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Teaching Pronunciation Communicatively Celce-Murcia 1983

Teaching Pronunciation Communicatively Celce-Murcia 1983

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Celce~Murcia, Marianne

Teactiing Pronunciation communicativeiy;

Apr 83_ . . . .. _. . __ \.

17~.r Paper_presented at.tbe ~~n~~l_~e~~!~g~of the California_AS$~ciation of Teachers of Englis6 f~ Spejkers of Other Languages (Los Angeles, eAr Octo6er 1982).

~ournai A~ticies{08~)_-=_viewpc?ints (120) ~p~~~b@~/~onf~renc~.Papers (150)

MEXTESOL Journal; v7 n1 pi6-25 Apr 1983

liIFQ!/~CQ~_~!\ls.posfage;. .. - -

Co~unicative e~mpefence (~inguigesJ; ~Snglish (~e~ona tang~ageJj Higfier ~d~citioni Learning Actlvifiesj *Pronunciition Instruction; Second tinguige Instructioni Te~ehing Methods





- - - - -

Metfiods designed to effectively teach pronunciation ~~ ~niversity lev.el nonnative speakers of English ar~" described~_ Follci~ingi 6istorical o~er~ie~ of educat~rs' a~titudes to~ard_~~~ relitive importance of teaching ~r0i1unciation,_teach~n9 t~~hl1!q~~!t tfiit fi~ve been used in the_~aSt are s~rveyed. T~ere~~~~I1~~ of the communicative approach is disc:ussed~ To apply ~~i!;ClPP~Oil~h.~()_~tie. teaching of En9liSh.pronunci~~ion, four s~~ps_~~~~ld.~e e~p~oy~~: (1) identify sounds that_are p~oblematic_fo~_~h~_C~iI~!ti_~2) look for contexts that nat~rally.offer an abundance of lexical items ~it6 these ~arget sounds, (3) ._de"e·~~p ~~mmiinicati~n ~rientedtisKs _ teijuiri~9 the_use of fh~s~_~~~~~i_a~~_l!}_~eiel~jse~eril ii~~ci~is for each problem ar~~~o_~einforce learning; Seve~al pronunciation exercises are_pr~sented to il1~strate ffiese principles. It is _._ concludecJ_~11~~_}:)y_i!l~k!n9_~y~te~~~!~ use' of communicative activities i~. ~~e pronunciation classes, students can have_the opportunity to practi~e pr~n~nciafi~n in i ~ij tfiat bettet fatilitat~s transf~r to the real c~mmuniciiti~n of t6e outside world. (RW)

- - - - -

*._************************iiiii*************************~*~***~~~~ ••••

* Reproductions suppi~~d_~y ~~~~~~~e ~he 6est tfiit can be made ~

* . __ ._ _ frolllthi! .. original d~cWiient; .. _ _ .. . *


. _


u~ ....... -· .. ·---



-j. Thia d~~;;;8n' has been ;eproduc~ !l~

r"cfl'v~ __ (;~;;; ttit, pO;lon 0' QrgBni,ation

MEXTESOL Journal, Vol Vii, No.1, Apr 83

UflUlmilinU II

_____ ':Feachinjf Pr~nunCiaHon GomrriUriicati~eiyl "PERMISSiON TO REPROQUct; THis


~arianne Cclcc-~tircia' Bnivcrsity of Caiifornia bas Angeles


N <=:5 -..0





This paper describes tne author' s ongoing attempts _to improve the effectiv~ness 01 tne pr_o~ ritiriCia"Hoh actiVities sne proVides her students;_ ,,!l1o_are university-level hon-native speaKer's of English.

