How To Teach Pronunciation

Arlenne M. Fernández

Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand.
Chinese Proverb

Arlenne M. Fernández



Developing Phonemical Awarenesss

Arlenne M. Fernández

PRONUNCIATION has been called the cinderella of the English ball room...she´s never supposed to show up in the classroom! What do teachers need in order to teach pronunciation? Good theoretical knowledge Equipped with good teaching techniques.

Arlenne M. Fernández

What´s the difference?
It is the scientific study of speech sounds.


Phonological Awareness

Ability to attend to the sound structure of language as distinct from its meaning. Types of phonological awareness include: Phonemic Awareness, Word, and Sentence awareness. It is a listening skill that includes the ability to distinguish units of speech, such as rhymes, syllables in words, and individual phonemes in syllables.

Phonemical awareness

It´s the smallest contrastive unit in the sound system of a language. E.g /b/, /j/, /o/

Phone (allophones)
Phonemes which are pronounced differently but do not imply a difference in meaning. E.g [r] (center / car)

Term usually employed when speaking of a Method of beginning reading instruction. (understanding of a correlation between grapheme and phoneme)

Arlenne M. Fernández

What is Phonemical Awareness?
It´s an auditory skill that is developed through a variety of activities that expose students to the sound structure of the language and teach them to recognize, identify and manipulate it at three levels : syllables, prosody, and phonemes. Syllables are often considered the phonological "building blocks" of words. (monosyllables, dissyllables,trisyllables,polysyllables) Prosody is the rhythm, stress, and intonation of speech. The individual phonemes are 44 written by convention between slashes and formed by 20 vowels and 24 consonants.

Arlenne M. Fernández


Arlenne M. Fernández

Communicative Approach
1) Pronunciation teaching works
better if the focus is on larger chunks of speech, such as words, phrases and sentences, than if the focus is on individual sounds and syllables. 2) Pronunciation lessons work best if they involve the students in actually speaking, rather than in just learning facts or rules of pronunciation.

3) In general, the vast majority of ESL learners can improve their pronunciation through lessons.

Arlenne M. Fernández

METHODOLOGY Songs, tongue twisters, nursery rhymes, poetry and games are used to help students to become alert to speech phonemes and prosody, rather than meanings. In poetry you can use these figures of speech:

ALLITERATION consists in repeating the same consonant sound at the beginning of two or more words in close succession. (E.G Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers )". ONOMATOPOEIA is a word that imitates or suggests the source of the sound that it describes. (E.G meow, splash) RHYME is s a repetition of similar sounds in two or more words. (E.G wealth, health).

Arlenne M. Fernández

Basi Phonologi al Terms
Phonemes (Brit. 44 sounds written between slashes - Am 42) Vowel sounds (Brit.20 sounds - Am. 18) Consonants (24 sounds) Homophones (words pronounced the same but written differently right/write ) Allophones (variations of the same phoneme stop/butter ) Minimal pairs (rhyming words pin/bin ) Digraphs (two letters forming only one sound. sh represented by / /) Diphthongs (two vowels together au, ou,oi) (ai,ea,oo are NOT, they´re digraphs) Blends or clusters (two or three consonants together forming a new sound bl, scr ) Graphemes (a unit -a letter- of a writing system that represents one phoneme. E.g short/long vowels) Allomorph (the allomorphs of a morpheme are derived from phonological rules E.g plural /s-is-z/ /d-id-t/)

Arlenne M. Fernández

Arti ulating sounds

Arlenne M. Fernández


Dia rap


CVC pattern


Con onant



Lon /


Dip t on

Arlenne M. Fernández

IAG APH B EN onsonant B (black) B (brain) (cla ) (cro ) P ( lan) P ( ress) (dro ) (slo ) M (small) T (ste ) Ai (rain) o el EE (feet)


(fly) (free) (glad) (grab)

EA (tea)

OA (road)


QU (squat) T (strict) TH (thro )

OO (tool)

H (fish) H (chat) TH (bath)

WH ( hale) QU (queen) KN (knife)

NG (ring) (bell) K (rock)

