Teach English in Nanmenxia Zhen - Haidong Shi

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This lesson talks about how to speak in English the right way. Pronunciation and Phonology are both important but at the same time quite neglected in teaching English especially to basic learners. Native English teachers of English consider this easy and natural as they grew up with it but lack the confidence in teaching. A good teacher considers pronunciation as part of teaching language and most students also consider this as the most important part of such because most ESL students dream of speaking like a native English speaker. Phonology (phonetics) is a study of the physical properties of sounds. In this lesson, stress and intonation (as well as the Internation Phonetic Alphabet) are emphasized. Intonation is considered to be the cariation in volume and pitch in a whole sentence and it carries the message in a sentence especially in questioning and confirming statements (sometimes in expressing emotions and feelings). There three patterns of intonation: the rise/fall, fall/rise and flat intonation. The rise/fall is the normal pattern of intonation in a statement. It is indicating that a person speaking have already finished what he or she wants to say and thus, not expecting any reply from the person he or she is talking to. It is up to that person to respond or not (if they want, they can but not necessary). This applies to positive and negative statements, greeting, instructions and even questions. The second common intonation is the fall/rise pattern which indicates that the speaker wants the person he or she is talking to to answer or at least confirm. It shows surprise and sometimes disagreement. It also indicates that a person who is speaking has not yet finished talking what he or she wants to say. The final pattern of intonation is a flat pattern. In this pattern, the person speaking doesn’t really have much to say. There few techniques in teaching intonation. Nonsense words technique can be used by asking the students to say a nonsense sentence repeatedly telling them what attitude you want them to communicate in different situations and then repeat again with real sentences. Another technique is through gestures where you lift your hand either up or down to indicate the direction of the pitch. Humming/Singing sentences to hear the stress and intonation is also a good technique because the students don’t even need to produce words. Another technique would be using the board and drawing arrows to the direction of the intonation. If intonation concerns with the whole sentence, stress, on the other hand is more concerned with just individual words. The strong part of the sentence is the ‘stressed’ word which is the principal emphasis in the whole sentence. There are basic rules of word stress in English. One word have only one stress. The secondary stress is only used in longer words. Individual vowels or consonants cannot be stressed. It has to be syllables. Stress on the first syllable is applicable in 2-syllable nouns and adjectives while in verbs, the stress is on the last syllable. If words ending in -ic, -sion and -tion, the stress is on the penultimate syllable or the second to the last syllable of the word. In words ending -cy, -ty, -phy, -gy, -ive and -al, the stress is on ante-penultimate or the third from the last syllable. For compound nouns, the stress is on the first part, and for compound adjectives and verbs, the stress is on the second. There are four major ways that sound join together in English: Linking, sound dropping, sound changing and extra lettering. This is the way native speakers use English in a natural way. There are few words that have the almost the same composition of letters but different when it comes to how it is pronounced. In IPA, there are several phonemic letters/symbols which will help you indicate the correct way to pronounce each word. There are voiced and unvoiced consonants: one is with the presence of the vibration and the latter without. In order to teach effectively, it is important to know the physical location of phoneme’s production. The places of articulation are velar (/k/ and /g/ sound), palatal (/j/ as in yellow), palatal-alveolar (/3/ sound as in treasure and /s/), alveolar (/t/ sound), dental (/th/ sound), labio-dental (/f/ and /v/), bilabial (/p/, (b/, /m/ and /w/) and glottal (/h/). There are manners of articulation includes plosive, fricative, nasal, lateral, affricate and approximate. There are few teaching techniques for pronunciation such as peer dictation, by uttering using your own mouth, by visual aids, phonemes and of course, tongue twisters. It’s up to the teacher when to teach pronunciation whether through a whole lesson, just parts or when only required.