Pronunciation and Phonology in the EFL Classroom - Consonants and Vowels

 

The next thing we should look at is how our consonants are arranged for the top two rows we have P and F at the left side of our chart and G and J at the right side of our chart. They're arranged this way because if we analyze the way we speak we're using the front of our mouth to use these sounds as in ?p? and ?f? and I'm using my lips and my teeth to produce those sounds and as we move to the right on the chart slowly but surely we're making those sounds it towards the back of our mouth. We can use the examples of ?g?. The sound ?g? is produced further back in our mouth than ?p?. The next thing we'll notice about our chart is that some of our symbols are shaded. Notice that none of the symbols in the vowel sections are shaded but only a few are in the consonant section. The shaded symbols represent what are called unvoiced phonemes. An unvoiced phoneme doesn't require any vibration in our vocal cords in order to be made whereas with most sounds especially all of our vowel sounds we have a voiced phoneme in which our vocal cords are vibrating in order to produce that sound. Let's look at a few phonemes which are quite similar in the other aspects of its production but the only difference is in whether or not is voiced or unvoiced. Take for instance the ?f? and ?v? sounds. They're both made in the same way as our breath is concerned and they're made in the same way as a placement of our vocal organs are concerned. The only difference comes in the fact that our ?f? sound is unvoiced. Again that requires no vibration in our vocal cords to be made. We can articulate this into on to our students by asking them to simply place two fingers over their throat and feel the difference between ?f? and ?v?. You can try that at home now with the ?s? and ?z? sounds. Put your fingers over your throat and pronounce the ?s? sound and then the ?z? sound. You can quite literally feel the difference. The top half of our chart is concerned with the vowel sounds and it's split into two parts. On the left-hand side we have our 12 pure vowels. They?re one individual unit of sound which corresponds to a vowel sound, such as ?a? as impact, ?i? as in pit, or ?o? as a pot. Within the pure vowels we have what are called long vowel sounds. They tend to be said for a bit longer than the rest of the pure vowels and we can tell our long vowels by the presence of a colon to the right of each phoneme. Secondly we have what are called the diphthongs. The diphthongs combine two vowel sounds in such a way that it's impossible to split them and still pronounce the word correctly. Our diphthongs also require a movement in the mouth in order for that vowel sound to be made. To illustrate the point let's take a look at the vowel sound ?oy?. It consists of two different but distinct sounds but here they cannot be divided and still pronounce the word ?boy? correctly. We can even see the difference when we really analyze how we're making that sound that sound again is a ?oy?. It requires a movement in the mouth in order to be made as well as all diphthongs requiring that movement in the mouth because they are actually two different sounds coming together.


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.

Unit 9 Planning a Lesson It?s very important to be an organized teacher but, at the same time, flexible. Planning in advance a lesson would help me to be both. Finding the balance is important mostly because my students. If I?m too rigid, then, students won?t have the flexibility to learn and apply the subject. And if I?m not organized, then, time will be wasted in other matters or their attention will be drawn somewhere else. Also, adding variety for planning a sequence of lessons is mandatory in other for the students to improve their productive and receptive skills. So, the reason why we plan a lesson are: 1- Logical sequence for the lesson. 2- Working document so we can make sure to cover the lesson. 3- It forms a record of what has been taught. 4- Can be use for covering. If we think in our students first, we will make sure that any other teacher can follow up the class and the student?s sequence. What should I put on the lesson? 1- General information about the class. My name, date and time, classroom, number of students, context, focus, learner objectives, teacher?s aim and the aids. 2- What should happen during the class? Depending on the lesson, we?ve to determine the kind of ESA class we will be using. Straight arrow, boomerang or patchwork. *Procedure: the order of the class given. In other words, what?s going to happen in every phase. *Phase, timing and interaction: detail of the E S A class, how much time are we using on every phase and the interaction we want on the phases, could be teacher to student (t-s), student to teacher (s-t) or student to student (s-s). It is very import for me to manage the study phase correctly in order to get the most from the students. Using the D.E.GO follow up it?s new for me since I?m more used to ?give? instead of ?demonstrating and eliciting? Monitoring the phase is very important. Children tend to show their work if the teacher gets to close, so, monitoring from a distance is a good point for not interrupting their work. When I receive the student?s feedback, I?ve to make sure to follow up these steps in order to correct errors or mistakes. Self-correction, Peer correction and if needed, I can correct them. Thanks again ITTT for all these useful information.


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