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MANUEL Tomás Alexandre Diogo TCHAKAMBA1

Implications of Teaching English Phonetics and


Phonology in EFL Teacher Training Courses 2.3

1
Master of Arts in English Didactics (Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at
the Nova University of Lisbon/Portugal – 2012/2014) and Teacher-trainer at
Katyavala Bwila University/Angola, since 2011, having in charge curricular units
such as TEACHING PRACTICE, ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING
METHODOLOGY and MORPHOSYNTAX.
2
This paper was originally designed and presented for the accomplishment of the
requisites for the final assessment in the English Didactics Masters’ Seminar
«English Language Teaching Methodology II», under the supervision of Dra.
Vanessa Boutefeu in the scope of a Master’s Program in English Didactics the
author did, at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities/Nova University of
Lisbon, during the 2012/2013 school year
3
This work must be cited in the following way: TCHAKAMBA, Manuel Tomás A. D.
– "Implications of Teaching English Phonetics and Phonology in EFL Teacher
Training Course", English Didactics Assignment Series (May 2014), Online
available at https://pt.scribd.com.
ABSTRACT

English teachers who are trained in settings where English is a foreign language, rarely
spoken, and where chances to be exposed to ear training practices in English or
interaction with native speakers are not frequent, mastery of Phonetics and Phonology
as a requisite for quality teaching of vocabulary and speaking skills and subskills is an
awkward situation deal with. This, thus, leads to questioning whether or not Phonetics
and Phonology should be taught, and if yes why, how or even when. In this short paper,
I discuss the implications of teaching English Phonetics and Phonology in EFL teacher
training courses. The motivation to work on this topic aroused from my personal
experience as a trained English teacher. The case is in my second year of ELT training at
university, I had introductory sessions on English Phonetics and Phonology but still
there are times I mispronounce some English expressions, have slight difficulties to
listen to native speaker speech and get confused when listening to radio or TV news,
songs, etc. In conclusion, English Phonetics and Phonology should be a crucial part of
every ELT curriculum. Logically speaking, for teachers to be able to help their learners
spot out the most appropriate pronunciation and train them to figure out those intricate
issues of native-like accent, coarticulation, connected speech, etc. and correct learners’
spoken errors, teachers need to be exposed to enough ear training practice. There is also
the issue that teachers should be seen as models. And as learners are easily likely to
imitate their teachers’ speaking styles, teachers should be exposed to practices of
phonetics and phonology that look closer to RP (Received Pronunciation) or its
American equivalent.

KEYWORDS: "English Phonetics and Phonology", "Teacher training", "Aspects of


connected speech".

ii
QUOTE
Whenever I spoke to a person in America, they kept asking me “What?
What?” I would repeat my sentence again and again. Finally they would say
“Ah-ha!” and then say my sentence, using exactly my words! It was very
humiliating. I knew my words and grammar were good, but nobody would
understand me, just because of my pronunciation.
(Antimoon.com)

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CONTENTS PAGE
ABSTRACT ii
INTRODUCTION 1
1. What are Phonetics, Phonology and Pronunciation? 2
2. Why should English Phonetics and Phonology be taught in EFL teacher
training courses? 3
3. What features of English Phonetics and Phonology should be taught in EFL
teacher training courses? 5
3.1. Segmental Features 5
I.3.1. Consonant and Vowel charts 5
3.2. Suprasegmental Features 6
3.2.1. Accent 7
3.2.2. Stress 7
3.2.3. Aspects of connected speech 8
3.2.3.1. Rhythm 8
3.2.3.2. Assimilation 8
3.2.3.3. Elision 9
3.2.3.4. Linking 9
3.2.4. Tone and intonation: Acquired or learned? 10
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 11
WORKS CITED 12

