MODULE 06 – TEACHING PRONUNCIATION
The History and Scope of Teaching Pronunciation .
In this module, we will present you with four big areas that are divided in four weeks. Week number one will introduce you to the ample field of Phonetics and Phonology, we will talk about the evolution that the Teaching of Pronunciation has suffered in history, as well as the difference between Phonetics and Phonology.
Week number two will lead us to the interesting and vast world of consonant-sound pronunciation, we will work with the different type of sounds, the manner and place of articulation and of course the phonetic symbols that correspond to them.
Week number three, we will revise and work with the vowel-sound pronunciation process. We will talk about the physiology of the sound production and the type of pronunciation vowels have.
To conclude, in week number four, we will revise and work with the speech and rhythm of pronunciation. When sounds are produced, there must be a rhythm, there must be music, in order to make our ideas expressed clearly and the messages we are trying to come across, reach our audiences in a clear and correct manner.
Let’s begin with this small introductory text written by Marianne Celce-Murcia.
Teaching Pronunciation. Second Edition.
Marianne Celce-Murcia, Donna M. Brinton.
Janet M. Goodwin with Barry Griner.
Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978 0 521 72976 5
Kelly (1969) states that pronunciation is the “Cinderella” area of foreign language teaching. By comparing pronunciation teaching to the tale of Cinderella, Kelly is alluding to the fact that “Cinderella’s” sisters did not allow her to show herself in public, thereby implying that many teachers neglect pronunciation.
Kelly shows that western philologists and linguistics have studied grammar and vocabulary have been much better understood by most language teachers than pronunciation, which began to be studied systematically only a short time before the beginning of the twentieth century.
The field of modern language teaching has developed two general approaches to the teaching of pronunciation: Intuitive-Imitative Approaches and Analytic-Linguistic Approaches. Before the late nineteenth century, only the first type of approach was used, occasionally supplemented by the teacher´s or textbook writer´s impressionistic (and often phonetically inaccurate) observations about sounds based on orthography (Kelly 1969) (Teaching Pronunciation, A course book and reference guide. Cambridge. Celce-Murcia, Brinton, Goodwin, Griner.
An Intuitive-Imitative Approach depends on the learner´s ability to listen to and imitate the rhythms and sounds of the target language without the intervention of any explicit information. Analytic-Linguistic Approach utilizes information and tools such as a phonetic alphabet, articulatory descriptions, charts of the vocal apparatus, contrastive information, and other aids to supplement listening, imitation, and production. It explicitly informs the learner of and focus attention on the sounds and rhythm of the target language.
This approach was developed to complement rather than to replace the Intuitive-Imitative Approach, aspects of which were typically incorporated into the practice phase of a typical analytic-linguistic language lesson.
When we look at the various language-teaching methods that have had some currency throughout the twentieth century, we must acknowledge that there are methods, such as Grammar Translation and Reading-Based Approaches, in which the teaching of pronunciation is largely irrelevant. In such methods, grammar or text comprehension is taught through the medium of the learner’s native language, and oral communication in the target language is not a primary instructional objective. In the following overview, we focus on those methods and approaches for which the teaching and learning of pronunciation are a genuine concern.
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