Teach English in Anbu Zhen - Chaozhou Shi

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Pronunciation is a very important aspect of learning English but is often neglected due to a lack of teacher training and thus confidence. Applied phonetics is not often taught at school or university so many teachers tend to focus on individual sounds rather than other aspects such as the rise and fall of speech. Whilst often not given as much focus as other learning elements, pronunciation is essential as it reflects feelings and reactions and it also infuses dialogues with meaning. Phonology/phonetics is the study, analysis, and classification of the physical properties of sounds, e.g. intonation and stress. Reference is made to the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) which is a universally accepted system of one set of phonetic symbols for speakers of English regardless of dialect. The symbols represent the different sounds that go together to form words. It is helpful for students to be familiar with these symbols to support correct pronunciation and confidence in speaking. Intonation refers to the variation in volume and pitch within a sentence and conveys meaning and emotion, while stress is concerned with emphasis within individual words. The normal pattern of intonation in a statement and general question is the rise-fall pattern whereas the fall-rise pattern generally indicates surprise, disagreement and mostly a confirm that the speaker wants a response from the person he/she is speaking to. Teaching techniques for highlighting and teaching intonation include using nonsense words to practice communicating a certain attitude, hand gestures indicating high/low pitch and general direction as well as humming or singing. Stress is needed to interpret a sentence in its context. Stress refers to the word or part of the word that is emphasized when spoken. Humming or singing is also helpful to hear the intonation and stress without the words. There are certain rules to support the understanding of where stress should be placed to convey what the speaker is trying to say. There are exceptions to these rules and there are more words and syllables unstressed than stressed. The most important rule is to feel the language instinctively and add the stress naturally. Techniques for indicating and teaching stress include contrastive stress, gestures such as clapping, clicking fingers, tapping on desk, chanting or singing typical rhythms of English. An important point referred to in the unit is that of sound joining which are the major ways that sounds join together. (linking, sound dropping, sound changing, and extra lettering). When students are proficient in linking words together the more natural their speech will be. Various organs and parts of the mouth are involved in the articulation of speech including: the tongue, alveolar ridge, larynx, hard palate, glottis and the soft palate. Words are produced by the different parts engaged when articulating certain sounds. Various teaching techniques can be used for the pronunciation of individual sounds including the demonstration of sounds with own mouth and showing diagrams of the parts involved in making sounds. Teaching pronunciation can be carried out as a complete lesson, a part of a lesson or on an as needed basis.