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INTRODUCTION

It goes without saying that many English teachers, whether native or nonnative speakers,
strike in mastering those complex prosodic features of Phonetics and Phonology, such as
rhythm and intonation. When it turns out to English teachers who are trained in settings
where English is a foreign language, rarely spoken and where chances to be exposed to ear
training practices in English or interaction with native speakers are not frequent, mastery of
Phonetics and Phonology as a requisite for quality teaching of vocabulary and speaking
skills and subskills is an awkward situation deal with. This, thus, leads to questioning
whether or not Phonetics and Phonology should be taught, and if yes why, how or even
when.
In this short paper, I discuss the implications of teaching English Phonetics and
Phonology in EFL teacher training courses. The assignment is divided into three sections:
the first is about an overview on the concepts of Phonetics, Phonology and Pronunciation;
the second draws on possible reasons why it is compulsory to teach English Phonetics and
Phonology; and the third focuses on some aspects of English Phonetics and Phonology that
should be born in mind in teacher training.
The motivation to work on this topic aroused from my personal experience as a
trained English teacher. The case is in my second year of ELT training at university, I had
introductory sessions on English Phonetics and Phonology but still there are times I
mispronounce some English expressions, have slight difficulties to listen to native speaker
speech and get confused when listening to radio or TV news, songs, etc. Despite
differences in training contexts, it seems logical that those teacher trainees who are not
exposed to phonology practice may experience lots of problems, not only in trying out
their language proficiency but also in understanding and explaining how English is
naturally used in daily life.
With this work, I intend to recycle my knowledge on English Phonetics and
Phonology and evaluate how such knowledge can be beneficial to improve my
interpersonal communication skills as well as help my learners to achieve a more
intelligible pronunciation. Nevertheless, and considering that the contents discussed in this
paper make part of the syllabuses for teacher training and education programs, I expect it
will be of relevance both for teacher trainers and teacher-trainees who come to read it,
especially those who deal with Teaching English as a Foreign or Second Language.

1
1. What are Phonetics, Phonology and Pronunciation?

According to Richards & Schmidt (2002:397), phonetics is the study of the characteristics
of speech sounds or as Yule (2010:27) puts it, phonetics is the general study of the speech
sounds characteristics. For example, how the sounds ‘p’ and ‘b’ are naturally produced and
perceived. On the other hand, phonology studies the description of the different realisations
of the distinctive sound units of a language, called phonemes, and their interrelationship
(Richards & Schmidt, 2002:397) or simply the description of the systems and patterns of
speech sounds in a language Yule (2010:47). For example, how a single vowel like ‘a’ may
turn into ‘æ’, ‘ǝ’, ‘ɑ:’ and ‘ʌ’ as in ‘back’, ‘above’, ‘bark’ and ‘but’ accordingly. In few
words, whereas phonetics looks at the production and perception of speech sounds in
isolation, phonology examines how speech sounds are produced and realized when
coarticulated in words and sentences, mainly in rapid speech.
Pronunciation, in turn, is the interface between phonetics and phonology; or, as
Richards & Schmidt (2002:429) say, the way sounds are produced, emphasising the way
they are perceived by the hearer. For example, to produce the correct pronunciation of
certain sound a speaker needs to know the organs involved, the place and the manner of
articulation (i.e. phonetics) as well as the quality of the surrounding sounds and how they
can influence or get influenced when coarticulated (i.e. phonology). If, for example, the
word ‘important’ is transcribed as ['impɔ:tnt] or [impɔ:'tnt] instead of [ɪm'pɔ:tnt], it is said
to be pronounced incorrectly.
In short, phonetics, phonology and pronunciation are the conventional terms used to
explain how speech sounds are made and perceived in natural language use. Phonetics is
rather more scientific, technical and prescriptive in studying the human vocal tract,
whereas phonology is more descriptive analyzing how speech sounds are actually
produced and perceived, from the simplest segmental features (e.g. realisation of
phonemes) to the most complex suprasegmental features (e.g. connected speech and
intonation). Pronunciation, the outcome of phonetic and phonological analyses, is what
language users focus their attention to while acquiring or learning. In this work the three
terms will be used interchangeably.