Arlenne M. Fernández



R c ntr lled



Dip t

n s

L n

Sc w

AR ( r )




Au (



( pe)

A s nt sis eli I le

R (river)

e ( ed)



e ( ee)

r n s r p

IR ( ird)

Ii( i )

i (n ise)

I i ( ite)

R (c rn)





R (fur)

u (put) ( ut)

u (cu e)

Arlenne M. Fernández

Phonics &
P ern o nglish





Arlenne M. Fernández

tress: conveying meaning
Word stress is not used in all languages. Some languages, Japanese or French for example, pronounce each syllable with eq-ual em-phasis. Word and sentence stress convey meanings, without them even if there´s a good pronunciation the utterance does not have sense. If the learner is not taught stressed words/sentences he/she will have 2 problems: 1. They find it difficult to understand native speakers, especially those speaking fast. 2. The native speakers may find it difficult to understand them.

Arlenne M. Fernández

There are 3 stress pronunciation rules: 1) one word has only one stress. Though some words may have a secondary stress, it is much weaker than the first one and practically unnoticeable in oral language. (` ,) 2) stress falls only on vowels, not on consonants. 3) Schwa sound (like in computer ) is never stressed.

Arlenne M. Fernández

DEVELOPING PHONEMICAL AWARENESS 1) Phonemic awareness is demonstrated by manipulating such sounds, including segmenting and blending the syllables and phonemes. 2) It must be accompanied by grapheme awareness.

Teaching techniques: 1) Phoneme isolation. 2) Phoneme identification. 3) A child hears and recognizes 3) Sound-to-word matching. much more sounds of a 4) Sound blending. language than he can produce himself! 5) Phoneme counting. 6) Odd word out. 7) stress identification. Arlenne M. Fernández

Phoneme Isolation Associate graphically phonemes with a creature, an action, or an object that is familiar to the child. E.g The phoneme /s/ can be associated with the hissing sound a snake makes... the Sammy Snake hisses ... the Baby bee buzzes... Shantal says ssshst... / / Judge Jim judges John ...

Phoneme Identification Teach an alliterative tongue twister featuring the phoneme.E.g * Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. Did Peter Piper pick a peck of pickled peppers?... * How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?... * A flea and a fly flew up in a flue. Said the flea, "Let us fly! ... * A dominoe game is another technique.

Arlenne M. Fernández

Sound-to-Word Matching (usually initial technique) Awareness of the initial sound in a word can be done by showing the children a picture E.g Cat. Ask the learner to identify the correct word out of three: * Is this a /ppp/-at, a /kkk/-at, or a /bbb/-at? * What sound does cat start with /p/, /k/, /b/?

Sound Blending Follow this sequence: blending an initial sound onto the remainder of the word; blending syllables of a word together; blending isolated phonemes into a word. The teacher can model blending an initial sound onto a word by using a jingle, "It starts with /f/ and it ends with /ish/, put it together and it says........"

Arlenne M. Fernández

Phoneme Counting It refers to the act of isolating the sounds in a spoken word by separately pronouncing each one in order. E.g * How many syllables do you hear in the word cake? To count syllables activities can be used such as clapping hands, tapping the desk, or marching in place to the syllables in children's names.

Odd sound out What word starts with a different sound: bag, nine, beach or bike? *Make a set of flashcards and ask them to leave aside the picture which has a different sound from the set. (in.o pair w.) *You can also do it as wholeclass activity with an overprojector.

Arlenne M. Fernández

Prosody The best technique consists of basically compare stress in more than two words. E.g Which of the following jobs has the stress on the first syllable? (worksheet or pictures) A) biologist B) photographer C) psychiatrist D) secretary.

Arlenne M. Fernández

Circle the stressed word in the sentence: You`re sitting on the desk but you aren t listening Have them recognize stressed words in a sentence using a tape recording or parts of a movie. Memory games can be employed to practice Sentence Stress. Lists of (five or more) sentences are distributed to the students where the stressed elements are missing. After listening to the teacher they then attempt to remember and write all the stressed words they heard and complete the sentences.


Arlenne M. Fernández


Arlenne M. Fernández

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