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TEACHING
PRONUNCIATION:

FPMPFL-Teaching English as a Foreign


Language
Professor : Dr. Majid MaSafaradan MosazadehCohan

Student: Lizza Mendieta Bendaa


Login:HNFPMTFL1037564
Group: 2013-06
October 31, 2014

Assignment - TP

INDEX

Introduction..........................................................................................................................page 3

Analysis.............................................................................................................................page 3

What is meant by intelligible?............page 4

Is pronunciation really such an essential component of communicative


competence?...........................................................page 5

What percentage of the syllabus can be devoted to pronunciation? .


........page 6

Do non-native speakers have the confidence to devote time to it?


.....page 6

How do we go about teaching intelligible pronunciation? ........page 7

What resources (apart from human) would you consider using? .....page
8

Conclusion............................................................................................................................page 9

Bibliography.........................................................................................................................page 10

Webography.......................................................................................................................page 12

Appendix 1 ......page 13
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Assignment - TP

INTRODUCTION
A worldwide constantly increasing demand of acceptable communication
skills in English has generated a great pursuit of quality language
teaching, material and resources.

Learners around the world have set

goals to acquire the language as it is the conduit that opens many new
opportunities.

Among the subjects considered to acquire the language,

pronunciation stands out.


Pronunciation overtime has been considered a different resource
according to the schools of teaching, from being the main focus in the
Audio-lingual method to being the least considered in the Grammar
Translation method. Nowadays the great majority of EFL instructors find
themselves tied to time restrictions that in a way or another affect the
allotment spent on pronunciation activities. A connection needs to be
made in order to establish whether or not pronunciation is a necessity in
the curriculum when acquiring a language. Additionally, it is essential to
incorporate the facilitators willingness to integrate pronunciation to the
syllabus plus identifying the primary goal of language learning i.e. is it to
achieve intelligibility, successful comprehension and to what degree. In
order to be able to elucidate all this, an analysis of the integral part of
language learning must be considered.

The purpose of this paper is to

address different questions that could arouse regarding pronunciation


(Appendix 1).
ANALYSIS
It is primordial to point out that some methods like Audiolingualism,
Natural Approach (Terrell & Krashen, 1983) and Community Language
Learning Community (Curran, 1976) did address pronunciation in their
approaches. Nevertheless, it is important to mention that their main focus
was

not

intelligibility

which

is

fundamental

today

for

Language

Acquisition.
In relation to the information presented previously, it is foremost to
take into account the phrase Intelligible pronunciation is an essential
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Assignment - TP

component of communicative competence (Morley 1991). This, amounts


to a concentration of different segments that are paramount to the
learners linguistic evolution. We must disaggregate the phrase to
understand and analyse its true meaning. Intelligibility, previously known
as native like pronunciation has been presently focused on a new
perspective due to Internationalization of English (Hinkel, 2006). The new
target has an array of meanings that cover different aspects. A notorious
definition is the degree by which the listener grasps utterances, words
and

phrases

(Derwing

and

Munro

1997).

Another

approach

to

Intelligibility emphasizes the importance of a true interaction between the


speaker and the hearer rather than having it speaker or listener centred
(Smith and Nelson, 1985, p.333).

Yet on the grounds of measurement

John Fields (2005) affirms, Intelligibility is measured by the ability of


judges to transcribe the actual words of an utterance, comprehensibility
by an overall rating of how easy it is to understand a given speaker.
Finally in regards to the last part of the phrase, communicative
competence according to Terrell refers to the use of language in social
communications without a sole support in grammar. As an addition to all
this, Munro (2011:13) pinpoints that, Intelligibility is the single most
important aspect of all communication.

If there is no intelligibility,

communication has failed.


In the university department where I work in Honduras, two types of
classes are managed: the internal and external classes.

The internal

classes are those required by the university in order for the student to
graduate and the external classes those targeted towards a specific goal.
Unfortunately the internal classes are tied to a curriculum which
incorporates some pronunciation that is normally excluded as a result of
the absence of time.
months

learning

Moreover, even though the learners spend fifteen

the

language,

intelligibility

and

communication

competence are rarely fully accomplished. On the other hand, the


external classes are comprised of courses intended for particular groups
ranging from courses for beginners with no allotted time to intensive 80
hour courses to enhance fluency for prospective call centre candidates.
Curiously in external classes an inherent variable makes the difference in
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Assignment - TP

the success of the language acquisition, the vigorous desire of the


learners to reach their goal.

In the external classes, pronunciation is

reinforced heavily which makes a great progress in the students


intelligible pronunciation.

That fact reinforces the theory on Morleys

phrase regarding the connection with intelligible pronunciation and


communicative competence. I truly believe that if the university wishes to
increase the success within the internal courses, pronunciation is a strong
requirement. As well as a competent program to train teachers to master
their pronunciation instruction and overcome fears caused by doubts.
The acquirement of Intelligibility is partially accomplished through
segmental and suprasegmental approach.

