation.
Teach rhythm and tonic stress to aid linking
Encourage teachers to use a different colour on the board to indicate stress
Use WhatsApp and ask students to read a passage and sent it back to you to check stress
Use flash cards with the phonemic script on the back.
So is it better to integrate or do specific lessons?
@AdeleRaemer has her students integrate pronunciation when doing theatre games, as they need different emotions, but wasn’t sure that she taught any other phonology. She joking thought that her students would take out a contract on her- as they already have to learn a different alphabet.
@GlenysHanson required her students to be as correct as possible at all times.
The rest of us seem to prefer the ‘as it is needed’ approach, and apply it little and often.
@rapple18 likes to focus on stressed words, then weak ones, then look at linking.
I am happy to teach the phonemes if my students have particular problems, but don’t often spend time making sure they understand the whole chart. English spelling is a nightmare, so having a visual way to help students is great. This helps with vocabulary at their level.
Sometimes a small bite of pronunciation makes an interesting lesson
Are you proactive or reactive?
Most of us seem to be reactive and work on problems as they arise. It is particularly difficult to prepare to teach multinational classes who present with a variety of different issues.
@GemmaELT thought that it depended on the class, the level and the nationalities.
@Marisa_C said that she was both, depending on whether she was preparing and scaffolding, or doing error correction or feedback.
@KateLloyd05 likes to prepare stuff for consistent problem areas, and will react if there is an issue with intelligibility.
A typical English Phonemic Chart
Should we use the chart?
Right from the first level, yes, but just what they need, when they need it.
@GlenysHanson uses the Silent Way chart instead, but similar principles
The schwa matters, as it helps with listening too
@GlenysHanson thinks the charts are reassuring for teachers and students
Young learners can cope too-and can use it to decode secret messages@TeresaBestwick or mingle to find their names @Nadyoula
The interactive charts make it easier
Not if they are learning Roman script at the same time.
Only the phonemes they need 5-10 maximum @rapple18
Online dictionaries might negate the need for learning phonemic script
Perhaps they could make up their own symbols (as long as they can remember them later) @mariacolussa
What other tools do we have?
I like lego to show stressed syllables , although @rapple18 and GlenysHanson prefer cuisiniare rods.
Recordings on the web
Adrian Underhill’s videos on youtube
Online translators can do individual words, but aren’t great at connected speech yet
Tongue twisters, which they can invent themselves @Smlamptey
Clapping and humming words helps with word stress @Nadyoula
Ourselves, as models for corrected pronunciation
The collection of links and ideas can be found below. Marisa has kindly collected them into one place for you.
Padlet of ideas generated by this chat:
Remember to look at our other #ELTChat summaries at
www.eltchat.org/summariestres. And @GemmaELT said that she had a bit in her pre-course task but the course itself presumed knowledge.
Most of us seem to be reactive and work on problems as they arise. It is particula