This is an introductory session on the phonemic chart for trainees taking the DipTESOL. I’ve designed this to supplement input given via distance learning courses, to be run in-house. It’s meant to help trainees give a basic explanation of the phonemic chart – something I was asked to do during my DipTESOL phonology interview.
The first question I was asked in my DipTESOL phonology interview was (along the lines of…):
Can you give me a brief description of the phonemic chart, and how it might benefit learners of English?
Gulp. Where do I start?
If I were a DipTESOL tutor the first thing I would do is get the chart into play. I think the phonology part of the course is what many trainees fear, so let’s nip that in the bud straight away… This session isn’t about jumping straight in and learning all the sounds, sound symbols, place and manner of articulation and all that scary stuff. It’s about exploring the idea of the chart and helping trainees become more confident discussing it rather than using it.
Disclaimer: my flipcharts don’t look good 😦
Session time: about an hour
I encountered the phonemic chart on my CELTA course, so I’m guessing others will have too. I’d guess also that many teachers know more about it that than they think, so let’s start with a discussion:(more…)
I don’t have much to add when it comes to the DipTESOL phonology interview. You can find two great overviews about it from Gemma Lunn and Dave Dodgson. Both mention the example videos by Oxford TEFL, which I think are done by the tutors there.
All I can really add are some concrete examples, and a bit about my experience of doing the interview itself.
Just for context, I got a Distinction for the DipTESOL. I scored 82 for my assignments – you can read a summary of one here and find the others in English Teaching Professional (see ‘About me’). I got 83 (I think) for the phonology interview, 81 for the teaching practice and 73 for the exam. However, I’m not a Dip examiner or tutor, so I can only share my subjective views…
I presented about activities I use to raise awareness of contrastive stress. I mentioned:
a specific group of learners
WHY this was an important or relevant skill for them to practice
how I got students to notice contrastive stress
how I got them to practice it
how I encouraged them to produce this feature in a freer context
I found ‘Phonological Theory in Classroom Practice’ the most useful module on the DipTESOL. It really encourages you to try out new activities and integrate phonology into your lessons. During the final assessment for the module (which is a 30-minute interview), the examiner asked me a fair few questions on phonology in my own practice. I came out of the interview thinking this:
‘Phew, I’m glad I actually tried all that stuff out in class so I had something to talk about!’
My advice is to experiment with phonology based activities a lot during the course. Below I’ve listed a few tips to help you integrate phonology into your practice. These are all based on my experience during the 9 month distance DipTESOL course. It’s only a small insight into this topic, but I hope it gives you a few ideas. (more…)