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Correction of pronunciation mistakes





Tasks and exercises for developing pronunciation habits

Exercises for developing pronunciation habits may be of two groups: recognition exercises and reproduction exercises.

Recognition exercises are designed for developing students’ ability to discriminate sounds and sound sequences. Students should have enough practice in listening to be able to acquire the phonic aspect of the language. The following techniques may be recommended to teach students to discriminate sounds, stress and intonation:

  • the teacher pronounces a number of English words and asks his students to recognize the new sound. For example, the new sound is / /. The teacher pronounces the words: desk, nest, pen, pan, red, rat. When a student hears a new sound he raises his hand and in this way the teacher sees whether the student can recognize the new sound among other sounds already learnt or not.
  • the teacher pronounces the sentence They left for London yesterday and asks the students to say which words are stressed.
  • the teacher pronounces English phrases with a rising or falling tone and asks students to raise their hands when they hear the falling tone.

 

Reproduction exercises are designed for developing students’ ability to articulate English sounds correctly, to combine sounds into words, phrases and sentences easily enough to be able to speak English and to read aloud in this language.

Very often the teacher begins the lesson with pronunciation drill. The material used for pronunciation drill should be connected with the lesson students study. These may be sounds, words, word combinations, phrases, sentences, rhymes, poems, dialogs, proverbs. International words, proper names, geographical names, etc can also be used for pronunciation drill. But learning by heart the material included in the pronunciation drill is not the main aim of the teacher. The main aim-is students’ correct pronunciation. If tape-recording is used, the material should be recorded so that students can first listen to the speaker, then repeat in imitation of the speaker during the pauses. The material for a particular lesson depends on the stage of teaching, students’ progress in the language, their age the objectives of the lesson and other factors.

 

No matter how pronunciation is taught students will make mistakes in pronunciation of sounds, stress, intonation. In the junior stage it is the teacher who corrects students’ mistakes, because students’ ability to hear is not developed yet, besides, they need good examples to follow. The teacher explains the mistake to the students and shows what should be done to avoid it. At the intermediate and senior stages errors may be corrected both by the teacher and the students themselves. The main ways of correcting errors are:



· The teacher explains, paying attention to the proper position of the organs of speech for producing the sound;

· The teacher pronounces in the right way and the students imitate;

· The teacher demonstrates using hand and arm movements;

· Students listen to the tape-recordings and imitate the speaker.

 

Questions and topics for discussion

  1. Why is teaching pronunciation important?
  2. Describe the main pronunciation problems
  3. What does the content of teaching pronunciation include?
  4. What are the main steps in teaching pronunciation?
  5. What exercises can be used by teachers for developing pronunciation habits?
  6. What are the main ways of correcting errors in pronunciation?
  7. Examine one of the lessons in the standard textbook and show how students are taught correct pronunciation

 





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