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Linguistics for EFL teachers

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Title: Linguistics for EFL teachers


1
Linguistics for EFL teachers
  • Claudia Bubel/Alice Spitz

2
Linguistics for EFL teachers
  • Why wild vines make fine vintage wines
  • Phonetics, phonology
  • and the
  • foreign language classroom

3
Phonetics, phonology and the foreign language
classroom
  • Introduction
  • Overview phonetics and phonology
  • Contrastive analysis English and German phonemes
    and how to teach them
  • Stress and intonation and how to teach them
  • Conclusion

4
Introducing phonetics and phonolgoy
  • Who can turn a can into a cane?
  • Who can turn a pan into a pane?
  • It's not too hard to see, it's Silent E.
  • Who can turn a cub into a cube?
  • Who can turn a tub into a tube?
  • It's elementary for Silent E.
  • He took a pin and turned it into a pine.
  • He took a twin and turned him into
  • twine.
  • Who can turn a cap into a cape?
  • Who can turn a tap into a tape?
  • A little glob becomes a globe instantly,
  • If you just add Silent E.
  • He turned a dam - Alikazam! - into a dame.
  • But my friend Sam stayed just the same.
  • Who can turn a man into a mane?
  • Who can turn a van into a vane?
  • A little hug becomes huge instantly.
  • Don't add W, Don't add X, and don't add Y or Z,
  • Just add Silent E.
  • Tom Lehrer Silent E, 1971 .

5
Orthography vs. Pronunciation in English
  • For every rule there is an exception.
  • For every exception, there are six more
  • exceptions...

6
Orthography vs. Pronunciation in English
  • How can
  • GHOTI
  • BE PRONOUNCED
  • LIKE
  • FISH
  • ?

7
ghoti fish ?
  • Tough ? gh f
  • Women ? o i
  • Nation ? ti sh

8
Pronunciation Poem
  • I take it you already know
  • Of tough and bough and cough and dough?
  • Others may stumble, but not you
  • On hiccough, thorough, slough and through.
  • Well done! And now you wish, perhaps,
  • To learn of less familiar traps?
  • Beware of heard, a dreadful word
  • That looks like beard and sounds like bird.
  • And dead, its said like bed, not bead
  • For goodness sake, dont call it deed!
  • Watch out for meat and great and threat,
  • (They rhyme with suite and straight and
  • debt.)
  • A moth is not a moth in mother.
  • Nor both in bother, broth in brother.
  • And here is not a match for there,
  • And then theres dose and rose and lose,
  • Just look them up, and goose and choose,
  • And cork and work and card and ward,
  • And font and front and word and sword.
  • And do and go, then thwart and cart.
  • Come, come, Ive hardly made a start!
  • A dreadful language? Why, man alive!
  • Id learned to talk it when I was five.
  • And yet, to spell it, the more Ive tried,
  • I hadnt learned at fifty-five.
  • T. S. Watt, The Manchester Guardian,
  • June 21, 1954

9
Phonetics, phonology and the foreign language
classroom
  • Introduction
  • Overview phonetics and phonology
  • Contrastive analysis English and German phonemes
    and how to teach them
  • Stress and intonation and how to teach them
  • Conclusion

10
What are phonetics and phonology?
  • Phonetics
  • the study of the sounds of a language more
    specifically,
  • the physical properties of sounds and how they
    are produced and
  • even perceived. Sounds are described in terms of
    place and
  • manner of articulation.
  • Phonology
  • the study of the sound system of a language more
  • specifically, the interaction of speech sounds,
    including what kinds
  • of sounds can combine (phonotactics) and how
    sounds affect one
  • another (vowel reduction, deletion,
    assimiliation, co-articulation,
  • etc.).

11
Why are phonetics and phonology important for
school/the teaching of EFL (or any FL)?
  • Pronunciation must be able to accurately or
  • near accurately produce the sounds of the TL
  • meta-knowledge may facilitate the process.
  • Aural skills must be able to decipher others
  • (most importantly NSs) speech.