~:~l~:~~~:~ri~l~:~f;l~:: ~H~~~~!:a~~:!:r~~ln-

niques thai: have been Used in the past; Then ci strategy more nearly in liiie with the' phii_dsophy of tneeoirirriuniccitive Approac~ is proposed~ arid sample exercises aeve16ped by the author are proViaed;


Vi ~ ~


. ....l u,

Refinements to the proposed strategy are at,ill need;.; ed ;espeCially: _fo_r _ tea<;:hirig str.ess and. iht2_na!ton;_. However, actiVities such as fnosedescribed in the paper are currently enabiing the a\lthoris stuaents ·to improve thequaiit-y of their English pronunciation in Ir_ee conversatiori~som.ethirlg·:tha.t rarely occurred when she was using the rnor'e manipulative. traditional types of exercises.

ever the past 15 years I have frequentiy been callea upon to t4acn_ Classes in proriUiic1ation_(i; c; iip_ract1cal phoneticsii) fo": no_nnative ~p_cakcrs of English. My experiences_have Deen both fasCina;.;; liiii~ an(l frUstrating. I have been. £aiidnatc(l hy tii .. : fact iimi pronun-



da._tiori is the area wpere riative language interference is most obvious and per si st erit ana wher e affective fador s ar e rriuch rriox e import~nt than are c_ognitive_skills; I have been frustrated because unt~lre_centiy rrio s t of rriy s tud erits had made little progress even though I had pro;:; vid ed ple_nty of pr ac ti ce ; _ 'there was always the nagging question as to whether I was a cc orripl i shrrig ·ariything at all by teaching pronunciation, whether I would nit be better serving my students by teaching them reaaing comprehension or vocabulary, for example.

The history of foreign language instruction reveals thatthere have been many differences of opinion over the years about the value of teaching pronunciation and-about how best to teach it. The Grammar_-transl~dion and Re~ding_-basedAppr~aches have viewed pr onun> Ciation as irrelevant. The Di r ec t Method has c la.irried that pr oriuricda«

. Hon _lSVery·_unp_ortant and presents it via teacher modeling; the teacher is ideally a native or riear::riative speaker of the target language. In Hi!!_ Audio-lingual Approach pronunciation is likewise very importarit. The teacher also models and the students repeat; however, the teacher now has the assisiallce of a structurally-based teaching device: the minimal pair drill: 3

E. g.

hit/heat rice/lice sin/sing

T!le Cognitive Code Approach de;;emphasizedpronundation iri favor of grarn.m.ar and vocabulary because fne conventIonal Wl.sdorn of the bei s and early 70i 5 (see Scovel i 969) held that native;:;iike pr-onunc ia-, tfon coulan't be faugfif anyway. And" oy extension, it was argued

that pronunciation shouldn't be taught at aii. .

_ More recently ~ however, the Communicative Approach has

brought new urgency to the teaching of prOnunCIatiOn SInce it has been empirically _demonstrated by Hii'lofotis and Baiiey (i (80) that there is a threshold level of pronunCiation iii Englisn such Hiatif a given nonnative speakeri s pr-onunctatton falls beiow this level, he Will not be able to cornrriurd ca te orally rio matter how good lilS control of English grammar and vocabulary migpt be.

if a t eachez- who is interested in helping stud erit s achieve corrr-, rtitimcative·compecence iIi a fore~n language must teach at least ~

~----_--- __ .-- ... _.


eriough prortuncJ.i~Ho~ to get the s tude nt s aoovc the thte~h.old lcv_ei,

what activities. shouid be used? How aoes one teach pronunciation comrriunicativeiy? 4


II. ExcrciS'"es ana Drills that Teacher s Have Used PreViO-\l-.S--ly p:rhaps we can begin to rind answers to Hlcse questions by first. reyIcw.ing wh at teachers. have aonc to teach Engiish pronuriciaHon~~ Without great saccess.,.-in the past.

A typical teCfiniquc has been for students to listen to the teacher; or some oth~r mOdel,_and then imitate or riipeat, wi~h the teacher offeri.!f:g correctIon. This techhique originatea With the Direct Method , There were also the tongue tWisters and speCial phrases borrow;; ed_from work In speech correctio!!_for native spea.kers (e. g. i'sh~ . sells seasheils by the seasfiore;' The rain iIi Spairt_!"tays ITlai~

~he platri. "I Then there were the_mimmal pair drills froITl aud io-, linguaiism (see, for example, Nilsen arid Nilsen i97ih .


