Pronunciation and Phonology in the EFL Classroom - Phonemes

 

In this video we'll be looking at the international phonemic alphabet and how it's used in the classroom. There are other phonemic alphabets but this is the most popular and the system, which is most widely used. You may have seen some of these symbols before as any good dictionary will supplement standard English spellings with the phonemic spellings to aid in pronunciation practice. Here we have a situation where we have what are called phonemes and each phoneme represents a sound within the English language. How is this helpful? Well, what it does is help students understand how to say words rather than simply relying on the often archaic English spellings. To illustrate this point let's for a moment put ourselves in the shoes of our students when trying to understand how to say the following words.


Below you can read feedback from an ITTT graduate regarding one section of their online TEFL certification course. Each of our online courses is broken down into concise units that focus on specific areas of English language teaching. This convenient, highly structured design means that you can quickly get to grips with each section before moving onto the next.

This was the most difficult unit to date. The initial piece discussing intonation patterns and stress was not too difficult but things went down hill from there. The phonetics and the places and manners of articulation were all new to me. I'd never heard of fricatives, affricates, plosives, or nasals and I certainly do not ever remember studying palatal, alveolar, labio-dental, etc places of articulation. It was interesting to learn, but to be honest I'm not as confident on this unit as I have been on the last couple of units.