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Funiber Teaching Pronunciation Essay

2746 words - 11 pages

Take two distinct problems of transfwer between Spanish and English which you consider to be obstacles to efficient communication. The problems can either be segmental or suprasegmental.


1. Introduction
2. Brinton’s five variables
3. Problem 1 - /b/ and /v/
4. Problem 2 - /s/, /z/ and /ェz/
5. Exposure, Exercise, Explanation - /b/ and /v/
6. Exposure, Exercise, Explanation - /s/, /z/ and /ェz/
7. Conclusion
8. Bibliography
9. Appendices

1. Introduction

When learning a language, communication is of the utmost importance. Learners wish to not only communicate with native English-speakers, but also with non-native ...view middle of the document...

2. Brinton’s five variables (1995)

Learner variables: In this assignment, I will consider the pronunciation proficiency of adults learners. They are all Spanish speakers, aged between eighteen and twenty-five, attending university and are preparing for their Cambridge B1 exam which they hope to take in July of this year. They attend our private school twice a week for ninety minutes, which I believe is not sufficient, but due to timetable restrictions of both the students and the school, it is impossible to increase contact hours.

Setting variables: All the students have their own English book named ‘Objective PET’, published by Cambridge University Press. This book deals with the preparation required to take the Cambridge B1 exam. It has a high content of a mix of the four skills covered over thirty short units, with one Pronunciation section in each unit. The students are living in Jaén and have very limited opportunities to speak English outside the classroom unless they are in contact with English-speaking Erasmus students at the local university or native English-speaking teachers or language assistants.

Methodological and institutional variables: When addressing their previous knowledge of English, all have achieved a good command of English grammar, reading and writing throughout their schooling in ESO and Bachillerato, but when we arrive to their capabilities in listening and speaking, they flounder.
I began teaching these learners in September 2014 and when I started the class, I conducted a Needs Analysis Questionnaire, which I find a highly useful when getting to know my students. All of the students, of whom there are twenty-two spread across two groups, highlighted that they wanted to improve their pronunciation and placed it as one of the most important issues that they had, along with speaking. This leads us to think that pronunciation and speaking obviously go hand-in-hand. They also believed that because of the traditional Grammar-Translation method of the 19th-20th century, they did not get enough error correction with their pronunciation while at primary and secondary school. The preferred a communicative approach in class which we have given them.
Also, another factor worth noting is that they preferred coming to a private ‘academy’ and selecting a class with a native English-speaking teacher because they felt they could assimilate pronunciation more efficiently. Having said that, should they have chosen a class with a non-native English-speaker, I believe that their progress would not have been much different as all teachers are qualified, have great experience and a fantastic command of English pronunciation. When we consider these two types of teachers, as highlighted by Jenkins (1998: 122), the crucial difference between a non-native speaker of English and a native speaker as regards segmentals, which I will discuss in this assignment, is that the non-native may deviate from native models in precisely...

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