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  1. #11
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: The Phonetic Alphabet

    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher Judy View Post
    ... I developed a simple new phonetic alphabet called the English Phonetic Alphabet (EPA). It uses only keyboard symbols and the best part is the vowels. By happy coincidence the names of the colors in English contain one vowel sound. Students remember vocabulary by color:
    /Ay/ is Gray - made, great, eight, rain, hey...
    /a/ is Black - mad, calf, laugh, plaid...
    /Ey is Green - we, feet, meat, piece, people, ski...
    /e/ is Red - bed, head, said, guess, friend...

    It's magic. ("sat" is Black and "set" is Red)
    ....
    So was it you who won the ELTon for Local Innovation last week? (The nominations are here; that page hasn't been updated, but The Colour of Words won.


    b

  2. #12
    I'm With Stupid's Avatar
    I'm With Stupid is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: The Phonetic Alphabet

    Watch all of this.



    And then do it in class. It can be extremely useful. The key is to make pronunciation a physical activity, so that when the student makes a mistake, you can point to the sound they made on the chart, and they can see the sound they're aiming for, and know exactly what to do to their mouth to alter it (since it is so logically laid out). If you have a chart in your class at all times, you can refer to it at any point to fix a pronunciation error on the spot, and work pronunciation practice into other activities. My school has one in the corner of every white board, and I'd now hate to teach without it.

  3. #13
    BobK's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Phonetic Alphabet

    Well worth the hour!

    b

  4. #14
    NorwichEnglish's Avatar
    NorwichEnglish is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: The Phonetic Alphabet

    I think it's best to introduce it gradually. But I do find it very useful, especially as English spelling is so ridiculous at times. Adrian Underhill's "Sound Foundations" is a brilliant book that helps to really get into phonetics and teaching pronunciation in general (it's only useful for native speakers though).

  5. #15
    Esgaleth's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Phonetic Alphabet

    Quote Originally Posted by NorwichEnglish View Post
    (it's only useful for native speakers though).
    Curious to know why. Macmillan doesn't mark it 'for internal use only', quite the reverse, IMO.

  6. #16
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    Default Re: The Phonetic Alphabet

    Quote Originally Posted by Esgaleth View Post
    Curious to know why. Macmillan doesn't mark it 'for internal use only', quite the reverse, IMO.
    Probably to sell more copies? The whole foundation of the book is the reader's own built-in perfect native pronunciation. The book explores this with many useful exercises to help you understand what your mouth is doing when it speaks sounds, words and sentences. This book helped me a lot and I'd highly recommend it (to native teachers). I think pronunciation is too often neglected, and yet it is so important in communication. Also, the study of pronunciation develops the ear, which will in turn greatly improve listening skills.

  7. #17
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    Default Re: The Phonetic Alphabet

    Quote Originally Posted by NorwichEnglish View Post
    Probably to sell more copies?
    Oh, really? Another attempt to swindle hapless non-native teachers?
    You must be joking, in general people are not that stupid when it comes to money.

    Quote Originally Posted by NorwichEnglish View Post
    The whole foundation of the book is the reader's own built-in perfect native pronunciation. The book explores this with many useful exercises to help you understand what your mouth is doing when it speaks sounds, words and sentences.
    Interestingly, the author presents the course as a number of activities for learners to understand how they could master their pronunciation. I assume, it might work for native teachers as well.
    What pronunciation should be considered 'perfect' is actually beside the point with so many varieties even within one country let alone certain personal characteristics, that is speaking about BrE solely.

    Quote Originally Posted by NorwichEnglish View Post
    This book helped me a lot and I'd highly recommend it (to native teachers). I think pronunciation is too often neglected, and yet it is so important in communication. Also, the study of pronunciation develops the ear, which will in turn greatly improve listening skills.
    Absolutely. Broad generalisation hardly ever helps to get the real picture, still I'd rather go along with you on that - it could be fairly challenging, if ever possible, to teach what you have never been taught yourself.

    Undeniably, the course is helpful for native teachers. What I am curious to know is why only for native teachers.
    IMO, regardless of anything, while speaking everyone is doing something with his mouth, lips, teeth or whatever he has to pronounce something meaningful. Why not use these activities to polish one's sounds?
    On the other hand, if these activities can help learners start speaking English more naturally, why do you think non-native teachers cannot benefit from them as well?

    Incidentally, A. Underhill is addressing a group of non-native teachers at the seminar and actually shows how a Spanish-speaking teacher gets her /ae/ right at last. Or, are we talking about different books?

  8. #18
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    Default Re: The Phonetic Alphabet

    Quote Originally Posted by Esgaleth View Post
    ...if these activities can help learners start speaking English more naturally, why do you think non-native teachers cannot benefit from them as well?

    Incidentally, A. Underhill is addressing a group of non-native teachers at the seminar and actually shows how a Spanish-speaking teacher gets her /ae/ right at last. Or, are we talking about different books?
    I was talking about the book "Sound Foundations". Yes, I'm sure anyone with reasonable pronunciation could benefit from this book, but I still think native speakers would benefit the most. IMO the Cambridge 'Pronunciation in Use' series would be a much better choice for non-native speakers.

    It would be interesting to hear what any non-native speakers who have tried Sound Foundations think about it.

  9. #19
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    Default Re: The Phonetic Alphabet

    Quote Originally Posted by Esgaleth View Post
    ...
    Undeniably, the course is helpful for native teachers. What I am curious to know is why only for native teachers.
    IMO, regardless of anything, while speaking everyone is doing something with his mouth, lips, teeth or whatever he has to pronounce something meaningful. Why not use these activities to polish one's sounds?
    On the other hand, if these activities can help learners start speaking English more naturally, why do you think non-native teachers cannot benefit from them as well?

    Incidentally, A. Underhill is addressing a group of non-native teachers at the seminar and actually shows how a Spanish-speaking teacher gets her /ae/ right at last. Or, are we talking about different books?
    I think this whole native-speaker/nonNS teacher thing is a red herring. The only (arguable) thing to be said for a NS advantage is that phonemic script lets a teacher commit his/her intuitions to paper.

    But Underhill makes it very clear at the outset that he's not teaching 'the phonemes of English' but investigating the mechanisms of sound production as a number of continuums (e.g. [i:] to [u:]) stopping off along the way at points that reflected English phonemes. As a teacher, I've always used the symbols just as a way of committing sounds to paper. But this video has made me think more about the mechanisms in ways that should make me a better teacher (if I ever get another job).


    b

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