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  1. #1
    Mehrgan's Avatar
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    Default Further on Glottal Stops, please

    Hi there,
    I'd asked a Qn about this linguistic feature and I've got my answer from two very generous friends of ours,...Thanks to them! Now, could you please check this one too? What'd you do if you were supposed to teach EFL Ss, and you knew they're doing all they could do to improve their listening comprehension skills, but coming up with what they hear from an authentic task get panicked?! I see the material for ESL/EFL Ss is by far nothing to do with what's going on out there! Once I tried to show them how they may come up with these features, but the result was quite disappointing, cos they felt mastering such features would hinder their Lg learning! Any idea?! Cheers!
    Last edited by Mehrgan; 23-Apr-2009 at 23:10.

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    Default Re: Further on Glottal Stops, please

    Hi Mehrgan

    I have a few questions of my own. First, what are you teaching? Second, why do the students need to learn it? That is, have you invested them in the topic? Third, when students find a given task too difficult, it's best to give them a task that you know they can do in order to build up their confidence. Have you tried that?

    As you know, we teach people, not subjects. If you focus on your students' needs first, the rest will eventually take care of itself.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Further on Glottal Stops, please

    Good advice, soup

  4. #4
    Mehrgan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Further on Glottal Stops, please

    [quote=Soup;467575]Hi Mehrgan

    I have a few questions of my own. First, what are you teaching? Second, why do the students need to learn it? That is, have you invested them in the topic? Third, when students find a given task too difficult, it's best to give them a task that you know they can do in order to build up their confidence. Have you tried that?

    Hi Soup,
    Thank you for the advice. As I'd mentioned before, native speakers might judge such aspects of Lg learning based on their own attitude towards their Lg. The question was why they need to know about these features, and Ive got to tell you I didn't mean sucha thing. I know conscious focus on these points wouldn't do any good. I just wonder why course book designers evade applying such features to their materials. I see Ss hear a piece of utterance from a film, know every bit of vocabulary (after I mention them), simply use the structure used, but can't comprehend it! Because they can't get why some parts are omitted, not pronounced, ...etc. This was the point I was trying to get across...Any advice on this please? Thanks.
    Last edited by Mehrgan; 23-Apr-2009 at 23:12.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Further on Glottal Stops, please

    Hi Mehrgan

    That speakers omit sounds, even words and phrases, is common in all the world's languages--traditionalists would have it otherwise, but the human body doesn't work that way. The more efficient a system, the more preferred it is. Which is "why some parts are omitted, not pronounced." It's been called casual speech, connected speech, fast speech, rapid speech, colloquial speech, even "slang"--which it is not.

    When speakers omit sounds, they do so because it's easier to do so. For example, the question Do you want to? becomes Ja'wanna? Speakers don't even know they are doing it, and unless you're a linguist or have taken linguistic courses in phonology, you wouldn't know why or how it happens either.

    Learners don't need to know how it works. The only thing they need is opportunity and exposure:


    • Show them the written form in its context,
    • tell them what it means/stands for,
    • give them various examples,
    • give them a piece of audio text and have them listen for it;
    • have them listen again.
    • Ask them to make sentences using the form.
    • Have them listen to a new audio text and have them tell you what they heard.

    Step by step is the process, and by the end they should be confident in their ability to "hear" the words they couldn't hear before.

    My seasoned advice to you, stop teaching phonology and start teaching vocabulary. Show your students how to listen for words/phrases "they know but haven't yet heard". Let them be word detectives.

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