Pronunciation Special Interest Group Online Fielded Discussion: 29th October - 6th November 2011.
Non-imitative ways of teaching pronunciation: why and how. All around the world, pronunciation teaching mostly comes down to asking our students to imitate a model: ‘listen and repeat’ (L&R). And pronunciation teaching isn’t very effective for the majority of students. Could it be that L&R itself is the source of the problem? We think the answer is yes, for two main reasons: We don’t think that children learn to pronounce sounds this way. More importantly, when we use L&R, we misdirect our students’ attention, taking it away from where it needs to be: in their production system. We assert that L&R is the source of the problem (and we’ll explain why in more detail). Please examine what we say, and force us to justify every point. Perhaps we’re wrong. Piers Messum & Roslyn Young.
Biodata: Piers Messum is a freelance teacher from London who has taught in France, Japan and the UK. He completed a PhD in the Department of Phonetics at UCL on how children learn to pronounce. Roslyn Young taught English for most of her career at the Centre de Linguistique Appliquée, University of Franche-Comté in France. Now retired, she is active in teacher training. Together, Roslyn and Piers have written a book about Gattegno’s model of learning based on Roslyn’s PhD thesis, and started producing new materials for teaching pronunciation.
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