This session will not only give you
the answers to why, what and how
to teach, regarding pronunciation;
but also provide you with some
tips, meaningful activities and
exercises to foster the learning and
teaching of English pronunciation.
Think about your
previous English learning experience :
What percentage of your lesson time was devoted to
How would you rate the quality of your teachers’
pronunciation of English (good, fair, poor)?
Which techniques for teaching pronunciation did your
What type of feedback did you receive regarding your
What else contributed to your English pronunciation
learning? (at and outside school)?
Look at the cartoon and discuss why English
is considered to be a Lingua Franca
So, Why teaching pronunciation ?
English is the major lingua franca
More and more people need to
use English for social, educational,
and professional reasons in all
kinds of contexts, locally and
It is essential that people who use
English to communicate have a
high level of intelligibility. (Celce-
Murcia et al, 1996)
What to teach:
When to teach?
1. confuse or distort specific sounds
that may interfere with
2. Use pronunciations that are
stigmatized. E.g. tree for three
3. Distort the pronunciation of words
by stressing the wrong syllable
4. Use inappropriate intonation
Younger children who are learning English seldom
need a great deal of help with pronunciation.
Learners older than 12 are more likely to have trouble
with specific words, sounds, intonation patterns…
require focused instruction.
Facts concerning pronunciation. Do you agree,
Why? Why not?
Interference from the first language:
The sounds of the first language are imprinted
very early in the child’s development; however,
most children are born with the vocal
equipment to produce the sounds of any
Some pronunciation problems in
•Vowel combination sounds
•Homographs (read and read)
•Homophones (red and read)
•Specific consonant sounds: /th/ /sh/
How to teach pronunciation
INTUITIVE-IMITATIVE: pronunciation is
acquired as a result of exposure and
interaction in an environment where the
target language is spoken.
ANALYTIC-LINGUISTIC : pronunciation is
learned through instruction in order to
1. LISTENING DISCRIMINATION:
listening for pronunciation, listening for meaning
Listen to the sentences and circle the correct
sentence that follows the dialogue:
a) How many sheep do you have?
b) Do you own a ship?
a) Yes,she can’t sit next to you
b) No, go ahead this seat is free
a) Really? Do you know how to knit?
b) My clothes are so neat
2. DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSIS:
phonemic charts, minimal pairs, transcriptions
Basic Principle: Understanding of sounds
precedes understanding of the written word.
Bird A.E ˈbərd
Beard A.E ˈbird
Beer A.E ˈbir
Bear A.E ˈber
1-Ship 4- 1-Sheep 4-
2-Sit 5- 2-Seat 5-
3-Knit 6- 3-Neat 6-
1- cat 1- cut
Intonation: Noun or Verb
Knowing when and where to stress the words you
use is very important for understanding, and is
part of a good accent. A clear example is that of
the different stress in nouns and verbs.
to in’sult, an ‘insult
to ob’ject, an ‘object
to per’mit, a ‘permit
to pre’sent, a ‘present
to pro’duce, a ‘produce
to pro’ject, a ‘project
to pro’test, a ‘protest
To re’search, a ‘research
The stress is
represented by an
before the stressed
1-You need to insert a paragraph here on this newspaper
2- Can you object to this object?
3- I’d like to present you with this present.
4- The manufacturer couldn't recall if there'd been a
5-The religious convert wanted to convert the world.
6-The political rebels wanted to rebel against the world.
7- Grandma wanted to record a new record for his latest
8- If you perfect your intonation, your accent will be
9-Due to the drought, the fields didn't produce much
produce this year.
10- Unfortunately, City Hall wouldn't permit them to get a
Read the following sentences aloud:
Practice these tongue - twisters in pairs
1-Betty bought a bit of butter
but the bit of butter Betty
bought was bitter so Betty
bought a better bit of butter and
the batter was better
Setting realistic goals
Integrating pronunciation to listening and
speaking skills practice
Helping learners become self-reliant
awareness on progress and
focus on improvement
3-Self monitoring and peer
Celce-Murcia et al, 2001
Key points in pronunciation
Perception and Production
Practice ,practice, and practice
Relaxing atmosphere, confidence
building, awareness raising
Focus on communication
Learning pronunciation requires an enormous
amount of practice, especially at early stages.
Pronunciation lessons work best if they involve
the students in actually speaking, rather than
in just learning facts or rules of pronunciation.
Pronunciation teaching works better if the
focus is on larger chunks of speech, such as
words, phrases and sentences.
Bibliography and webography
Celce-Murcia, Brinton, Goodwin (1996) TEACHING PRONUNCIATION. A
Reference for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.
Celce-Murcia, Marianne (2001) TEACHING ENGLISH AS A SECOND OR
FOREIGN LANGUAGE. United Kingdom:Heinle-Heinle.