Sounding Right: learning and teaching pronunciation

Presented at FECEI Convention 2016, ACEIA Sevilla 2016 and ACEIA Jaén 2017

My love for phonetics and phonology started when I was studying my undergrad in Glasgow. The two-year honours course involved one year of learning virtually every sound on the IPA Chart, and a second year applying this knowledge in phonological study. It was simply fascinating. When I came to do my CELTA, I aced the phonological element and was praised for my knowledge. Then I stepped into the classroom, and realised I had absolutely no idea how to teach pronunciation.

So I started by reading Underhill’s Sound Foundations. This helped, but I still felt like I was missing something – I just didn’t feel confident enough. So, every time I went to a conference, I sought out the pron workshops and sat eagerly at the front, looking for new tips and tricks and that all-needed confidence boost. Soon, my DoS gave me a (terribly-named) Pronunciation Clinic – a weekly drop in class for students to work on their pronunciation. This was hugely successful, and over time I developed a bank of resources and tips and tricks for teaching, but I still felt like I needed a confidence boost. In autumn 2015 I went to a pronunciation workshop by the excellent Robin Walker. And I left with some more tips and tricks and no more confidence than before.

This workshop came out of that feeling. I wanted to develop a short top-up training session for teachers who needed that confidence boost. The workshop is very much aimed at teachers with one or two years experience in the classroom, for who feel they are very much lacking the knowledge and/or skills to teach pronunciation effectively. Check out the links below for the slides and resources.

Download the presentation
Download the session handout
Download the phoneme cards