Teaching pronunciation w/o IPA?
I am trying to help a few Hondurans (i.e. native Spanish speakers) with their English pronunciation. They are already receiving good, overall instruction in the local classes they are attending, but they are having problems with the sounds - especially for short vowels (e.g. trying to pronounce "her," they say "whore" - yikes!).
In searching the Internet for good, free materials that I could print or record for them, I have not been very successful in finding truly USABLE materials. Most, unfortunately, are designed for groups (e.g. getting a whole class involved in games, etc.) or make use of the International Phonetic Alphabet.
The IPA is a great tool in dictionaries, once one KNOWS pronunciation, but only causes increased confusion when students (regardless of age) attempt to use it for LEARNING pronunciation. Thus, it is very frustrating to be looking for things that will help these students but which, ultimately, are more difficult for them to use.
Even audio materials that say "we don't use any confusing symbols" wind up being useful only for people who have already learned quite a bit of English, since all of the instructions are rattled off in English as though the producers of the materials expect students who are just learning English to be able to carry out things such as "touch you tongue to the back of your teeth while holding your mouth in the shape of..." well, you get the idea.
Have any of you teachers - especially TUTORS - found any good materials or techniques for helping individual students with English pronunciation, WITHOUT using the IPA, group activities or lengthy English instructions? Since I am in Honduras, materials specifically geared towards helping Spanish speakers would be even better.
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