.seriteri¢es: _

-paralgrnatic elI'ills __

Don~ t {sHp/sleep) on the floor. -syntagmatic driUs

Donit _sn on tha.t seat.

From deveiopmental psyc_holi!lguistics some teacher s adopted a arill ~f s'-i_cces srve approXimation follOwing fIr sf language pronuriCiation

development. ',"

E. g.


_ .

wea ~red

y -~ I

yes ~ less

\, y:Hli: tfie.aCivcrit of generative phortoiogy a~ des~aDea by Chomsky artd

Balle (l968); sorn~En_giisli: language teachers _fQC;tiscd a c~rta:i:n amount of cla.s 5 tiITle on ptacticing vow~i_ shifts (e. g. /ciYI Bible /II Biblica.l)

and stress shifts (e. g; photograph ;; phot6grajjhy)~ ,-

Ther c_ has always been other optionai baggage such as a phonetic alphabet along with the question of wfietficr or not stucieIits shouid be

'3 aole to read pnonetically transcribed passages" or eVen '."nCther pr not

they should praCtice writing down strch trar.··criptions themselves. \'lfiere s_ucn e;..:trerne praCtIces nave been Implementea, a cout:,se I~

p r o r.unc i a ti.o n becomes nothing more than an Lnt r od uc t io n to descriptive _

p~oneHcs; -=-

These artificial techniques arid approaches entail many problems; Let me itemize some of my objections to these practices;:;:objeCtions wfih:h stern from tneoretical considerations as well as practlciii experience.


I. Students learn to prodllce some seleCted sounds in a controlled

sihiatlon In class; but wnat they learn does not readHy transfer to real langUage use.'


2. There is too milch focus on minimal pairs and on isolated wo r d s

oE sentences wHfi ,little _ or no attention given to cornrnuru cat io n; (Only' a tC\V' rii i ni rria l pairs are ever confused in coriversation b~-:~ c au s e context helps resolve the nlajorily of such pot cnt Iu.l pro.;; blems.,

- _

3. Manypronuneiation problems do not lend th crri s e l ve s w e l l to mini-

mal-pair d r-i l l (e ; g; lui wooed vs ; Ivl woul_Q_),.

4; Most teachers sin,~ply can'thandle a wdrd.;;level rrri rri.rnu I pair drill effectively because it is artifiCial and ~ut conduCive to Hie use of the intonation patterns and phr as ecba s ed rhythm found in natUral conversation.

Like most of my colleagues, I startcia out oy uSIng the _ Au,Holingual p-lethod and materials for teaching pronunCiation. This was about 15 years ago. However, .i.;;incc Uien, i nave graatl.iillY been forc_ed t~ r_~asscss_ and modify my tc;:!.<:hing app!"oach bccausc manip:;:

Ulat_ive drilling with rrii rii.rria l pair s- -l;'lntexhici.lizea or othcr\vIse-cffe'ci:cd little _improveJ?;1ent in my studt·tits' proriundation. When they left the phonCLic 5 c l a s 5 ana used English in spontaneous conversai:ion~ nothing We had done in cla.~s sCi!med to have had any impaCt.





111. Relevance or the ComrnunicaHve Approach

The Cornm_unicatIve Apprnach, to for~cigr1 Jiingu~sc teaching as articuliited by Brurniit and jt)hnson (1979), W'iddowson (i 97_8) iina oth.rr s . offers us gu Ido l inc s ana dircctionii for improVing tIle teaching 'of Eng;~ish pronuiiCiation l:ven though EEe literature and hiale r_ic:ds j)ro(fuccd

by the _ Communicative Approach have not dealE _much with the teaching

. ~f pronui1.Ciation Eer s e , In [aCE;Ene oilly readily avaUab!c Eext_s f have

Iou rid cOiltaining some exei~Cises that cart be ~dapted fairly easily to _

my corim-lunicative techniques are Hecht a~ci Ryan (1978)) Gilbert (1983) and Morley (l976};

The manipUlaHve e~erCises and drills dc::sc~iocd above in Se~tion.