12
Why are phonetics and phonology important for
school/the teaching of EFL (or any FL)?
  • Varieties of English must be aware of different
  • varieties of English and their respective
    phonological
  • characteristics (among others) in order to
    prevent
  • misunderstandings.
  • Some varieties of English
  • American English, Australian English, British
    English
  • Canadian English, Caribbean English, English in
    India
  • Irish/English, New Zealand, Nigerian English
  • English in the Philippines, Scots/English
  • Singaporean English, South Africa, Welsh/English
  • Teach what you know and use, but be as informed
    as
  • you can about other varieties of English!

13
Phonetics, phonology and the foreign language
classroom
  • Introduction
  • Overview phonetics and phonology
  • Contrastive analysis English and German phonemes
    and how to teach them
  • Stress and intonation and how to teach them
  • Conclusion

14
Contrasitve analysis English and German phonemes
  • Consonants
  • Vowels

15
(No Transcript)
16
(No Transcript)
17
Predictable consonant trouble for German learners
of English
  • Sounds which do not exist in German
  • ? faith
  • ? s face
  • ð breathing
  • ? z breezing
  • w wine
  • ? v vine
  • ? v w f trouble

18
Predictable consonant trouble for German learners
of English
  • Sounds which are rare in German
  • d? (loanwords, e.g. Dschungel) joking
  • ? t? choking
  • ? (French loanwords, e.g. couragiert) delusion
  • ? ? dilution

19
Predictable consonant trouble for German learners
of English
  • Which phoneme is lacking in both charts?
  • Chameleon sound
  • /r/ is the most varied sound in German and
    English
  • some pronunciations overlap, but non-standard
    in English
  • BE, AuE, NZE postalveolar approximant
  • AE, IrishE, Canada retroflex
  • ScottishE, German alveolar trill
  • German uvular fricative

20
Other trouble spots sounds in their
neighbourhood
  • Final devoicing and strengthening in German
  • (head ? hat)
  • Initial devoicing in Saarlandish
  • (drugs ? trucks)
  • s z do not distinguish minimal pairs in
    German
  • (green peas ? Greenpeace)

21
Other trouble spots sounds in their
neighbourhood
  • Allophone trouble /l/ clear l and dark I
  • Standard German does not have I
  • English has I in front of consonant and in
    word-final position
  • ? milk vs. Milch
  • Minor significance since its allophones do not
    distinguish meaning.

22
Constrasitve analysis English and German
phonemes
  • Consonants
  • Vowels

23
Monophthongs
24
Diphthongs
25
Vowel trouble for German learners of English
  • schwa sound ?
  • ? caught
  • ? ? cot
  • æ bad
  • ? e bed
  • e? saints
  • ? e cents

26
What to do about these pronunciation problems?
  • Raise awareness (noticing)
  • Explain how to produce those sounds
  • (learner-friendly explanations!)
  • Practice

27
When …?
  • New words are introduced
  • Pronunciation problems occur repeatedly during a
    unit on another topic (grammar, text…)
  • Unit on pronunciation as integral part of lessons

28
Example The trouble with v, w, f
  • Awareness of difficulties
  • Explain how to produce v, f, w
  • Pronunciation practice

29
Awareness of difficulties with v, w, f
The spelling confusion
  • German
  • ltfgt Fahrt
  • f Vater
  • ltvgt
  • v verifizieren
  • ltwgt Wetter
  • English
  • ltfgt f father
  • ltvgt v very
  • ltwgt w weather

30
v vs w
  • Learners unlearn using v for ltwgt ?
    hypercorrection w every time they think they
    should pronounce v ? very wer?
  • English loanwords, e.g. Hardware ? native speaker
    of German has to unlearn using a v for the
    letter ltwgt

31
v vs f
  • v and f problematic in word-final position,
    since German does not have voiced consonants such
    as v there ? German loanwords life and live not
    distinguished phonetically
  • of is pronounced ?v or ?v or f

