TEFL-Pronounciation and phonology

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					                      Teaching Pronounciation and phonology
                                  (TEFL Worksheet)
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Task 1 - Why is the teaching of pronunciation important, but often neglected by

Pronounciation is the most neglected aspect of english language teaching. Most
english teachers lack training and confidence to tackle this area. Applied phonetics
is rarely taught at schools or even universities. Then there is fact that the native
english speakers find it difficult to hear certain features, such as the fall or rise of
the speech, particularly at the end of the sentences.
An effective teacher considers the teaching of pronounciation an integral part of
the course. Mostly the students considers pronounciation the most difficult aspect
of english language. pronunciation is definitely the biggest thing that people notice
when a person is speaking. The skills of listening comprehension and
pronunciation are interdependent, and if learners cannot hear well, they are cut off
from language. Even when the non-native speakers’ vocabulary and grammar are
excellent, if their pronunciation falls below a certain threshold level, they are
unable to communicate efficiently and effectively.
Pronunciation involves far more than individual sounds. Word stress, sentence
stress, intonation, and word linking all influence the sound of spoken English, not
to mention the way we often slur words and phrases together in casual speech.
English pronunciation involves too many complexities for learners to strive for a
complete elimination of accent, but improving pronunciation will boost self
esteem, facilitate communication, and possibly lead to a better job or a least more
respect in the workplace. Effective communication is of greatest importance, so
choose first to work on problems that significantly hinder communication and let
the rest go. Remember that your students also need to learn strategies for dealing
with misunderstandings, since native pronunciation is for most an unrealistic goal.
Pronunciation is not an optional extra for the language learner, any more than
grammar, vocabulary or any other aspect of language is. If a learner’s general aim
is to talk intelligibly to others in another language, a reasonable pronunciation in
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Task 2 - State, with a brief description, techniques that can be used to indicate
intonation and stress:

Intonation is generally considered to be the variation in volume and pitch in a
whole sentence. Intonation carries a message in a sentence. It is important for
questioning, agreeing, disagreeing and confirming statements. It is also useful in
the expression of feelings e.g. happiness, sadness, uncertainty etc.

Techniques for indicating intonation

i- Rise/fall intonation

The normal pattern of intonation in the sentence is rise/fall intonation.
For example: I haven't seen him for a week.
Normally the pitch would rise until the word him and then fall right down where
the speaker started, and frequently even lower.
The same rule applies to short utterances like OK. If you agree with someone, you
will say OK with intonation rising on O and falling right down on K.
With the falling intonation you are also indicating that you have finished what you
want to say.
For example: I'll see you at six, then.( voice falls after six- nothing more to be

ii- Fall/rise intonation

This indicates surprise and often disagreement, but above all indicates that the
speaker wants the person to whom he's speaking to respond or confirm.
For example:

Look at these four greetings:
Hi! How you doing? Hello! Good morning!
These all require acknowledgement or return greetings.

Are you ready yet?
with the fall/rise on yet, the questioner is demanding a reply.

You'll never guess!
fall/rise on guess, indicating don't! I'm going to tell you.

It was Tom!
Fall on Tom and it was the end of the story so far, telling the listeners that they can
react, if they like.

iii- Flat intonation

We can have a kind of intonation which is basically flat, which indicates that the
speaker doesn't really have much to say or perhaps doesn't want to communicate.
For example:
carry on, I understand, don't stop etc.

Stress is concerned with individual words. Consider the following sentence:
He didn't mean to kick that dog.
There are many different ways of interpreting this sentence. Out of context, we
really don't know what the speaker want to say, as we don't where the strong part
of the sentence lies. The strong part is the stressed word in the sentence.
The stressed words, different each time, are in bold below:
 He didn't mean to kick that dog.
(Somebody else meant to do it)

He didn't mean to kick that dog.
(He kicked the dog accidently)

He didn't mean to kick that dog.
(He mean to kick different dog)

Techniques for indicating stress

Contrastive stress
A rising questioning tone is easier to recognize when it is heard immediately
before or after a falling tone. Stress on a syllable can be shown by saying it
correctly and then repeating the word with stress on a different syllable. An
important point to remember that if you stress sounds unnaturally, for whatever
reason, it should be then repeated normally so that the final thin in the student's
mind is a correct example.

By gesture
Claping, clicking fingers, tapping on desk, circle rhymes etc.

The board
Underlining e.g. He wanted to eat.

Stress marks
He 'wanted to 'eat.

Task 3 - For each of these sentences, give the meanings indicated by the
      i) rise/fall intonation pattern
      ii) fall/rise intonation pattern

a) I’m going to tell you a story.

       i) The speaker might have been explaining something for a long time to his/her audience
and ends up for the moment by saying that he will tell the story in
               this regard in future.

       ii) The speaker wants to say that don't speak as he hasn't finished yet.

b) She’s not going out tonight, is she?

       i) The speaker wants to end the arguments by saying that she is not going.......

      ii) The speaker may be surprised, but certainly needs confirmation e.g. No, she is not or
some other reply such as of course she is.

c) I don’t understand.

       i) Someone is giving explanation of something but the person finishes by saying that he
do not understand what the other person try to explain.

       ii) The speaker doesn't understand something and needs further explanation.

d) Goodnight!

       i) The person wants to leave so in the end he says ' Goodnight'

       ii) The speaker requires return greeting.

