TESOL TEFL Reviews - Video Testimonial - Louisa
Louisa is from New York, USA, and has a passion for teaching. Since she had traveled to South America before, she decided to take the four-week in-class TEFL/TESOL course in Buenos Aires. In her TEFL review video she shares her experience at the center. She enjoyed her time in Argentina and learned a lot regarding lesson planning, teaching methods and classroom management. She enjoyed working with her trainer
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.
One glance at the phonetic alphabetic and a mouthful of unfamiliar terms like ?The labiodental fricative? and you are left with a class of panic- stricken faces glaring back at you! That mouthful of jargon ?labiodental fricative?, in laymen?s terms simply refers to the sounds of /f/ and /v/, formed by placing your top teeth on your lower lip and releasing ai.
The point is that many teachers find the study of phonology totally intimidating, and thus, not knowing how to implement it into their classrooms, simply shy away from i.
So how can we achieve this task without having the fear factor from both teacher and student? Does teaching pronunciation have to be so complicated? The simple answer to this is ?No!? Teaching pronunciation in the foreign language classroom can be achieved through small, simple implementations while simultaneously bringing a lot of joy laughter and unity to your language learner.
What is key here is simply being able to determine what it is that your learners need to know and how to make this knowledge accessible in the most practical and effective wa.
It?s All in The Mouth (or is it?) Starting off your lesson to non-native speakers of English with highly-saluted language and specific jargon like ?plosive?, ?fricatives? and ?glides? is never a good ide.
It will fly right over the learners? heads and is probably a waste of tim.
On the opposite end of the axis, simply repeating sound that may not exist in the mother-tongue language of your students is also not going to bring you much succes.
Students cannot simply copy the teacher and suddenly be able to make a specific soun.
If a particular phoneme doesn?t exist in a learner?s native language, the learner may actually struggle to hear that sound, let alone reproduce it accuratel.
One way to draw attention to foreign sounds is to show your students how to form the sounds in their mouth.
Sounds are formed by using the ?articulators? or organs of the mouth, nose and throa.
These include the upper and lower lips, the teeth, the tongue, the larynx, the pharynx, the hard and soft palates and the uneven tissue positioned behind the top teeth, called the alveolar ridg.
When teaching pronunciation, one can show students exactly how to form sounds by using these organ.
Why do Non-native speakers make pronunciation errors and what do these students typically struggle with? As a native speaker of a language, one does not question where and how sounds are formed in the mout.
Non-native speakers come from a linguistic background composed of many different sound patterns and may not naturally be able to handle English phonology quite as wel.
This usually happens because a specific sound that a learner cannot produce does not exist in their native language, such as the /p/ sound for native Arabic speakers learning Englis.
Another common problem that leads to the mispronunciation of English words is that not all languages have the same stress pattern.
Learners of English as a foreign language often transfer the stress patterns from their first language onto their foreign language without realising i.
Putting the stress of the second syllable of the word ?management? or the second syllable in ?Europe? can distort these words completely, deeming then unintelligibl.
This illustrates that correct pronunciation cannot solely be picked up - stress patterns of single words, intonation of sentences, connected speech and place and manner of articulation need to be taught in the language classroo.
Additional aspects pf pronunciation that English foreign language learners make is the misuse of long versus short vowel sounds , such as in the words ?chip? or ?cheap?, and consonant clusters, like ?str? in ?street.
Teaching Tips: Implementing sounds and pronunciation in the classroo.
Tip 1: Loosen up! Get your class ready to exercise their speech organs by doing some tongue-twisters as a fun way to start off your lesso.
As speech sound are often over exaggerated when they are taught and can feel rather silly to make, it is important to get your students relaxed, loosened up and ready to practice making sounds in isolation without feeling idiotic! Tip 2: Humming When teaching stress patterns, try humming the pattern after you say the wor.
Stress patterns are much harder for foreign language learners to hea.
They appear more obvious and easy to identify when hummed rather than when you just say the wor.
Tip 3: Sound/Context Association Students need to learn how exactly various sounds are formed in their mouth.
These need a lot of practice and are often difficult to remembe.
Creating scenarios and movements that can be associated with the different sounds enable your students to retain these tricks and use them to practice on their ow.
A good example of this is teaching the minimal pairs /w/ in ?wet? and /j/ in ?yes.
The lips are rounded and as the air pushes through the mouth, the lips par.
Get your students to pretend that they are blowing a kiss to someone, by covering their mouth with their hand and then, as they make the sound, opening up their hands to let the sound out, just like one would do when blowing someone a kis.
To teach the sound /e/ as in the word ?egg?, ask your students to imagine that there is a fine piece of line attached to their mouths that someone is gently pulling outwards at the sides when they say this soun.
The mouth therefore opens lengthwise to the sides, as if being pulle.
The more students have a scenario to relate the sound to, the better they can use them independentl.
Tip 4: Game.
Pronunciation needs to be taught in an exciting way that wills your students to participat.
Create games that test pronunciation indirectl.
Look for teaching pronunciation books that have ready-made games in them, such as ?Pronunciation Games? by Mark Hancock.
Teaching pronunciation is an important part of language developmen.
It need not be difficult to approac.
By eliminating theoretical jargon and contextualising your activities, teaching the sounds of the English language can be fun, easy and effective!