H ire rejected by proponents 01 Ene (3orninunicalive Approach hCCaUSe Lhey arc too tcacner-centcreci and not conducive to fadlitali·ng studcntstudent conimunication. Thus we rou'st think of communicative tasks, games; prol;lem-solVing activilies and sHuations for role-piaying _ \vhich rCatiOilj_biy sihiUla"tc genillne con-iinumcali(jn, but whidi also have· pro~unciaHoi1 ratner than notions, functions; vocabulary, etc. as the teachingolijcctive. If we can discover ways of d ni ng this; our teaching of English pronunCiation wih be mo.re successful because our stu"':-· dents \vill be better motIvated to make their Ertgiish speech Clearer

and roor e "co mp r ch eris ib l e ,

IV. A Str-ategy ana Sample ExerCises

in rny attempt to apply the Cornrriurd ca.tdve Approacn to the t¢ach~ iiig of Erig Ii s h pronunciation, I have aevclopea the foiiowing strategy:

- -


Identify sounds or con~rasts that are problematic for Hie sttiacnts in a given dans.

- _

Look for contexts that offer naturaiiy-_-not artifiCially

;;;;;;;;an abundance of lexical 'itcrrls with these target sounds.

3} f?evelOp c0rruriuriication;;;;or h:nted tasks that r equii"e the USe of these wO~J:!ls-.,.tauks such :is garnes, prob;;; lei!l-6~lVing aCtiVitiC{sj inforni.ation griCIs; ahilogs or role;;playing situations;


4) Develop S cVi:rCl.l cxcr ci s e s fOr each problem area (a.t least three) so tnat any given teaching poFnt can be periodically re;;; cycled With new contexts and new worps, and then praCticed as often as needed;

Tne following exercises are some ot those tnat f have I'".icvelopcd as I have applied this strategy to the teaching of the two ~~ sounds in Englisn {voIceless/Sf a.nd voiced/j"/); wnicn do not lend tl"icmselves well to practice with rrii rii rria l pairs. I have used b od y parts to focus InItially on Fal:


rnotrth t.ooth/teeth throat thumb thigh

Tl1c practice activity-involves a brief role-play between a doCtor or a dentist arid a patient. The_sttident playing the patient receives a card. with a drawing of the body part i:hat hurts and the d.octor_ re-

c e i ve s a card with c orrirriarid s that cue the questions he should aSK the patient (e;g; i'Find out whatis wr orig ; "}:

E; g; Dr:



What's wrong? My throat hurts.

How long has it hurt you?

Pi;. few sessions l a tc r I u s e a calendar fdf'the cue r e nirno nili as a

-,. . - - - - "-

context for 'again practicing tel in nurnb e r s , o r d i ria l s , and in the

wo r d s Thur .~~ a nd month. (The circled days w l l I r cc e i vo speCial emphasise)





March, 1983
-- i'h F s
T W .
GJ -
1 2 4 5
- @ - - ,.
8 9 11 12
15 i6 @ 18 19
l2 @ @ 25 26
---- @ @
29 -} .. 1
'1 6 1
@ - -
te 21
27 28 ForpractiCc,one student in each pair receives the c~dendar ana tile other recexves a sheet wHIl questions to ask arid with spaces lOr

- -

Writing d own the ansWers:


E. g.

- -



How many days ar ether e this month?


the 11tfi Thursday

-- - -

",>,{hat day this month is se. Patrick's Day?

Wllal: day of tile weeK is that?


A few sessions laterj to focus on li/j i use kinship term.s sirice many of the common ones .have this .sound:



(i~ran4)xn~ther (gi"cirid)fatner brother{ -lii .. law) sis tel." (;;; in;;; iaw)

Practice can be donc iri gr"oups of four or iive •. Qne studeiit With a large farnUy wili answer qu_estions_ while_ th~ otfj:ers WiHask a_~ l~a_st t;\Vo qjjestions each by drawirig on the. eight kiriship terms im~lied in tile aoove list. eards can be used to cue the kinship terms; tne questions should be originai_ and the responses true.