2
2. Why should English Phonetics and Phonology be taught in EFL teacher
training courses?

In order to enrich the discussion over this question, let us look at some utterances. A native
speaker could be able to correctly pronounce and perceive, or apply in the appropriate
contexts the sounds [iks'pɔ:t] and ['ekspɔ:t] for ‘export’ even without being able to explain
the difference in stress placement. What about EFL learners or teachers in their initial
stages? How will they listen and spot, in rapid speech, between ‘I won’t tell you’ vs ‘I want
to tell you’, ‘keep sticking’ vs ‘keeps ticking’, ‘ice cream’ vs ‘I scream’, ‘I write very
often’ vs ‘I ride very often’, etc.? Will they easily raise awareness of weak forms and
perceive [ǝv tǝ gǝu] as ‘I have to go’ and not ‘after go’? Will they easily raise awareness of
the intrusion of an ‘ɹ’ or ‘ʍ’ as in ['fɔ:mjǝlǝɹei] and [ai laik tuʍit] as perceive as ‘formula
A’ and ‘I like to eat’ and not ‘formula ray’ or ‘I like to wit’ respectively? Will they easily
arise awareness of tone and intonation form and function as to perceive that a ‘yes’ with
fall or fall-rise intonation would mean ‘not welcoming the interaction’ and respectively
“limited agreement or answer with reservations” (Roach, 1983:118)? Or even that the
following two sentences from Roach (1983:145), “│'Those who 'sold quickly│ 'made a

ˎprofit│” and “│'Those who sold │'quickly 'made a ˎprofit│”, have different meaning?
It seems that a research would probably be necessary to give consistent answers to
the questions posed above, but logically speaking those teachers who have not been
exposed to practices of Phonetics and Phonology will not only face problems catching up
in interaction with proficient speakers but also provide their learners very poor teaching,
mainly regarding pronunciation and listening.
Hubicka (1980:22) advocates the idea that features of English Phonetics and
Phonology must be an integrated part of any learning program. She asserts that:
The three main areas of phonology – pronunciation, stress and intonation – affect the
English language student in both his receptive and productive language skills. (…) An
understanding of the basics of phonology can help the English language teacher as
well, both in terms of classroom approaches and techniques, and in lesson planning
and selection of items. Hubicka (1980:22)

Hubicka’s statements make it clear that it is important for an English teacher trainee
to have knowledge of phonetics and phonology because apart from providing background
to explain issues such as variation in pronunciation and intonation, it may help in devising
the most appropriate ways for practising the target language sounds in speaking, listening
and vocabulary. Similarly, Rotatori (2010:1) asserts that English phonetics and phonology

3
should be taught because English is not a phonetic language 4 and includes various features
which are unusual from the point of view of universals. For example, in comparison with
Portuguese, English has a larger and more elaborate vowel system including complex
processes of length alternation and weakening; a consonant system that includes dental
fricatives and voiced sibilants, which are uncommon sounds in the world's languages; word
stress placement that is free, i.e. arbitrary and frequently unpredictable; and an intonation
system that seems to be more complex and to have a much higher functional load than that
of most other languages. Rotatori (2010:1) concludes saying that both EFL teachers and
students should have a thorough knowledge of the phonetics and phonology of English so
that they can better understand native speakers and make themselves understood, without
pitfalls of misapprehensions.
Maniruzzaman (2012:1) says that pronunciation is an inextricable part of
second/foreign language learning for it directly affects learners’ performance as well as
communicative competence. Gilbert (1995:1) assures that pronunciation and listening
comprehension skills fall into straight interdependency and that those learners who cannot
hear well are “cut off from language”; and if they cannot intelligibly be easily understood
for poor speech production and perception, they are “cut off from conversation with native
speakers.” Harmer (2007:248) stresses that pronunciation teaching improves learners’
speaking immeasurably and awakens in them awareness of different sounds and sound
features, as well as their meaning. Wong (1993) goes beyond and affirms that a lack of
knowledge of pronunciation may well influence negatively learners’ reading and spelling.
In addition, Morley (1991:488) encapsulates stressing that “intelligible pronunciation is an
essential component of communication competence.”
All the arguments above sufficiently support the idea that English phonetics,
phonology and pronunciation should be an integrated part of EFL teacher training courses
and English teaching syllabus design. It is not debatable that an English teacher who is
raised into phonetics and phonology during his training is more likely to approach native
like speech and help their learners to do best in acquiring correct pronunciation than those
who are not exposed to training on phonetics and phonology. What is debatable, however,
is when, how and what features of phonetics and phonology should be taught – the next
issue for discussion.

