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ERIC Number: ED320443
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990
Pages: 22
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Pronunciation: What Should We Be Teaching?
Gilbert, Judy B.
An argument is made for stressing rhythm and intonation (the prosody of the language) when teaching pronunciation in English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) courses. A review of pronunciation teaching revealed that ESL methodology was formed largely from structural linguistics and behavioral psychology. These theories produced at least two concepts that are believed to have a negative impact on pronunciation instruction. The two concepts are: (1) that the most important part of pronunciation is individual sounds, and (2) that learning comes from mechanical practice. These two principles together have produced the ubiquitous minimal pair drill; the result has been large scale abandonment of pronunciation because it is a discouraging manner of teaching. The focusing of prosody is a fundamental part of the communication system, helping direct attention to the most informative part of the stream of speech and organizing thought groups so as to assist the listener in processing the information. By emphasizing prosody rather than individual sounds, pronunciation teaching comes within a more communicative setting. The whole rhetorical flow of meaning is tied together by the music of the language. (GLR)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A