. _

-_-- ~--::.:,~


E;' g; -Ca.r.d s

1 ~fa.ther mother bl'otne-t"



Responses ~ ... _,_¥es.


Y~ri, tWo.


Is your gr andfather alive?

V?li:ati S your m.ot~er i ~ narne ? Do you have any bi-Ijther s ?

Perhaps two more c Ias s sessions Will passbeiore 1 introduce a fihai exerci5_e iii this series; it consists ot a famUy tree that CO_1n.;; b.Ines the above kinship ter_lrts, which focliS on /J/, -with 'proper English nam.es that focus on /e/=

-_ _

Beth Rutn

-> Martha Dorotny

Artnur Garth Theodore Keith

The students then worK in pairs. _ Each one h as a P~I.l,;.da:l family tree and must compiete his tree by eliCiting the appropriate information from his partner:



E. g.


Who is Garth's m.otlier?

Wlio hi Martha's brother?


'J'he ahove exerCises deal wHli a problematic ~ohsohaht cOIitrast.

I'd now Hke to also _p_:resent a series of exercises I've ad apt ed ana clevelope_dfor a pr.oJ)lematiC vowel contrast; namely; It I as in hit versus iii as hI neat;


At an ea.rlY SeSSIOn body parts are used as a focus for praC:tic-

!rIg lil:

Hp_s ribs hip(g) smn

chtri wrist linger

A large poster with a carto_on-lik~ drawing Of_amah in a bathing suit ham.eciBiii;;:.;;;;~ot very detailed but aetai_lea enough to focus on

the vo.cabUiary Hsted above--_ is p.t:esehted to the elas s , lri order for the vocabulary to be reviewedj a line arid a. niUnbcridcnHfy each target body pa.rt on tlie draWing. eardif'ln a paper bag with pictures


of these body par'ts arc ara:wn; one at a trme , oy.stuaenu WU'" "'v •• ..., .. reveal 'the card _to the ciass, Gut instead ask thcir Classmates (or the members of~h~r group if theciass i_s large): "siii feU d_own. What did_ fie flrirt? " The membcr~ of~the ~lass or group n:xust tneri gue s 5,. arid the studcni wHfi the card says ilyes;jj or "rio": '

- - (BiU) , - _ _ _ ~~~!'!i~ _Lhurt. ~i_~ _~hi~?

DId hc nurt h~s fInger?;

Did he nurt his wrist?

No. No;



_§everal ~cssi6ns iater i foc_us on file /il sOlind Using ~'A DaY. at the Z'oo" as the context; Line drawings of several animals a:re used to' ini:r~duce tile vocabuiary:

zebra sea.l

cheetah emu

peaCOCK Deaver


S~ugcntsare p~irea rip with compiementary m:aps of a. zoo; one map

glves_ tne lo_cationoi ,three _of these aiiiriiaisj the oi:ln~r map gives the ItH:atio,n of the ref!Iaiiiing three aru.ma~.s~ Eacn shiderit:rtitist _write down tne riarrie s of clie three ~llssing animais ~n the proper p.lac~'s on hi~ map. by eiic~tlng iiiformation _irort! his _partner that makes u_se_ of compass directions (N, 5; E, W) and erivironmental features that are in4ica ted on bOfu ver sions of the map (e; g • palm tr'e e s, the .beacn, ..

fue lagoori, the rocks ~ the str eatn, etc.} .::. -.

X: Where is tne cheetah?

Y: It's (to th~) south of tfie rOCKS.

Y: -Where is the peacock?

x: It's next: to the palm: trees;. West of them;

~ ~ew sessiorisla,ter the c la s s will integrate practi~e with iiI ;anij trl_ u~ing a r~ie-plaYing situation invoiving a customer and a w~Hcr lwaitres s in a. r~staura.nt; 5 Eacn participant receives it copy

of tne menu; . ' ..

- -

Dinner Me'nu

Fir st course:



chicken sorip fish salad

Main cOurse: ;r"

..; iive~ or veal.2!:. Deef

• ::;p.


peas ~ beans ~ spinach

-_ ,



cheel?ecake ~ ice cream ~ mint sh~rbet

-- -

.!~ ..



tea or fiilK or mineral water



• -. .. I

With the .stUdents working in pairs, one studerit Wjll play the customer_I ..