4
i.e. the words are not pronounced as spelt and identical vowel letters may be pronounced in different ways,
e.g. great, threat and treat.

4
3. What features of English Phonetics and Phonology should be taught in EFL
teacher training courses?

This is a rather very interesting and thought provoking question. Should ELT trainers
invest time striking with complex prosodic features of phonetic and phonology or cut the
program short to simple issues of pronunciation that English teachers will securely need to
teach their learners the fundamentals of how English words are spoken?
Hubicka (1980a:22) suggests that there are three main areas of phonology that
affect English language learners’ receptive and productive language skills – pronunciation,
stress and intonation – and these are the elements that should be integrated in English
teaching and learning programs. Conversely, Maniruzzaman (2012:6) advocate that the
teaching of pronunciation should cover the segmental and suprasegmental features of
phonetics and phonology, as well as the training of the speech organs (e.g. lips, teeth,
tongue, vocal folds, ears, etc.). Harmer (2007:6), on the other hand, draws attention to
perfection vs intelligibility, phonemic symbols, working with sounds, stress, intonation,
spelling, connected speech and fluency.
Thus, for a wider description, I will group the features into three – segmental,
suprasegmental and intonation.

3.1. Segmental Features

The segmental features of phonetics and phonology include the detailed study of phonemes
and syllabic structure of words. For example, in rapid speech, English speakers may strike
to distinguish in short utterances between ‘fine’ and ‘vine’, ‘heal’ and ‘hill’, ‘hit’ and
‘heat’, ‘ship’ and ‘sheep’, ‘bat’ ‘but’ and ‘butt’, ‘pot’ and ‘port’, ‘an’ and ‘and’, ‘I can tell’
and ‘I can’t tell’, etc., unless they are native speakers or non-native speakers who are
frequently expose to native speaker natural English. This happens because of lack of
awareness of phonemes and their different realisations. An essential part in speech
production and perception are the consonant and vowel sounds.

3.1.1. Consonant and Vowel charts

As we could see from the examples above, English has a complex system of consonant and
vowel sounds and this makes the mastery of English sounds a puzzling task.

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Yule (2010:30) distinguishes between three different categories of consonants: the
voicing, the place of articulation and the manner of articulation, as shown in fig. 3.2. In
terms of voicing, consonants are said to be voiced if they vibrate (e.g. b, v and d) and
voiceless or unvoiced if no vibration is realised as they are pronounced (e.g. p, f and t). In
terms of place of articulation, consonants are said to be bilabial (b, p, m, and w),
labiodental (f and v), dental (θ and ð), alveolar (t, s, d, z, r, l and n), palatal (ʤ, ʧ, ʃ, j and
ʒ), velar (k, g and η) and glottal (h). In terms of manner of articulation, consonants are
said to be stops or plosives (b, p, t, d, k and g), fricatives (f, v, θ, ð, s, z, ʃ, ʒ and h),
affricates (ʤ and ʧ), nasals (m, n and η), liquids (l and r) and glides (w and j). Thus, a
speaker who is exposed to this consonant charting system is likely to perceive whether he
hears someone say fine or vine, tine or dine because of the sensory awareness of vibration,
explosion, friction, etc.

