Pronunciation and Phonology in the EFL Classroom - Connected Speech

 

Connected speech is also an important element of phonology and it's involved in joining words together in an effect to make our speech more efficient. Some might say it's a product of being lazy but nonetheless it's what we all do and we want all of our non-native speakers to speak as naturally as possible, so we have to be aware of these things. Here are a few of the more common examples. We have linking, dropping, changing and extra lettering. An example of each would be with linking, we link our words together so that they almost in effect become one word. Instead of saying ?What do you want to do,? we typically will say ?Whatdoyou want to do?? Then, we can also have dropping. Rather than pronouncing each and every consonant, we can sometimes, especially in certain accents, drop some of the letters so in this word it should be ?butter? and this should be ?computer? but here it becomes ?bu?uh? and ?compu?uh?. Then, we can change our sounds as well. Again, I've used the same examples but what we're doing is we're changing the T sound to a D sound because our it's more efficient for vocal organs to move in that pattern. So rather than ?butter? it's ?budder? and rather than ?computer? it's ?compuder.? Then finally we have our extra lettering. This typically comes as we want to connect two vowel sounds with a bit of a consonant sound so instead of saying ?my eyes are green?, we sneak in just a hint of our Y sound so it becomes ?my yeyes? or ?my yeyes are green.? Then, we can also have, instead of ?drawing? it can become ?draring? just as ?washing? can sometimes become ?warshing?.


Below you can read feedback from an ITTT graduate regarding one section of their online TEFL certification course. Each of our online courses is broken down into concise units that focus on specific areas of English language teaching. This convenient, highly structured design means that you can quickly get to grips with each section before moving onto the next.

This unit covered teaching special groups. So far, the readings have focused on teaching adult students learning general English. However, there are many other demographics of students who want to learn English. The first is beginners. There are many kinds of beginners ? some have some English exposure, some have none. Some are adults, some are not. When teaching beginners, it?s important to take things slowly, use a lot of visuals, and focus on being clear and thorough. Another type of class is the individual student. There is a lot of demand currently for 1-on-1 ?tutoring? lessons. These lessons are less formal and the students are usually more motivated. When teaching this type of class, the teacher can focus specifically on the student?s wants and needs. Sometimes, the lack of a class dynamic can make certain activities and games less viable, so the teacher must prepare different types of materials. The next type of special group is children. Teaching children can be very rewarding. Teachers need to remember that students have shorter attention spans and less motivation for learning English. These students need a lot of positive feedback and a very active and engaged teacher. They are also still learning how to behave in classrooms, and as such will need more discipline. Next is learners of business English (or English for specific purposes). These learners need to learn English for a specific purpose often with specific vocabulary. It?s helpful to practice things like presentations, phone calls, and introductions. These classes are usually smaller and often early in the morning or late at night. It is not unusual to have classes with mixed levels of students as well. When teaching business English, the teacher must make sure to cover the needs of the students. Since these students are adults, they should be able to clearly state their motivations. Teachers should be aware of the type of business and understand the company the students work for. Finally, the text went over multilingual classes. These students will often have no common language except English. Because of this, they will have to communicate with each other in English. Teachers will have a harder time in monolingual classes, where students will often revert to their native language when having trouble.

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