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Pronunciation: Theory and Practice

Pronunciation: Theory and Practice

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Pronunciation: Theory and Practice

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  1. Pronunciation: Theory and Practice Katie Bain English Language Fellow

  2. Objective Participants will become more familiar with general guidelines and strategies to help develop pronunciation skills for both themselves and their students.

  3. Agree or Disagree? • Meaning is more important than pronunciation. • Pronunciation is easy to teach. • Pronunciation is easy to learn. • It is important to have a perfect English accent. • Pronunciation is the least important element of language teaching.

  4. Agenda • Prosody • Discussion • Practical Application • The Color Vowel Chart • What is it? • How can we use it in the classroom? • Other Considerations

  5. Prosody The rhythm and melody of English. (Gilbert, 2008)

  6. The pitch makes the difference. Example a. Jane said, “Is that Mister Fogg?” b. Jane said, “Is that mist or fog?” Question: What was Jane talking about? (Gilbert 2005, 136) (Gilbert, 2008)

  7. Syllables are important! • Teachyourstudentstocountthenumber of syllables in words. • Thisis a firststep in understandingwheretoputthestress in words. (Gilbert, 2008)

  8. Rhythm and Stress • dessert / desert • foreign / for rain • his story / history (Gilbert, 2008)

  9. Stressed Syllables

  10. Stress mistakes can cause stress! Example Student: Mrs. Stiebel, can you help me with comedy? Teacher: Comedy? Student: Yes, comedy is big problem. Teacher: I don’t quite follow. Student: (Patiently) Problem – this is worry. Teacher: Yes, a worry. Um . . . you mean you have a problem with comedy on TV? Student: TV? (Trying again) The boss put me on department comedy. Everybody on comedy, all the time argue. Teacher: Oh, you mean committee! Student: Yes, what I told you, comedy. (Gilbert, 2008, p. 5)

  11. The stressedwordisimportant! • What’sthedifference? I wantedtwohamburgers. I wantedtwohamburgers. (Gilbert, 2008)

  12. The Prosody Pyramid (Gilbert, 2008)

  13. Thought Groups… Thought groups are separated by… (a) a pause (b) a drop in pitch (c) lengthening of the last stressed syllable (the most subtle signal) (Gilbert, 2008)

  14. Focus Word: The most important word in the thought group (Gilbert, 2008)

  15. The focus word is usually a content word. Content Words • Noun • Verb • Adjective • Adverb *Usually stressed. Do you want some pancakes? Structure Words • Pronouns • Prepositions • Articles • Verb “to be” *Usually reduced or de-emphasized. Do you want some pancakes? (Gilbert, 2008)

  16. The SCHWA!!!!

  17. The stressed vowel sound • What causes difficulty in pronouncing vowels? • Mouth Mechanics • Learning sounds that don’t exist or are not common in L1 • Differences in the rhythm of languages • Crazy English Spelling! • Vowel Sounds vs. Vowel Letter Names (Gilbert, 2008)

  18. What are two types of vowel sounds?

  19. Two Types of Vowel Sounds Alphabet Vowel Sounds • Sound like letter names • Make • Green • Size • Go • Use • When spoken, the tongue shifts upward Relative Vowel Sounds • Sometimes referred to as “short” • Bat • Bet • Bit • Stop • Luck • Do not have off-glides • Tongue is more stationary (Gilbert, 2008)

  20. Alphabet Vowel Sounds (Gilbert, 2008)

  21. Alphabet Vowel Sounds (Gilbert, 2008)

  22. Spelling Rules forLow-LevelStudents The Two Vowel Rule: • If there are two vowel letters in a short word, the first vowel sounds like its alphabet name. The second vowel is silent. cake these ice cone fruit maincream pie soapSue The One Vowel Rule: • If there is only one vowel letter in a short word, it sounds like a relative of the alphabet vowel. (Note: No off-glide.) had bed his hot sun Jan Ben Kim John Russ (Gilbert, 2008)

  23. Spelling Rules for High-Level Students The Two Vowel Rule: • If there are two vowel letters in the stressed syllable, the first vowel usually sounds like its alphabet name. The second vowel is silent. available complete advice approach recruit arrangement agreement mileage unloading accuse The One Vowel Rule: • If there is only one vowel letter in the stressed syllable, it usually sounds like a relative of the alphabet vowel. applerelativeinterestingpossibleredundant adapted integrity articulatory accomplish husbandry (Gilbert, 2008)