32
ltwgt vs w
  • Possible spellings for /w/ are witch, which,
    quilt, choir,
  • language, suite, one, Kulala (Lumpur)
  • The letter ltwgt is not pronounced in
  • who, whom, whole, whore
  • words beginning wr- write, wrap
  • some place names following ltrgt Warwick and
    Norwich
  • other combinations such as few, ewe, view, saw,
    dawn, how, brown (ltwgt is part of orthographic
    representation of the vowel)

33
Explain how to produce f, v, w
  • f
  • Touch your top teeth with your bottom lip,
  • and breathe out dont use your voice.

34
Explain how to produce f, v, w
  • v
  • Touch your top teeth with your lower lip, and
    breathe out use your voice.
  • Similar to German first consonant in Wasser, but
    not the same More energy ? press lower lips
    against top teeth harder than usual.

35
Explain how to produce f, v, w
  • w
  • Make the sound /u/ followed by the sound /?/.
    Now put them together, and keep the sound short.
  • Shape your mouth as if to whistle.

36
v vs f
  • Hold your hand against your lips, you should
    feel less air for v than for f .
  • Hold your hand against your throat, you should
    feel vibration for v.
  • Put your fingers in your ears. You should hear
    the vibration for v.

37
v vs w
38
Pronunciation practice mininal pairs and trios
  • Minimal pair two words which differ by only
    one phoneme (face faith)
  • Minimal trio three words which differ by only
    one phoneme (sit set sat)

39
Pronunciation practice minimal pairs and trios
  • ? listening
  • read out words from minimal pairs or trios
    students hold up cards with relevant sound drawn
    on it
  • or take your pupils on a pronunciation journey
    (Hancock 1995 37)

40
Pronunciation practice minimal pairs and trios
  • v vs w
  • veal well
  • vest west
  • vet wet
  • vow wow
  • L R
  • f vs v
  • belief believe
  • life live
  • leaf leave
  • proof prove
  • L R

41
Pronunciation practice minimal pairs and trios
  • t vs d
  • hat had
  • build built
  • aid eight
  • hard heart
  • L R
  • e vs æ
  • guess gas
  • bed bad
  • merry marry
  • then than
  • L R

42
Pronunciation practice minimal pairs and trios
  • ? Pronunciation drill
  • Teacher says the words class repeats
  • Choral drilling ? groups of four ? individual
    drilling
  • Use sign to indicate that group or single
    students are to repeat ? avoid interference
  • Three second pause between teachers pronouncing
    words and the pupils repeating them ? maximum
    attention and processing

43
Pronunciation practice minimal pairs and trios
  • wine vine fine
  • worse - verse furs
  • wail veil fail

44
Problems with minimal pairs
  • For some sounds difficult to find pairs / trios
  • New words introduced for pronunciation exercise
  • maybe even very rare words such as wherry
    (rowing boat
  • for one person).
  • Yet, some researchers claim that it is preferable
    to use
  • words students do not know to practice
    pronunciation
  • -- meaning may distract them.

45
Pronunciation practice limericks, nursery
rhymes, tongue twisters, poems
  • A lively young man from the West,
  • loved a woman called Vickey with zest.
  • So hard did he press her
  • to make her say Yes, sir,
  • she squashed the cigar in his vest.
  • Choral and individual drill
  • also
  • Chaining ? each line drilled separately, building
    up
  • from the start, gradually adding to the limerick.

