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The goal of this activity is to help you diagnosis problems your learner
might have with the reception of pronunciation skills. That is, to
identify those sounds that a learner may not hear correctly, and
therefore be unable to reproduce in speech.
To begin the diagnostic activity, do some research on your learner\u2019s
native language and its compatibility with English. (This can done by
researching ESL instruction for a specific population, i.e. Arabic
speakers or Spanish speakers.) Note which sounds are seen as
difficult for English language learners and use that list to generate a
list of simple commands.
The following sample command list using words and phrases that
provide reception difficulty in three languages \u2013 Spanish, Japanese and
Give your learner a piece of blank paper and tell him or her that you
will be asking them to draw a picture. You will give one command at a
time until the picture is complete.
Once the learner has completed his or her drawing, show the learner a
correct version of the sketch (see example below), and the written
commands. How are the two pictures similar? How are they different?
This example represents
commonly heard by Spanish,
Japanese, and Arabic native
will frequently mistake the
long /\u0113/ in sheep for the short
/\u012d/ in ship. Spanish and
Japanese speaker will also
confuse the /z/ of mouse for
the /th/ of mouth. Similarly,
Japanese students may hear
/r\u012b/ instead of /lahy/. (Trouble
with the /r/ versus /l/ sound
may also lead some students
to write \u201cpresent\u201d instead of \u201cpleasant.\u201d) Arab students who have trouble
differentiating /b/ from /p/ will write a \u201cB\u201d when asked to write a \u201cP\u201d and will draw a
bear instead of a pear.
Based on the problems the learner encounter is Stage 1, prepare a list
of simple verbal commands. For example: \u201cPoint to the right.\u201d \u201cAct
like a bear.\u201d \u201cDraw a house.\u201d
Tell the student to select on command at a time, and without showing you, whisper the command in your ear. You will act out or do what you hear.
After each command is read and performed, ask the student to show you the slip. Were the command and the action the same? Make a vocabulary list of the missed words. Use the missed words to form
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