  24. Consonants! What are two types of consonants?

  25. Two Types of Consonants Stop Consonants Formed by stopping the air flow to the mouth. • /b/ • /p/ • /d/ • /t/ • /g/ • /k/ Continuant Consonants Can be continued as long as desired. • All other English consonant sounds are continuants or combinations between continuants and stops (like in church and judge). (Gilbert, 2008)

  26. Stop vs. Continuant (Gilbert, 2008)

  27. Video Viewing • Stress and Rhythm In American English Pronunciation

  28. How can this knowledge affect your instruction?

  29. Pronunciation Part 2

  30. Vowel Discovery Activity • Work with a small group or in partners. • Sort your words into two groups according to their vowel sounds. • There are two color words that are the titles of each group. • There are five total words (including the color word) in each group. • Present your words to the class on the board.

  31. The Color Vowel Chart

  32. How do you use the Color Vowel Chart? • Once you’ve identified the stressed syllable, identify the color of the stressed vowel – the peak. • Your Names! • Food Vocabulary • Carrot • Apple • Mango • Watermelon • Banana • Zucchini • Broccoli • Avocado • Lettuce • Other topics?

  33. More Video Viewing • Demonstration of Color Vowel Chart • Color Vowel Yoga

  34. Part 3: Activities

  35. Try to have students LISTEN first. (Thompson, 2012)

  36. Use rubber bands to emphasize stress (Thompson, 2012)

  37. Make Color Word Charts (Thompson, 2012)

  38. Engage students in QUALITY REPETITION. (Gilbert, 2008)

  39. Choral Reading

  40. Linking Words in Sentences Example Exercise Have students practice linking with /s/ in the following sentences. 1. The boats entered the water. 2. The coats all need to be cleaned. 3. She has less of everything. 4. Is the boss in the office? 5. The nights are long here. (from Gilbert 2005, 82)

  41. Practice Intonation with Kazoos • Would you like french fries or chips? • I’ve never been to the zoo before. • I don’t know which way to go. • If it rains, no one will come to class. (Gilbert, 2008)

  42. Repeat Dialogues Various Times in Different Voices and Volumes A: Hi! How are you? B: Good, thanks. How are you? A: Great! Are you going to the party this weekend? B: You bet I am! Are you? A: Yep! What are you going to bring? B: I think I’ll bring some cheese. A: Okay, I’ll bring some bread. See ya there! B: See ya there!

  43. Use Jazz Chants • How do you spell dog? d-o-g • How do you spell cat? c-a-t • How do you spell octopus? Don’t ask me! Jazz Chant Video (Thompson, 2012)

  44. Grammarchant: Irregular Verbs from Grammar Chants by Carolyn Graham Say, said. Stop on red. Eat, ate. Don’t be late. Break, broke. Have a coke. Take, took. Learn to cook. Speak, spoke. Tell a joke. Write, wrote. Get off the boat! (Thompson, 2012)

  45. IF IT RAINS I’LL WEAR MY RAINCOAT BY CAROLYN GRAHAM If it rains / I’ll wear my raincoat. If it doesn’t rain / I won’t. When it’s cold / I always wear my gloves. When it isn’t cold, / I don’t. If it snow I won’t wear sandals. If the sun comes out I will. But if it rains I’ll wear my brand new coat. If I don’t I’ll get a chill. (Thompson, 2012)

  46. Use Poems! HOLD FAST TO DREAMS (excerpted) by Langston Hughes Hold fast to dreams, For if dreams die, Life is a broken-winged bird, That cannot fly. (Thompson, 2012)

  47. What other strategies do you have for your students?

  48. What other strategies do you have for yourself?

  49. Sources • Gilbert, J. B. (2008). Teaching pronunciation using the prosody pyramid. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. • Thompson, S. (2012, May 12). Speaking clearly: Activities for improving pronunciation.Shaping the Way We Teach Webinar Series. [Webinar]. Retrieved from • Taylor, K., Thompson, S. (2013, September 26). Teaching spoken english with the color vowel chart Shaping the Way We Teach Webinar Series. [Webinar]. Retrieved from