The Sound System Of English


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The Sound System Of English

  1. 1. The Sound System of English Education 453:10
  2. 2. Phonology <ul><li>The study of the sounds of language </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone speaks with an accent </li></ul><ul><li>The phonological system of a language consists of its individual speech sounds, as well as its stress, rhythm, and intonation patterns </li></ul>
  3. 3. Phonemes <ul><li>The smallest unit of sound that can affect meaning in a language </li></ul><ul><li>Though the English alphabet has 26 letters, English speakers produce more than 40 sounds </li></ul>
  4. 4. International Phonetic Alphabet <ul><li>Most technical books for language teachers and dictionaries use phonetic symbols to represent English sounds and to describe difficulties (Our text: p. 56, 57) </li></ul><ul><li>The International Phonetic Alphabet can be used to transcribe any language (handout) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Pronunciation Difficulties <ul><li>Interference from the first language </li></ul><ul><li>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 language </li></ul>
  6. 6. Problems in English <ul><li>Homographs (read and read) </li></ul><ul><li>Homophones (red and read) </li></ul><ul><li>Differs from language to language </li></ul><ul><li>http:// </li></ul>
  7. 7. Individual Sounds <ul><li>Especially difficult sounds are th in think and its unvoiced equivalent th in then </li></ul><ul><li>Consonant clusters – spl, sks, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Some languages have no consonant clusters; other languages use consonant clusters differently </li></ul>
  8. 8. Stressed and Unstressed Syllables <ul><li>The degree of force with which a syllable is uttered </li></ul><ul><li>In English words of more than one syllable, one of the syllables is uttered with stronger stress or emphasis than others (text p. 59) </li></ul><ul><li>Stress patterns are different in other languages </li></ul>
  9. 9. Rhythm <ul><li>English has a characteristic rhythm or stress pattern </li></ul><ul><li>In connected English speech the stresses or beats are spaced evenly through sentences… John speaks French…. </li></ul><ul><li>Unstressed syllables are compressed or de-emphasized whereas in many languages, equal stress is placed on all the syllables in words </li></ul>
  10. 10. Sentence Stress <ul><li>In an English sentence, the words that carry the most information are stressed – content words – and the less important or grammatical function or form words are unstressed </li></ul><ul><li>ESL students may have trouble understanding speech even if they recognize words in isolation… What do you mean? Next month or necks month </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  11. 11. Intonation <ul><li>English has characteristic patterns of rise and fall in pitch, and three basic levels of tone: High, Mid, and Low </li></ul><ul><li>ESL students and ELLs need focused instruction on English intonation patterns… </li></ul>
  12. 12. Purposes of English Intonation <ul><li>Communicate meaning </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate emotions or moods </li></ul><ul><li>Stress for emphasis </li></ul><ul><li>http:// =-toSnwSqqz0 </li></ul>
  13. 13. Teaching Pronunciation <ul><li>Younger children who are learning English seldom need a great deal of help with pronunciation </li></ul><ul><li>Learners older than 11 or 12 are more likely to have trouble with specific words, sounds, intonation patterns… require focused instruction </li></ul>
  14. 14. When to Teach Pronunciation <ul><li>A student confuses or distorts specific sounds that may interfere with comprehension </li></ul><ul><li>Uses pronunciations that are stigmatized… tree for three </li></ul><ul><li>Distorts the pronunciation of words by stressing the wrong syllable </li></ul><ul><li>Uses inappropriate intonation </li></ul>
  15. 15. How to Teach Pronunciation <ul><li>Read aloud often </li></ul><ul><li>Read the same statement several different ways </li></ul><ul><li>Books on tape </li></ul><ul><li>Language arts software </li></ul><ul><li>Choral reading </li></ul><ul><li>Minimal pairs </li></ul>
  16. 16. ….How to Teach Pronunciation <ul><li>7. Practice producing sounds </li></ul><ul><li>8. Make up sentences </li></ul><ul><li>9. Create posters or booklets for certain sounds </li></ul><ul><li>10. Allow pronunciation practice </li></ul><ul><li>11. Use pronunciation guides with older students </li></ul><ul><li>12.Rehearse, read aloud, short passages </li></ul><ul><li>13. Be creative…skits…. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Basic Principle <ul><li>Understanding of sounds precedes understanding of the written word. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Terminology <ul><li>Phonological Awareness – the ability to break down speech into smaller segments </li></ul><ul><li>Phoneme – the smallest unit of sound </li></ul><ul><li>Phonics – a method of teaching reading that emphasizes the association of sounds with letters </li></ul>
  19. 19. Classroom Considerations <ul><li>Phonological awareness training – teaching the sound structure of words </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Auditory training </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Phonics training – teaching the connection between sounds and letters </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Training with print </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Classroom Considerations <ul><li>It is important to first develop oral language skills. </li></ul><ul><li>Phonological awareness skills should be taught orally without print. </li></ul><ul><li>Phonological awareness training helps children learn vocabulary and reading skills. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Classroom Considerations <ul><li>Phonological awareness training improves reading, vocabulary, and syntactic skills </li></ul><ul><li>Phonological awareness training can be implemented in the classroom </li></ul><ul><li>ESL students benefit from PA training </li></ul>
  22. 22. Teaching Pronunciation Abroad <ul><li> </li></ul>