The first refers to individual

sounds while the latter refers to a variety of features like the rising and
falling of stress, pitch and intonation in an utterance (Funiber, n.d., p. 82).
In order to achieve efficient pronunciation there has to be a balanced
approach among segmental (bottom-up) and suprasegmental (top-down)
features. Thus, pedagogically speaking, Joan Morley in her 1991 article
claims that suprasegmentals play a crucial mission in communication.
Being intelligibility an integral part of communicative competence, a
valid interrogation at this point would be if pronunciation is a primordial
ingredient.

It is important to allocate that communication became quite

popular in the 1980s when Communicative Language approach flourished


due to unconformities of educators and linguists with audio-lingual and
grammar translation methods in second language acquisition. They
realized

that

students

were

not

able

to

articulate

appropriately,

particularly when facing real life situations. As a consequence, this advent


led to many changes.

Hence, those adjustments involved little or no

attention to pronunciation.

Hitherto, Wong (1993) concurs that its

importance is clear when the connection between pronunciation and


listening comprehension is established. Correspondingly if the learners
aim is to speak intelligibly to others in L2 an acceptable level of
pronunciation is important. Further studies by Baker(1992) imply that the
learner should imbibe pronunciation from the very beginning if possible.
The reason behind this relied on the idea that once the student reached
an advanced level they could overcome any other area but referring to
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Assignment - TP

pronunciation it would be hard to eradicate errors because of the constant


mispronunciations

throughout

the

years.

Consequently,

successful

communication cannot take place without the proper pronunciation


(Celce-Murcia, Brinton & Goodwin, 1996).
It is unfortunate that even though pronunciation is considered
paramount for communication, it is relayed to the end of a chapter,
corners, and in such low contents that is considered the material most
likely to be omitted. Pronunciation is commonly disregarded; no wonder
Dalton (2002) treats it as the Cinderella of language teaching. Keeping in
mind all the information mentioned previously, it is difficult not to inquire,
why is pronunciation so ignored? Should pronunciation take a major role
within the classroom? There are some researchers who are apprehensive
on the subject.

They claimed that pronunciation guided in the teaching

environment had no derivation on the students skills, being beyond the


teachers

control

(Suter,

1976;

Purcell

and

Suter,

1980,

et

al).

Nonetheless, the need for communicative competency and language has


arisen (Celce-Murcia, 1987; Morley, 1994; Gilbert, 1994) and with it the
demand to include pronunciation in the syllabus. There is not a specific
time that can be assigned theoretically towards its instruction.

Thus,

teaching should be based on form-focused instruction which is according


to Spada (1997) any pedagogical effort which is used to draw the
learners attention to language form either implicitly or explicitly.
Henceforth, pronunciation is something to maintain in sight. A proportional
amount

of

time

should

be

bestowed

accordingly

to

other

skills.

Simultaneously a consideration should be given to the instructors and


their training in the subject.

At times teachers might feel reluctance in

teaching pronunciation because they lack experience and proficiency in


the matter.

This is something encountered quite commonly around the

world. In my university I have some colleagues who feel comfortable in


teaching

grammar,

vocabulary,

reading,

pronunciation they feel inadequate.

although

when

it

gets

to

Their shortcomings rely on the fact

that despite their knowledge in the language, they havent been able to be
exposed to a native English speaking environment and they deem that
their

weakness

reflects

on

their
6

pronunciation.

Their

biggest

Assignment - TP

disadvantage is the lack of confidence in their own structuring. They do


not realize that native speakers take pronunciation for granted, since they
assume that English parts like the pitch, timing, accent and pronunciation
are innate to the human language and precipitate over essential matters.
On the contrary, non-native speakers rely on experiences with difficulties
so they are more conscientious on how to approach hardships of the
dialect (Gilbert,2008).. In cases like this training must be provided in
order to support, build skills and confidence to avoid any flaws that could
affect the ultimate teaching result.
Nowadays, the English language has become one of most spoken
around the world and it is considered a Lingua Franca (Seidlhofer, 2001).
Non-natives willingness to devote time on pronunciation partly relies on
the motivation to learn the language. The encouragements that have risen
the desire to study English range from attaining better job opportunities to
travelling.

Additionally, considerations need to be taken due to the fact

that the main focus has shifted from achieving a native like pronunciation
towards communication competence.

In this process it is the teachers

job to make the student understand that good pronunciation will influence
the rate of delivery in a conversation. Also to pinpoint that the mastery of
pronunciation is what is first noted particularly if it lacks intelligibility.
Teaching intelligible pronunciation has limitless resources as we
are constantly renewing technology. Ample amount of user friendly
gadgets can be accessed from anywhere around the world which makes
the acquisition of teaching material more obtainable. When referring to
pronunciation we need to keep in mind the phrase English doesnt sound
the way it looks.