46
Pronunciation practice pronunciation games
  • Pronunciation
  • journeys, mazes or bingo
  • (see Hancock 1995)

47
Phonetics, phonology and the foreign language
classroom
  • Introduction
  • Overview phonetics and phonology
  • Contrastive analysis English and German phonemes
    and how to teach them
  • Stress and intonation and how to teach them
  • Conclusion

48
What is the difference between stress and
intonation?
  • Stress is a term that we apply to words in
    isolation which have more than one syllable. It
    refers to the property that certain syllables
    carry which make them stand out from the rest of
    the word.
  • (http//www.celt.stir.ac.uk/staff/HIGDOX/STEPHEN
    /PHONO/STRESS.HTM)
  • In the study of intonation, pitch, loudness and
    length are the most important factors. They work
    together to give certain syllables prominence
    over the others. The concepts of intonation are
    very closely related to those in stress, the
    difference being that stress is concerned with
    individual words, whereas intonation extends over
    a phrase or utterance.
  • (http//www.celt.stir.ac.uk/staff/HIGDOX/STEPHEN/
    PHONO/INTONA.HTM)

49

Stress
  • English a stressed language
  • ? give stress to certain syllables and words
    while other words are quickly spoken (some
    students say eaten!)
  • syllabic languages (e.g. French, Italian)
  • ? each syllable receives equal importance
  • Exercise 1
  • Stressed words tend to be content words,
    non-stressed words
  • tend to be function words.
  • Listen! A tiger and a mouse were walking in a
    field…
  • Exercise 2
  • Contrasting stress. Listen!

50
Intonation carries meaning!
  • How do people talk to dogs, babies, non-native
  • speakers…?
  • Exercise 3 (handout)
  • Meaning through intonation

51
Intonation
  • The most common intonation patterns in English
  • Falling
  • Rising
  • Fall-Rise
  • Rise-Fall
  • Exercise 4 (handout)
  • Assigning intonation patterns

52
Special focus on Questions
  • The normal intonation contours for questions in
    English use
  • final rising pitch for a Yes/No question
  • Are you coming today?
  • final falling pitch for a Wh-question
  • When are you coming? Where are you going?
  • Using a different pattern ? adds something extra
    to the
  • question, e.g.
  • falling intonation on a Yes/No question ?
    abruptness
  • rising intonation on a Wh-question ? surprise,
    negative affect, mishearing

53
Special focus on Questions
  • But even some yes/no questions can take falling
    intonation
  • Would you like soup or salad? vs.
  • Would you like super salad?
  • Does he sing or dance? (yes or no) vs.
  • Does he sing or dance? (choose one)

54
Special focus on Questions
  • And even some wh- questions can take rising
    intonation
  • What are you doing tomorrow? (meaning I cant
    remember or- I dont believe it)
  • And some declarative sentences do as well, such
    as in the
  • quirky uptalk dialect preferred by children and
    young
  • females.

55
Phonetics, phonology and the foreign language
classroom
  • Introduction
  • Overview phonetics and phonology
  • Contrastive analysis English and German phonemes
    and how to teach them
  • Stress and intonation and how to teach them
  • Conclusion

56
Conclusion
  • The principles of phonetics and phonology
  • encompass all aspects of pronunciation from
    single
  • sound to connected speech production.
  • For a teacher, it is useful to have a good
    knowledge
  • of the English sound system and, as much as
  • possible, be capable of native-like
    pronunciation, or
  • at least be able to recognize native-like
  • pronunciation.

57
Conclusion
  • At school concern with grammar vocabulary tends
    to be
  • prioritised, although language learners often
    show considerable
  • enthusiasm for pronunciation especially young
    learners.
  • Mispronounciation ? difficulties to understand ?
    frustration for the
  • learner (good command of grammar and of lexis,
    but still
  • misunderstood)
  • Features of pronunciation as integral to lesson
    planning teachers should
  • - anticipate which pronunciation issues are
    relevant to particular structures and lexis being
    dealt with
  • - anticipate likely pronunciation difficulties
  • - do reactive work if a difficulty arises
  • - include regular practice units

58
To think about…
  • Native-like pronunciation is
  • a subjective expression,
  • difficult to achieve after the critical period
  • possibly not even a desirable goal
  • Exercise 5 Listen to Arnold!

59
Thank you for your attention
  • Questions and feedback, please!
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