. the other wilt play the waiter ;_: To check f~r ac:cu!"acy _ofconununica ... - tion'each partfdpantCirCles ·the itams he has "oraerea" or "taken _ down" from. the menu; (He may not, howe;rer, anow nlS partner nlS copy o£ the menu uritii the entire roie;;;pia)- is COrhpieled: 7 Typi c-a:i . \. qu_es_dons should be reviewed before the role pl~y stai-ts; For example,

---- _ fWOUld you like} , ;;;Wh~t wiii you ha.v~ J


-Tne'iecoiid course?

. - ... ._

---- - - .. - - .-

;;;Which veg~ta.l:ne?;'·

-And fo~sert?

- _' - ~wouid you ·likej-

- Wfiat ---. --'----- - - ta: a;iiil(?

wIlt you have

~ ..



"'if; Conclusion

By making systematic use 'of such communrcattve actj.-Vities~"in . rr pronunCiation Classes, 1 am helping my s tiid erit s to practice . pronundation in a way that- better fadlitates transfer to there~l c::omrilumcation they wili c.I.rry on outside oi cias s , My Cl:lrren"t students also seem to ~~joy this type of practice much mo~e ;than. my former stude~ts eve.r d:;;d tne traaHioii~d rnanipulaH\:;e ~xercis~s;

_ However, I do not want to leave the reacier with the impression tnat Hie traditional tcchniCp:lcs arc"never appHcabic; On a Hrrti terl ;


20 -


InaiVidual basis, it may in fact be usefui for a teacher to a,ssign rnanrp-

uiative etriUs to a iW'eii;;motivated s~uaent :Who canit mast~~ a giv~n sound or contras,t despite the us e of cotrtrn~nic,aHve exerCises •. For such students individual work'with minimal pairs, tongue twIsters, or su~cessive ap~roximaHon driiis may stili be a necessary and usefui_

-"__ , . - /' -- '-- ----, . -- '- -- ----,-

supplement. The point I wish to empnasize her e is that 1_ do not feel

~l1~~inst_r uctio~ sroula beg~~ _~~~~su~h_?r Hls; I h~we.v~~j, _I ~ ~il~ _ u~e _

them selectively when nece_ssary and ,wlth those Ind lvtduaks who want

~nd need such exerCises. 1tj. certain cases, articulatory explanations ot sounds can ~lso be useful, out: they should· iike~ise be used on a

se l ect ive basIS ana not presentea as :a 1:ectur~. to the Class.

. _._ ~-.... - --. - - -

In addHiori to the us e of co~mu.mclHve aCtiyities, :i must vary

Classroom practice so Hiat my students doni~i:.,get ,bore.a or lose itt;; terest; .1 have fOl,ind thi:i.t practicing and reCiting manageab!e segments 9i poetry, iight verse, or songiY-i'icso that r~infor~e sounds we h a vepracHcea, can frequentiy ~~rve thIs purpose. ii_The ~agiei' by Tennyson l!n,d ii1'he Turtle" bY'Ogden Nash a~ examples of s~iections i~ha.ve used in_this way; Another excellent and even more authentic type of practIce c ari' be carrieqout using carefully sei~~ted excerpts' from piay§. My col~e~gue cliUord Prator j . Who fir s~ m.:ade me awar e of the great potential that play;;;reacUng oIIers for tea,ching pr onurrciatiOijj has often ~sed excerpt~ from Thorton_ Wilder; s 6ur Town. . i preter using exce\.-pts from The Odd eoH-le by Neil simort, bUt mY motivation f~r using such material is ici-nticai to Prator's: give scuderit s a chance to read aloud or even i ct out whoie chunks of dramatic ~onversaHori where they have to use the stress, int9nadon,' arid phrci.sing appropriate to a gIven charaCter in a given situaHon~ . 'l'hi~ is pronunCiation prcl.cticeat jts most demanding--somethlng that can be chal1enging..even for naHve speaker s ,