Therefore, we need to direct our attention to the

listening and the speaking components rather than the reading and
writing when comprising exercises.
practicing

pronunciation

are:

Pertinent factors to consider when

connected

speech,

grammar sounds and consonant & vowel sound.

rhythm

&

music,

The following table

indicates what each essential factor features. Each should be taken into
account when developing effective pronunciation resources. Since all
primordial parts have already been laid out, tasks will be easie to
formulate. .
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Assignment - TP

Factor

Refers to

Practices

Improves

Connected
Speech

The usage of continuous flow


of sounds with no pauses.

Rhythm &
Music

The emphasis of a sound usually Stress, timing and


on syllables (Suprasegmentals) intonation

Listening and
speaking skills

Grammar
Sounds

The usage of noun and verb


endings.

Noun and verb ending


change the meaning of a
sentence.

Listening and
speaking skills

Individual consonant &


vowel sounds

Speaking
skills

Consonant &
Vowel Sound

Altered, linked, reduced


and deleted

The emphasis on individual


sound (Segmental)

Listening
Skills

In my experience, when I have worked with students looking for a


position in the Call Centers, my main target has been intelligent
pronunciation. The argumentation for this is that people who hire them are
looking for candidates with native-like pronunciation and high listening
skills. Therefore, the student is basically interested in polishing all verbalauditive skills. To strengthen weaknesses I have used diverse techniques
and exercises.

Thus the ones showing the best success rates are those

related to drills using technology.

Among these assignments are short

answer questions, chunking, sing along, shadowing, watching videos,


movies speech or anything related to listening and emulating different
accent natives to master skills. I would like to mention one particular
exercise that has overmastered any exercise I have tried before, it is called
shadowing.

Shadowing is a technique developed by an American

professor called Alexander Arguelles which consists of listening to a video


(must

be

clear

understandable

simultaneously sound by sound.

selection)

and

repeating

almost

At the beginning the students have no

idea what they are repeating(segments) and as they practice constantly


they acquire an expertise (suprsegmental) and are able to understand what
they are repeating.

The students are recorded the first time and after a

month of practicing the exercise.

The results are quite noticeable which

encourages the student to keep on working with the program.

Another

observation valid to point out is that not all learners are not good listeners.
Sure enough they can hear a video but definitely do not listen to it,
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Assignment - TP

therefore these neglect can be partially be responsible in adults when


trying to boost their pronunciation.
CONCLUSION
Globalization has made significant changes in a variety of elements
that influence greatly our society. Among those, is the need to acquire an
adequate EFL. Thus, to accomplish the process, the learner must receive
an appropriate education including pronunciation to be able to reach
communicative competence. In light of this, the phrase Is not what you say
is how you say it conveys the message that without proper pronunciation
there will be no understanding. Vast amount of research has been
conducted in order to establish a connection between pronunciation and
language learning.

As a result , different methods, approaches, have

flooded techniques to venture on innovative education.

Nevertheless, as

underlined in this phrase 'Studies examining the effects of formal


instruction

in

pronunciation

have

yielded

inconsistent

and

even

contradictory results.' (Elliott 1995:531). In defiance with the investigations


which have not concluded the correlation between speaker and listeners
intelligibility, it is necessary to point out that the expectancy of good
pronunciation is foreseen at all times when acquiring the language. In no
way should pronunciation be disregarded.

Authorities should support

teachers with training to combat fears and inadequacies.

Additionally

teachers should encourage pronunciation practices within and outside the


classroom.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Assignment - TP

o Baker, A. (1992) Introducing English Pronunciation: A Teachers Guide


to Tree or Three? And Ship or Sheep? Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press.
o Celce-Murcia, M. (1987). Teaching pronunciation as communication. In J.
Morley (Ed.), Current perspectives on pronunciation. Washington, D.C.:
TESOL.
o Celce-Murcia, M. Brinton, D, Goodwin, J. (1996) Teaching Pronunciation:
A Reference for Teachers of English to Speakers of other languages.
Cambridge University Press. NY
o Couper-Kuhlen, E. (1986). An Introduction to English prosody. Baltimore:
Edward Arnold.
o Curran, Charles A. (1976) Counseling-Learning in Second Languages.
Apple River Press,
o Dalton, C., & Seidlhofer, S. (1994). Pronunciation. New York, NY: Oxford
University Press.
o Field, John (2005). Intelligibility and the listener: the role of lexical stress.
TESOL Quarterly, 39, 3: 399-423.

o Gilbert, J. B. (1994). Intonation: A navigation guide for the listener (and


gadgets to help teach it). In J. Morley (Ed), Pronunciation Pedagogy and
Theory. Bloomington: TESOL, Inc.
o Gilbert, J. (2008) Teaching Pronunciation Using the Prosody Pyramid,
New York, NY. Cambridge University Press.
o Hinkel, Eli, (2006). Current Perspective on Four Skills. . TESOL Quarterly,
40, p.115.

