ERIC Number: ED303033
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
English Speech Rhythm and Its Teaching to Non-Native Speakers.
English is a stress-timed language whose syllables have a much wider variety of onsets, codas, and combinations than many languages. English also has the widest range of syllable length and quality between stressed and unstressed syllables and a distinctive pattern of intervals between stressed syllables. These characteristics make it difficult for speakers of a syllable-timed language such as Japanese to assimilate English speech rhythm. Certain phonological devices establish and maintain English rhythmic regularity and the rhythmic expectation among English speakers. Use of visual aids in which English stress is presented like musical notes illustrates graphically to Japanese speakers how English and Japanese rhythms differ, and is particularly appealing to this group because of the high quality of music education in Japan. Having students whisper English words in chorus also assists in teaching syllabification and pronunciation, and demonstrates that loudness is irrelevant to stress. Establishing this kind of sensitivity to timing and rhythm in non-native speakers is important in increasing the intelligibility to Japanese students of English as spoken by native speakers. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (22nd, Chicago, IL, March 8-13, 1988).