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Teach English in Bangshibao Zhen - Yingkou Shi
Unit 13 provided information on teaching pronunciation and phonology. From this unit I learnt that pronunciation is often neglected in teaching English since foreign teachers often lack confidence to teach it methodically and English teachers sometimes also lack the training and confidence to teach this material. For students to be made aware of the importance of accuracy and clarity in communication there should be lessons on intonation, stress and pronunciation. Intonation is the variation in volume and pitch in a whole sentence; intonation can be used to show that you are done speaking (rise/fall), that you are looking for a response or that you aren't finished speaking (fall/rise), or that you don't have much to say (flat). The strong part of a word or the principal emphasis in a sentence is the stressed word. While there are some rules for where to put the stress, there are also many exceptions so trying to get the students to add stress naturally is a good technique to teach; to complicate things for students, there are more syllables that are unstressed than there are stressed, and getting students to reproduce unstressed sounds can be difficult. Pronunciation of words can often be difficult for students since spelling does not always match how the word sounds. Therefore, use of a dictionary can be helpful since it provides pronunciation using the International Phonetic Alphabet. It can be useful for a teacher to understand articulation (ie the formation of clear and distinct sounds in speech); this involves knowing how the parts of the mouth and speech organs are involved in producing specific sounds. By having a strong understanding of intonation, stress and pronunciation a teacher can have more confidence in including activities into their lesson plans and come up with effective techniques for teaching pronunciation and phonology.