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Assignment - TP

o Krashen, S.D.,& Terrell, T.D. (1983).

The natural approach: Language

acquisition in the Classrom, The Alemany Press


o Morley, J. (1991). The pronunciation component in teaching English to
speakers of other languages. TESOL Quarterly, 25(3), 481520.
o Morley, J. (1994). A multidimensional curriculum design for speechpronunciation instruction. In J. Morley (Ed.), Pronunciation pedagogy and
theory. Bloomington: TESOL, Inc.
o Munro, M.J. (2011:13), Intelligibility: Buzzword or buzzworthy?.
Levis & K. LeVelle (Eds.)

In J.

Proceedings of the 2 nd Pronunciation in Second

Language Learning and Teaching Conference , Sept. 2010 (pp.7-16) Ames,


IA: Iowa State University.
o Nida,

E.

(1957).

Learning

foreign

language,

handbook

for

missionaries. Ann Arbor: Friendship Press.


o Seidlhofer, B. 2001. Closing a Conceptual Gap: The Case for a
Description of English as a Lingua Franca. International Journal of Applied
Linguistics 11:13358.
o Smith, L., & Nelson, C. (1985). International intelligibility of English:
Directions and resources. World Englishes, 4, 333342.
o Tench, P. (1981). Pronunciation Skills. London and Basingstoke:
Macmillan.

o Purcell, E., & Suter, R. (1980). Predictors of pronunciation accuracy: A


Reexamination. Language Learning, 30(2), 271-287.
o Wong, R. (1993). Pronunciation myths and facts. English Teaching
Forum, Oct.1993, 45-46.

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WEBOGRAPHY
o Brinton, D., Celce-Murcia, M.,Goodwin, J. (1996) Pronunciation Teaching
History and Scope.
From: http://web.ntpu.edu.tw/~language/workshop/method.pdf
Last retrieved October 21 st ,2014
o Chela-Flores, B. Optimizing the teaching of English suprasegmentals.
Universidad Simn Bolvar.Caracas,Venezuela.
From:
http://www.publicacions.ub.edu/revistes/bells12/PDF/art02.pdf
Last retrieved October 26 th ,2014.
o Dalton, D. F. (1997). Some techniques for teaching pronunciation. The
Internet

TESL

Journal,

Vol.

3,

No.

1.2014.

From:

th

http://www.aitech.ac.jp/iteslj/ . Last retrieved October 28 ,2014.


o Gilbert, J. (2008) Teaching Pronunciation Using the Prosody Pyramid,
New

York,

NY.

Cambridge

University

Press

(CUP).

http://www.cambridge.org/other_files/downloads/esl/booklets/GilbertTeaching-Pronunciation.pdf Last retrieved: October 25 th , 2014.


o Maum R (2002), JCPS Adult and Continuing Education. NonnativeEnglish-Speaking Teachers in the English Teaching Profession .

from

http://www.cal.org/resources/digest/0209maum.html . Last retrieved on


October 20 th , 2014.

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Assignment - TP

APPENDIX 1
Assignment:
You have a choice of two options for this part of the assignment:
OPTION A
Intelligible pronunciation is an essential component of communicative
competence (Morley 1991)
Do you consider this to be a useful quotation, in terms of how you might wish
to develop a policy for including pronunciation teaching in the English
Department at your institution? Consider (as a minimum) the following
aspects in your essay:
a) What is meant by intelligible?
b) Is pronunciation really such an essential component of communicative
competence?
c)

What percentage of the syllabus can be devoted to pronunciation?

d) Do non-native speakers have the confidence to devote time to it?


e) How do we go about teaching intelligible pronunciation? What
resources (apart from human) would you consider using?
OPTION B
Find two books on pronunciation teaching (or two Pronunciation sections from
books that cover general teaching issues) that seem to you to advocate very
distinct approaches in the classroom. For example, The Pronunciation Book
by Bowen & Marks or Sound Foundations by Adrian Underhill seem very
different from a book T
(a) Describe the general approach of the books/sections - segmental,
suprasegmental, exposure-based, explanation-based, humanistic, drill-based,
teacher-centred, student-centred, traditional, unusual, uses phonemic
symbols, pays attention to phonological issues, etc.
(b) Which do you prefer? Why? Do you prefer one to another because of your
pedagogic situation (Brintons first variable) or because of the type of person
and teacher that you are? (Brintons 3rd variable) Do you see problems in
one of the approaches/methods? What sort of contexts (students, courses
and institutions) are implied by the books/sections ?

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Assignment - TP

The choice for this assignment was Option A.

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