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Testing Pronunciation


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Testing Pronunciation

  1. 1. Testing Pronunciation Jonathan Magdalena
  2. 2. What are we trying to MEASURE ? <ul><li>It is supported by the fact that the purpose of testing pronunciation is not only to evaluate knowledge and award grades, but also, and probably more importantly, to motivate students to be sensitive to this aspect of English . Given that the motivation of many students for learning English is instrumental rather than integrative, pronunciation tends to be neglected by many learners as long as they know they will not be tested on it. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Why is it difficult to test pronunciation ? <ul><li>It is possible for people to produce practically all the correct sounds but still be unable to communicate their ideas appropriately and effectively. On the other hand, people can make numerous errors in both phonology and syntax and yet succeed in expressing themselves fairly clearly. (Heaton 1988:88) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Why is it difficult to test pronunciation ? <ul><li>It is often impossible to manage the large number of students to be tested. Testing equipment , like laboratories or tape recorders, is scarce in many countries where English is taught. Even when such material is available, testing may be rendered impossible by the lack of even more basic facilities such as electricity. </li></ul>
  5. 5. How should we test pronunciation ? <ul><li>The ideal way of testing pronunciation is to actually listen to the learner. But since this is not always possible or suitable, the alternatives discussed here can be used for testing segments and word stress. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Dictation <ul><li>Given that speaking and listening skills are interrelated, dictation remains one of the ways of testing the learner’s pronunciation. This testing method is based on the assumption that, most often, if the learner has a deviant pronunciation of a word, he will not understand it when it is read with a different pronunciation. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Dictation <ul><li>A dictation exercise may appear in different forms. First, a whole passage incorporating target words to be tested. It may also consist of a set of individual words incorporating the segmental or stress features being tested. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Discrepancies <ul><li>Testees are given a text from which target words have been replaced by minimal pairs; testees listen to the full passage and circles the words that are different in the text. One precaution to take here is that the context should be as neutral as possible; a context that is too supportive will elicit the correct word even if the student’s pronunciation of it is faulty. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Sound Discrimination <ul><li>The testees listen to one word or sentence and circle the one they hear. </li></ul><ul><li>a. suck - sock </li></ul><ul><li>b. but - bought </li></ul><ul><li>c. seat - seat </li></ul><ul><li>d. hut - hurt </li></ul><ul><li>e. Is that my (pen/pan)? </li></ul><ul><li>f. He was severely (beaten/bitten) by his wife. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Sound Comparison <ul><li>The testees listen to a pair of words or pairs of sentences and indicate whether they are the same or different. </li></ul><ul><li>a. suck – sock (SAME-DIFFERENT) </li></ul><ul><li>b. but – bought (SAME-DIFFERENT) </li></ul><ul><li>c. seat – seat (SAME-DIFFERENT) </li></ul><ul><li>d. hut – hurt (SAME-DIFFERENT) </li></ul><ul><li>e. Is that my pen? </li></ul><ul><li>f. Is that my pan? (SAME-DIFFERENT) </li></ul>
  11. 11. Sound Definition <ul><li>A word is heard, and several different definitions, including one that is correct for the word, are given. Testees are asked to select the correct definition for the word they heard. It implies lexis and grammar knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>1. bought </li></ul><ul><li>a. a vehicle that moves in the sea </li></ul><ul><li>b. past participle of buy </li></ul><ul><li>c. coordinating conjunction </li></ul>
  12. 12. Same Sound <ul><li>The testees listen to a list of words and mark the ones that are the same. </li></ul><ul><li>1. a. pot b. pot c. port </li></ul><ul><li>(he answers: a and b) </li></ul><ul><li>2. a. bid b. bit c. bid </li></ul><ul><li>(he answers: a and c) </li></ul>
  13. 13. Odd Man Out <ul><li>The testees listen to a list of words and mark the one that is different. </li></ul><ul><li>1. a. pot b. pot c. port </li></ul><ul><li>(he answers: c) </li></ul><ul><li>2. a. bid b. bit c. bid </li></ul><ul><li>(he answers: b) </li></ul>
  14. 14. Gap-Filling <ul><li>Testees listen to a sentence and select from a set of words the one they hear . </li></ul><ul><li>1. Did you see the _______you were looking for? </li></ul><ul><li>people b. pupil c. purple </li></ul><ul><li>2. He died at the age of ________. </li></ul><ul><li>a. forty b. fourteen c. four </li></ul>
  15. 15. Sound Recognition <ul><li>Testees receive a set of cards with words, the tester pronounces them and asks the students to show the corresponding card. Testees may also pronounce some forms. </li></ul><ul><li>[s], [z] or [Iz]? </li></ul><ul><li>books, schools, cats, churches, students’, plays, James’s </li></ul><ul><li>[t], [d] or [Id]? </li></ul><ul><li>wanted, added, jumped, robbed, increased, showed, carved </li></ul>
  16. 16. Regrouping <ul><li>The testees are given a list of words and asked to regroup the words that have the same sound (it can be specified whether the common sound is a vowel or a consonant): </li></ul><ul><li>let, say, gene, quay, meat, rate, maid, says, said </li></ul>
  17. 17. Matching <ul><li>The testees are asked to find words that have the same sound as a given word. </li></ul><ul><li>Find and circle from the list below words that have the same sound as the following: p u sh </li></ul><ul><li>swamp, buffalo, cook, one, swallow, bosom, country, squander, bush, thing, Thames, either, although, three, Mathilda, clothes, Theresa, cloth. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Silent Letters <ul><li>Testees are asked to circle silent letters (silent letters abound in English words, and the importance of such an exercise cannot be overemphasized) </li></ul><ul><li>Circle letters that are not pronounced in the following words: </li></ul><ul><li>aren’t, weren’t, sword, debt, bombing Greenwich, Parliament, evening </li></ul>
  19. 19. Word Stress <ul><li>In writing, the testees may be asked to use one of the conventional ways of marking stress </li></ul><ul><li>Put the stress symbol before the stressed syllable or on the stressed vowel. </li></ul><ul><li>a. salad </li></ul><ul><li>b. success </li></ul><ul><li>c. preparatory </li></ul>
  20. 20. Intonation Pattern <ul><li>Testees listen and identify the speaker’s intention according to his intonation pattern </li></ul><ul><li>Listen to the following tag questions and circle the speaker’s intention according to his/her intonation pattern. </li></ul><ul><li>a. You work here, don’t you? (Confirm/Ask) </li></ul><ul><li>b. She is a teachers, isn’t she? (Confirm/Ask) </li></ul><ul><li>c. They play baseball, don’t they? (Confirm/Ask) </li></ul><ul><li>d. I’m assigned here, aren’t I? (Confirm/Ask) </li></ul>