I sometimes hear from DipTESOL trainees who are finding it hard to get to grips with phonology. Common problems include:
- Arrgh! I just don’t know where to start with it? What should I learn about first?
- It’s not the learning about phonology, it’s how to integrate it…
A good way to approach either of these points is with a bit of reflection.
I did my Dip with TLI Europe, who were really good. Before we started the module(s) on phonology, our tutor sent us a few diagnostic/reflection questions. These helped us understand more about our current practice in this area, the needs of our learners, our attitudes to teaching pronunciation and our areas for development.
If you are mentoring a trainee I recommend going through some of these questions with them. These are mainly exploratory and designed to prompt discussion.
If you are a trainee then feel free to respond to any questions in the comments and I’ll offer some advice if needed/if I can! (more…)