A caveat I must Include iri this- discussion is thai: 1 don't teel students shouid ~h,~_~~_to worry'ab~ut pronunCiation _a~ th~ veri beginning stage of learning English. Research in first ana secona lan~~age acquisitioh sugge,sts that teaching priorities iot language_ . areas should_be voca.bulary, grammar, and pronuncraHon--in that order._ !'or literate students the,re is no particular, skiii 'order_ other ,than th:a~~'p'racHce in listening comprehen~ion s~oula precede any of the othercthree ski.iiS (speaking, readirig, writing),.




.. . The one glaring ~m~ssion in my currenLapproacli-:o_ne~nat t 'am

fuii y aware 01- -is tfiat i am s till having problems With fully integrat;; ing stress and intonation (S0the caii these -fe_atu~es_ a_cc~nt and pHc!i)

~:t:u:t tL:c!i~g a~fe:1:1~~fi J:;:;~~it::,ri·if ~1t~:;~0!j~rr::te t~it:,h

sounds per se; _ :And ftend to agree. The problem is to decicie what one should do about it.

Linguists have recentiy mad~ important contributions to tlie analysIs of'stress and intonation (see Gunter 197<1) and Brazii et si. {i980}j ana some .._ii{;ery good techniques such as thosesugges!ed oy ~-_ Mien {1911} have oeen availaole to us for SOllle tiirie now. ·luBe these suggestionsj yet am hot satisfied with the res_ults; 1'liis'lS an

.. area tnat 1 ana otner tea.cIiEir~ must continue to work ,;\Villi afP:1: im;;; prove. 7 However, the, fac_t that the focus of my pronunci'aHon instruction now very expliCitly center s on com:rriuriicatiotf'~ather than manipulation means that i cart aiso_ indir~ctiy _et_1~ourage practIce of appropriate stress ana intonation through modeling and coh:·ection.

- - - - - _.

t:THimatEily, of course. I want to be able to .expliCitly facilitate

CO~rrturticativ~_:.praci:ic_e of Engiis_h. stress ~na I~t~nati_o~ iii as _ eIfective a. manner as I am now able to deal With English sounds;

. ,







iOrid versions of Hns paper were presented at the Los Ang_clcs Regionai CATESoL meeting in eaofier, 1982, and as the intro~ a_uetoryrernarKS to a three~hotir workshop at the i 983 TE5eb Convention in Toronto;


- - -

21 arn gratefui t(j Dr; Roger Bowers of tnc Britis.h CounCil and

M s Josephine Lijwkowicz of the British Over s eas B_eveloprne~t Administration for oexng cat~dysts to my WOr~( in this area. 1 b~camCi acquainted with them while ~or1<ing _wit_Ii tli_~ ~6ur~iculum flevelo_Enu~nt Proj ect of Hie Geiiter for Developing E~glish L~n~ guage Teaching at Aih Shams Urtiversuy in CaIrO, Egypt~ This was In 198 a ana 1981, and they we r e the primary author s of the phonetics matei"ials_~evei~ped by the project. MyassoCiatiori with the project cha lke ng ed me to rethink and refocus my _own changing a nd e vo lvi ng views on the teacnrng of pronunciation. Even though Dr. Bowers arid Ms Lewkowicz may not a g r ee _ with ev~rything ~ _sa:y ~ere; 1: t~ank tli_ern lOr having stimuiated' much of the thirikirig that went into this paper;

3This device reached its apex_artdt'r!ost usabi~}orqi_.!n the conteXtuaHzea rniriimal pair drills of Bowen (1972, 1975).


- -_- '_ .. ' hits ------------- with the harruner

The bl.a.cksrntth h- ---- the horseshoe .- ;&:'1:.- ?-. - i

eats rn trre Llre

HoWever, even such contexttiaiized drills are not natural_ enougn _for ~he learner to automatically incorporate what he learns into his everyday cortve r s at Iorrs in Engiish.