Roach (1983:15-17) distinguishes between short vowels (æ, ɪ, ʌ, e, Ʊ, ɒ) and long


vowels (i: ɑ: ɜ: ɔ: u:), and the variant vowel schwa (ə) that usually represents unstressed
vowel sounds. In a more complex analysis, Roach (1983:13-14) classifies the vowels
according to their place of articulation (front, central and back), according to the intensity
of the tongue raise (close or high, close-mid, open-mid and open or low) and according to
the movement of the lips (rounded, spread and neutral). Thus, a speaker who is exposed to
this vowel charting system is likely to perceive whether he hears someone say spot or
sport, bark or back, to, too or two because of the sensory awareness of the length of vowels
and the movement of the lips.

In summary, EFL teacher trainees need to draw on the basics of how English
consonants and vowels are differently realized not only to improve their listening
comprehension and natural language production but also to be able to approach correct
pronunciation while teaching.

3.2. Suprasegmental Features

In contrast to the segmental ones, suprasegmental features go beyond simple phonemic


realisation of distinguishing sounds. They comprise phonological features that play an
essential and natural role in English speech production and perception and may alter
meaning or function, such as stress in words and connected speech, rhythm, pitch,
loudness, length, quality, tone and intonation.

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3.2.1. Accent

Accent has to do with the actual and particular way of speaking that informs the listener
something about the speaker’s background or identity (Richards & Schmidt, 2002:3). For
example, an American or British native speaker and a person who learns English as a
second or foreign language have different accents.
As English evolved into a global language, now without cultural or identity
boundaries, the possibilities of monitoring how and who should speak English has come
into fallacy. Being so, should accent really be taught? If yes, which accent should be taught
– British, American or a foreign accent? Harmer (2007:248-249), drawing on perfect vs
intelligible accent, adds two questions: Should they sound exactly like speakers of a
prestige variety of English (e.g. RP) so that just by listening to them we would assume that
they were British, America, Australian or Canadian? Or should we be happy if they can at
least make themselves understood?
Harmer’s (2007:249) answer is that we should work hard towards an intelligible
pronunciation instead of striking to achieve L1-speaker perfection. Morley (1991:496)
insists that the goal of teaching phonetics and phonology should shift from attaining
perfect accent to the more realistic goal of developing functional intelligibility,
communicability, increased self-confidence and the development of speech monitoring and
modification strategies. And agreeing, Maniruzzaman (2012:7) concludes that the ultimate
target of teaching pronunciation should be an intelligible accent.
Indeed, native accent can hardly be taught. Even in the UK, it is said the only 5% of
the population speak English with an RP or BBC accent. So this cannot be demanded to
teachers who are trained to teach English in non-native settings. If they are exposed to
practices of accent, it should reasonably be with the purpose of raising awareness of the
multiplicity of the world Englishes and speech accommodation.

3.2.2. Stress

Stress, “the pronunciation of a syllable or word with more respiratory energy or muscular
force than other syllables or words in the same utterance” (Richards & Schmidt,
2002:516), is another intricate issue of English phonetics and phonology, since stressed
words in English have no graphic symbol and stress placement is somehow arbitrary. Look
at the words, object, export, interest, black bird, blackbird, refugee, cigarette, etc. Actually,

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native speakers will intuitively pronounce ['ɒbʤekt] if it is used as noun, and [əb'ʤekt] as
a verb. But how will nonnative speakers decide on whether or not to stress the words and
in which parts? How will they easily distinguish between strong and weak syllables and
apply in each the correct phonetic value?
This is one more reason for the must of teaching phonetics and phonology in EFL.
English is a stress-timed language and knowing and applying the basic rules of word and
sentence stress is of utmost importance to English speakers. Hubicka (1981a:20) says that
correct stress is fundamental to effective communication and teachers should not avoid
introducing stress practice in their lessons.

3.2.3. Aspects of connected speech

One other important issue in English pronunciation is connected speech, i.e. those
differences in pronunciation that result from coarticulation in rapid speech. Connected
speech covers analysis of rhythm, assimilation, elision, linking, liaison, juncture and other
related features.

