teaching phonology

More PronPack – contrastive stress

More PronPack in class today. I’m just making a quick note of a follow-up activity I did – worked well.

I used ‘Stress Jigsaw’, a cool activity for raising awareness of contrastive stress. It involves matching questions with the correct answer, using the tonic stress in the answer as a clue. Here is a pic, but not of all the matching pairs as the publishers might not be happy with that… (more…)

Using PronPack

I’ve been using PronPack a bit in class recently. I was going to review it, but I think it’s more interesting to write about how I’m using it instead.

I’ve just taught my teen classes the phonemic chart and we’ve been identifying some of the sounds they have difficulties with. Hancock’s Vowel Breakout (Book 2) was a good springboard for practice the other day. If you are unfamiliar, this is an activity where learners find their way out of a maze by following a path of words which include a certain sound.

I used this task as a quick review of our vowel focus the previous week, but I extended it by getting learners to make their own mazes for sounds they found difficult/problematic to produce or identify. (more…)

DipTESOL Phonology Interview

There are some useful resources online 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…

 Presentation

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

(more…)

DipTESOL Tip – Phonology based activities

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…)