4N:oteth;:tt 1 do not sugg e st that the g~~l_ of tea:c4-ing pronunciation should !le to make the learner s ourid like a riative speakeroi En_glis_~; __ Wi~h the e_xception of a few highly g:Iftea ana m:oHvated indiViduals, such a goai is compieteiy tin±-eaiistic anyway; Tne more moaest goa~ f have In nuna is Hiaf 01 ena)JHng tne li::arner to gijt. above the threshoid ievei so that the quaiity of

his pronunCiation w:iH nof iiiliioH nis aoUity to conunuiiicate.



eG· SUsing this particular context was Hie Iaea of Bowers and Lew-

kowiCz (see footnote 2h however, they presented the context in a dIalog, _ whereas I_feel that a role-play Isa more coniiiiuriicative actiVitYj arid I have adapted their context to my pur;;; pos es accorainglY.

6·· -. --.-- -- ------ ---- ----- ----- ----- -- ---

I'd like to stress 1:hatsong lyrics should be spq!<en and not sullg

if pz-onuncf atdon practice is the objective. Singing distorts the sauna 01 SpOKen woras ana pnrases, ot stress ana intonation, thereby detracting from' any pedagogical va ltre the exercise rmglit otherwise offer for pronunCiation practice.

7There is" for example, some good rein£orcem.erit activity avaiia.bh~_it1 many of the poem.s of Christina Rosetti~ Her poems

- - ofte-nl.nCTude many quesHons and answersandthus'-provide ------- .

opportunity [or intonation practice •

. ;. .

I I.


1- a



--_. --_._- _._--



Al1ef!i V.F. 1971., "Teaching Intonation: from Theory to PractIce," TESOL su , pp;; 73-S1.

Boy/ert, r, 0_. i 972. II is oiiteictualizirtg Pro11.~n~i_ation Practice in the __ ES0L Classroom, ii TESCt:. 6:1, pp. 83;;94.

-Bowen, J.. D. 1975. Pa.tte1"-ns __cJ_UngHsh Pronuncia~ Rowley, Mass: Newbury House.

Brazil, e., M; iSouitharci~ artd C. Johns 1986. Discourse Intooation arid Langua.-g-e-T.eacru:iig. Londori and New York: bongrnari..

Bru:ri:iiit, c.l"; and K. Joniison, eds. 1979. __ T-he-CO:inmiiiUcative Approach to Language 'tea.c'liinS. OXford: OXford University Press~

ChoID_s ky, __ N',,_ and_ M~ ·Halle 1968. Th-e--So-uncLEaHern of Engiish.

New York: Harper and Row •

. Gilbert, J. 198~ <;;;iear Speech. New York and London: Gamoridge tfiiiversity Press.

- -

Gunter, R. 1974. Sentenbes in DialOg. iSolurribia, s. C.: Hornbeam.


Hecht; E~ and G. RYari 1979. Stir'Viwl-Pr.ommCiiitl:on: Vowel Con- __ trasts. (1ITe.a_cheri s ~Uiae and Student Workbook; ") San Francisco: ~er.narty Press;

Hiiiol'ons, E';. and K. Bailey i 980;. "~erican Uiidergraduates' .R.ea~tions to Hie GomniUiiicatioii Skiiis of Fore~gn Teacliing Assistants." j. _ FiS_her; M; Clarke, j; Schachter (eas.), On TEseL _'S9, .Washington, n. c.; TESOL, pp; 120-133.

Morley, J~. 1_976. _lmprOvUii-SpoKen English. Ann Arbor, Michi-

gan: University of Michigan Press. .. 't;f. .



- 25 Nils~n, ~; F .. _and A. P. Nilsen 1971. PronU:hciatiort Contrasts in Eriglish. New York: Regents;

- - - _ ..

Scovel, T. 1969. II Foreign Accents: Language kcqwsiHoIi and

~~rehr_~i Dominance," Language Learning i 9:3 &.4, pp; 245- 25'1.

---- - --

Widdowsori) H. G. 1978. 'I'-eaGh-ing r..anguage as Communication •.

0xforQ: OXlord University Press •

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