3.2.3.1. Rhythm

From Roach (1983:102), we can gather the idea that rhythm has to do with the sound
frequency between stressed and unstressed syllables that ideologically has to be the same,
irrespective of the number of syllables between the stressed ones. Because of this, English
sounds are usually pronounced rapidly and this confuses learners. Considering, for
example, the sentence ‘|'Ac|tually, I’ll |'go to the |'place’ which has three stressed syllables
as marked, for the length of time between strong and weak sounds to be rhythmically the
same, the sentence has to be spoken in a reasonably rapid way. This would make the
sentence to sound like ‘Actually, I got the place’.
Therefore, EFL trainees need to be exposed to this typical feature of English
phonology so as to train their ear and improve their quality of language production and
perception.

3.2.3.2. Assimilation

Broadly speaking, assimilation is the process through which neighbouring sounds


lookalike. For example, the sentence ‘Jane is a good girl’ is likely to be pronounced

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[ʤeinza gƱg gɜ:l] – d, the final consonant of good, is assimilated by g, the initial consonant
of girl. Roach (1983:105) distinguishes between regressive assimilation (i.e. when the
initial consonant assimilates the final consonant of the previous word) and progressive
assimilation (i.e. when the initial consonant changes to be like the final consonant of the
previous word). Other examples include ‘good night [g Ʊn nait]’, ‘that case [ðæk keiz]’,
‘that person [ðæp pɜ:sn]’, etc.
Assimilation is quite common is natural use of English and usually results in
weakening certain sounds and prompting the intrusion of strange sounds. For lack of
practice of phonology, non-native speakers often confuse ‘that person’ with ‘the person’
and ‘good girl’ with ‘go girl’, provoking communication barriers. Thus, training in
phonology is indispensable to equip pre-service teachers to perform their teaching better.

3.2.3.3. Elision

Elision means leaving out a certain sound in the pronunciation of a string of sounds. For
example, ‘and [ænd]’ becomes [ən] between stressed syllables as in ‘you and me’; the ‘o’ is
omitted or becomes ‘ə’ as in police, tonight and correct; and the t is left out as in [ʃi æks]
for ‘she acts’, [bi: geim] for ‘big game’ and [skrɪps] for ‘scripts’, etc. Examples of elision
also include short forms and contractions. Likewise assimilation, lack of knowledge of
elision may mislead listeners in perceiving wrong sounds or decoding messages. Explicit
practice, then, is required from EFL teacher trainees.

3.2.3.4. Linking

Phonetic linking is a special suprasegmental feature that consists in pronouncing words


without noticeable boundary, as if they were one only. Linking is difficult to understand
because there are times that the context does not help much. For example, if you hear short
utterances such as [aiskri:m fə ju] or [ʤʌst ki:p stɪkɪη], what will you understand? Will you
judge it as ‘I scream for you’ or ‘ice-cream for you’, ‘just keep sticking’ or ‘just keeps
ticking’?
Another special case of phonetic linking that is also often intriguing is the use of ‘r’
before vowels. For example, the word four is pronounced [fɔ:] but in the expression four
eggs an ‘r’ sound is included ['fɔ:regz]. We can even think of the utterance [ðɪs iz fɔ:revə]
and ask whether it should be spelled ‘this is for Eva’ or ‘this is forever’. Indeed, a learner
of English who is not used to these language variants in his L1 is certainly to get lost. This

9
is one another evidence that the teaching of phonetics and phonology is so essential to
one’s improvement of speech production and perception that it should never be
discouraged from English teaching programs.

3.2.4. Tone and intonation: Acquired or learned?

Another issue of utmost importance in the study of phonetics and phonology is tone and
intonation. As far as I know, tone and intonation refer to the way English speakers use
tonic stress and pitch height to emphasise something or convey shades of meaning. For
example, if a native speaker asks you for information and you answer ‘yes’ with fall
intonation, they will feel a bit hesitant and perceive that you are not eager to interact. In
contrast, a non-native speaker would easily misunderstand the discourse function of
intonation and provoke barriers.

