In this latest guest post, CELTA Trainer Nicky Salmon offers some tips for drilling pronunciation.
I watch a lot of teachers doing drills to focus on pronunciation.
Picture yourself drilling the following-
Teacher: OK class, listen….vegetable, vegetable
Students : Vegetable
Many teachers manage the turn taking (model, repeat, model, repeat) quite successfully but sadly forget to make it clear WHAT feature they want students to hear/identify and so repeat.
For example, with VEGETABLE,
-how many syllables are pronounced and which is stressed?
-are all the vowels full or is there a schwa sound in there somewhere?
If the teacher forgets to make it clear in some way what the features are, then this is a FLAPPY DRILL.
There are many times when we need to focus our students on making the sounds of the new language we are teaching them.
- Maybe a consonant cluster in a new piece of vocabulary, for example, /br/ or /rts/.
- Maybe the schwa /ə/ sound or an unexpected pronunciation that doesn’t seem to mirror the spelling, for example, the varieties for the written ‘ea’,
- Maybe the word has two or more syllables and the stress need to be identified.
- Maybe the stress in a sentence is linked to the meaning or the intonation pattern is clearly linked to the feeling or attitude of the speaker.