Task 4 - Say each of the following sentences and the underline the stressed
syllables in each:

a) I know why he wanted to see you.( The person is aware of the reasons for meeting)

b) What’s the time? ( The person wants to know the exact time at that moment)

c) Don’t forget to turn out the light! ( The person wants to ensure that the light should be turned
out in his/her absence)

d) It’s another beautiful day today. ( The speaker had enjoyed beautiful days in the recent past
and happy to have one more beautiful day)

Say each of the following sentences and the underline the unstressed syllables in

a) Once upon a time, there was an old woman…

b) In the light of the above statement, I shall abstain from voting.

c) Good morning. How can I help you?

d) I’m away for the rest of the week.

Task 5 - Make up a sentence similar to that in the example on page 7 of the unit,
and explain its various possible meanings, when different words in it are stressed:

Example sentence for stress: I didn't say he stole the money.
1. I didn't say he stole the money. (someone else said it)
2. I didn't say he stole the money.(that's not true at all)
3. I didn't say he stole the money. (I only suggested the possibility)
4. I didn't say he stole the money. (I think someone else took it)
5. I didn't say he stole the money.(maybe he just borrowed it)
6. I didn't say he stole the money. (but rather some other money)
7. I didn't say he stole the money. (he may have taken some jewelry)

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 Task 6 - How and why can a student’s pronunciation affect the quality of his/her
Affects of pronounciation on the quality of communication

- When pronunciation is not refined, the speaker may not be understood by the
listener. When it is fine-tuned, certainly the accent could be followed by the
- Pronunciation is a very important part of of English as the right pronunciation is
the base of correct meaning of word as well as correct writing. So from birth itself
child has to be taught to speak correct pronunciation.
- Primary aim of any language is to communicate the thoughts and without correct
pronunciation one would miserably fail doing so. 'I scream' may be taken as
- Pronunciation and stress can affect meaning. Therefore, without an understanding
of how pronunciation in connected speech differs from the written word, learners
find it difficult to recognise what they may already know.
- A language without proper pronunciation is just like a lock having an improper
key, an un-indexed book/library, A way without a light.
- Teaching right pronunciation should be a priority for all English teachers. The
English alphabets do not represent a uniform sound pattern. For example, the
words 'mould', 'should', 'ground', 'rough', 'cough', 'tour' etc. have the letters 'ou'
when they are spelt. But these letters do not represent the same sounds. I think if
these words are mispronounced , it may lead to misunderstanding of meaning. So,
it is a basic need that a learner of English should be familiarised with the
pronunciation pattern from the very beginning of his English
- Teaching pronunciation should be a priority because language is primarily a
means of communication and this communication should be understood by all. If
one don't strive for a common pronunciation one runs the risk of not being
understood by the target audience. English, especially , is a language that needs its
learners to be taught pronunciation as it is un phonetic.
- Spoken English is different from written. Pronunciation must be taught, just like
grammar and vocabulary. Where teachers are unable (because they've never
learned themselves) or neglect to do this, their students won't understand spoken
English and will try to avoid speaking situations. This restricts communication and
- Pronunciation should be a high priority in a programme where speaking is an
objective. Phonemic transcription must be used as a help for correct pronunciation.
It is important to distinguish between a foreign accent and a mistake. If a French
speaker says 'manie' for money, that's an accent. If they say Manet, or Monet, it's a
- Students should be made aware of those sounds which are not used in their
mother tongue first, which are those sounds that could cause comprehension
problems. Pronunciation is the first impression listeners get from us, so we should
work on pronunciation in a fun and relaxed way, to avoid speaking with a thick
foreign accent and, mainly, to be understood.

Task 7 - Indicate the major ways in which English sounds are joined and linked.
Give your own examples:

There are four major ways in which English sounds are joined and linked.

i- Linking- Well Come becomes Welcome.
ii- Sound Changing- Big guy becomes Bic guy.
iii- Sound Dropping- Magic book becomes Magi book
iv- Extra Lettering- Good and bad becomes Goodness and Badness

Task 8 - What are the benefits in students learning the phonemic alphabet?

- Everyone involved in learning or teaching languages can use the phonemic
alphabet, because its underlying principles are simple and intuitive.
- Without the phonemic alphabets, one can only use very vague, imprecise and
unflattering terms to describe a sound, like "rough", "guttural", "a gagging sound",
"a clucking sound", "a choking sound", or "midway between a cough and a burp".
- You can use the phonemic alphabet to transcribe sounds when learning a foreign
language. Because the phonemic alphabets already has a symbol for any sound you
might need, you don't need to rack your brains trying to think up a new one.
- Teachers with some background in phonetics or linguistics can provide phonemic
alphabets transcriptions to accompany the material used in class. This is helpful
when the language being taught does not have a written form, or if the written form
is too cumbersome for beginners to use.
Task 9 - Referring to the phonemic alphabet, transcribe the phonemic text at the
end of the course unit into standard script:

Translate this into normal script

Gary : Whats the matter Peet?
Peet : my arm hurts really bad.
Gary : Why! what have you been doing?
Peet : I have been playing too much golf.
Gary : Have you seen a doctor about it?
Peet : No way I haven't had taken yet. Do you think I should?
Gary : I would if I was you before it drops off.
Peet : Thanks for your advice.
Gary : No problem meet any time.
Peet : Catch you later.
Gary : See you.

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