Roach (1983:115,136) distinguishes between level (ˍ), fall (ˎ), rise (ˏ), fall-rise (˯)
and rise-fall (˰) forms of English tones; attitudinal, accentual, grammatical and discourse
functions of intonation. One who listens to two equal sentences but with different
intonation patterns (e.g. ‘my aunt, who lives in the UK, is turning 100 years old next
month’ vs. ‘my aunt, who lives in the UK, is turning 100 years old next month’) should
understand that there are differences of meaning – on the one hand, the speaker has only
one aunt, and on the other hand s/he has many aunts.

One would come with claims that it is pointless to strike teaching intonation, since
it is not appropriate for low levels, and it is acquired rather than learned. However, my
experience tells me that it is possible and compulsory to teach intonation. Hubicka
(1981b:24) says that it is essential that from the presentation to the free practice stages of
the language lesson adequate attention is paid to intonation, even with “zero-beginners”.

Despite its complexity, intonation affects meaning and should be considered. For
being reasonably able to make sense of those prosodic features, EFL trainees require
special training on phonetics and phonology. This will help them to enhance speech
perception and interpret better in their lessons on listening aspects of native discourse.

10
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

As introduced earlier and now reasonably clear, English Phonetics and Phonology should
be a crucial part of every ELT curriculum. Logically speaking, for teachers to be able to
help their learners spot out the most appropriate pronunciation and train them to figure out
those intricate issues of native-like accent, coarticulation, connected speech, etc. and
correct learners’ spoken errors, teachers need to be exposed to enough ear training practice.
There is also the issue that teachers should be seen as models. And as learners are easily
likely to imitate their teachers’ speaking styles, teachers should be exposed to practices of
phonetics and phonology that look closer to RP (Received Pronunciation) or its American
equivalent.
And although studies such as Purcell and Suter’s (1980:286) suggested that
classroom pronunciation practice has little influence on learner’s pronunciation skills, it is
clear that pronunciation is the most of what people notice when a person speaks and
effective communication often depends on how well a speaker/hearer can clearly produce
or perceive natural speech. As learners’ aim is usually to be able to talk, they need practice
to acquire intelligible pronunciation. And for the teachers to provide such practices
appropriately, they need rigorous training in phonetics and phonology. Concentrating on
sounds, showing where they are made in the mouth and making students aware of where
words should be stressed give them extra information about spoken English and help them
achieve the goal of improved comprehension and intelligibility.

11
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Mendelson, D. J. & Rubin, J. (Eds.), A Guide for the Teaching of Second
Language Learning, San Diego: Dominic Press, pp. 97-111
Harmer, J. (2007) The Practice of English Language Teaching (4th edn), Longman: Pearson
Education Ltd
Hubicka, O. (1980a) Why bother about phonology? Practical English Teaching (PET) vol.
1, nº 3, October 1980, pp. 22-24
Hubicka, O. (1980b) Phonology: sounds, Practical English Teaching (PET) vol. 1, nº 2,
December 1980, pp. 24-26
Hubicka, O. (1981a) Phonology: stress, Practical English Teaching (PET) vol. 1, nº 3,
February1981, pp. 20-23
Hubicka, O. (1981b) Phonology: intonation, Practical English Teaching (PET) vol. 1, nº 4,
April 1981, pp. 22-25
Maniruzzaman, M. (last updated 2012) Teaching EFL Pronunciation: Why, What and
How? [online] available at http://www.eslteachersboard.com/cgi-
bin/articles/index.pl?page=5;read=3492 (accessed January, 2nd 2013)
Morley, J. (1991) The pronunciation component in teaching English to speakers of other
languages. TESOL Quarterly, vol. 25, nº 3, pp. 481-520
Purcell, E. & Suter, R. (1980) Predictors of pronunciation accuracy: a reexamination,
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