Weeks Five & Six – Phonology A/B

What was this week’s module about?

The last two weeks have been dedicated to phonology and pronunciation teaching.

Oh two weeks! Did you forget to journal about last week?

Well, not really. The purpose of this journal is to reflect on my learning and development throughout the course, and I honestly feel that I haven’t really been doing very much of that. The really interesting thing here is reflecting on how far I’ve come as a pronunciation teacher, from doubting that I was doing it right to feeling very confident about studying it at this level.

So what have you been doing?

Last week was very much about laying the groundwork. I’m aware that many of my colleagues chose the Dip because of its strengths in teaching pronunciation. If you don’t feel confident about it, or you feel that you’re lacking the skills and knowledge then this aspect of the Dip is absolutely for you. This week has been more focused on how you apply this (new) knowledge to the classroom.

So how do you apply it to the classroom?

All the time. My big takeaway is that I (we) simply aren’t doing enough of it. If you think about the way that classes are assessed on the Dip, every lesson needs to have a communicative aim, a linguistic/skill aim, and a phonological aim. If you teach a class that doesn’t involve some element of pronunciation or phonology work, you’re missing key details about learning and using L2.

What was the assignment?

A video. Yes, I know, but this time was a little better. The first part felt very forced, as we had to imagine we were teaching some sounds to a class and talk to the camera as if it was that class. Quite a good task nevertheless, as you really reflect on what you say and why. The second part was simulating a discussion you’ll be having with the examiner for Units 3 and 4 of the dip – explaining an activity cycle to target pronunciation issues and the rationale behind those activities

Were there any lows?

That big Whatsapp group has been a pain in the ass this week! The assignment instructions were clear enough on paper, but then when everyone started reading them in their own way it became much more confusing. In the end I muted the group. It’s like that big group of people nattering about what they’ve studied for just before a big test.

What about highlights?

Life can get in the way, and its okay. Life got in the way this week – I wasn’t able to do the extra work I’ve asked for, not to mention the preparation for ELT Sustainable. And that’s okay. Life got in the way, and I still finished the unit and haven’t lost my mind.

What’s next?

Next week is lexis, which I’m really looking forward to.