Introduction to Teaching English Pronunciation

Zig Engelmann

Teaching English Pronunciation

A course of 13 training sessions with Zig, Jerry Silbert, and Crystal Chambers.

Sessions are consecutive and range from about 30 minutes to 45 minutes.

This course is online because it involves details that would…


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Teaching English Pronunciation

A course of 13 training sessions with Zig, Jerry Silbert, and Crystal Chambers.

Sessions are consecutive and range from about 30 minutes to 45 minutes.

This course is online because it involves details that would be impossible to convey accurately in print—the proper tone, inflection, timing, modeling, and pacing of what to do. All these details make a difference. The course is led by Zig Engelmann who has trained very successful teachers of English pronunciation. The course is relevant for anyone whose goal is to be effective in teaching correct English pronunciation. The course teaches techniques that are not generally learned by practicing speech pathologists, speech therapists, or ESL
teachers.

Perspective

Everything in the course either details teaching techniques or provides information teachers need to teach well. The course starts with the sounds of the language and a dual classification of the consonant sounds as continuous versus non-continuous and voiced versus unvoiced.
This classification system has implications for how you pronounce the sound in isolation, how some sounds change when they occur in words, and, most important, how you teach the sounds and how you correct pronunciation mistakes.

Later sessions in the course address vowels, consonant blends (like sl, sp, nt, rd) and how to teach and practice sentences. The course details correction strategies for dealing with sounds, words, and sentences. The strategies for introducing new words or sentence forms focus on how much to present at a single period, how many repetitions to provide, and how to increase the probability that students will retain the material.

One strategy for correcting mistakes shows students how to use what they have learned as a basis for teaching them to generalize. For example, the words good and push have the same vowel sound but even most native speakers of English don’t recognize that the vowel sound is the same. If students can pronounce good correctly but can’t pronounce the vowel sound in push the simplest correction is to use what students know as a model. You direct students to say good, then say the vowel sound in good, then to say push with that vowel sound.
Other word-correction techniques involve identifying the smallest part of the word that is mispronounced, directing students to say that part, then directing students to say larger parts that include the mispronounced part. For example, if students say “ronning” for running, direct them to say the vowel sound (uh) in isolation, then un or run, then running.

The course models the behavior that a highly successful teacher needs—the pacing, the timing, the tone, and the details—but if you want to become a superstar you need to practice the pronunciations and correction strategies presented in this course. Try to do them exactly the way Zig presents them. If you later have trouble teaching something, contact Zig and describe the problem in detail. (He may ask you to make a tape of you trying to teach it and the student responding), then he’ll give you details on how to do it successfully.

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