I'm pleased to announce a new page on 'Teacher Greg's Education Home'.
The motivation for it came from my desire to engage the many colleagues with whom I work, in a conversation about ELICOS (English Language Intensive Course of Study) and EAP (English for Academic Purposes) programs and how they operate at my institution. Like many workplaces, the pressures of just keeping on top of the teaching have meant that opportunities for genuine discussion, sharing and reflection have become rare, formal meetings have become ineffectual, and inefficiencies have naturally arisen as a result.
'TESOL forums' will be a chance to recover lost ground, to re-ignite the discussion, and to move forward in more practical ways. It will take some effort to 'sell' the idea and overcome the hesitation of others, but I'm taking the first steps while hoping this will lead them to continue the conversation.
Those who expect moments of change to be comfortable and free of conflict have not learned their history. -Joan Wallach Scott
Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. -Maria Robinson
One Response to IPA: The theory and beyond. Is knowing the IPA essential? Do you use phonemic script in class? Why or why not? #ELTchat Summary 22/02/2012 (my comment to post at http://eltchat.com/2012/02/26/ipa-the-theory-and-beyond-is-knowing-the-ipa-essential-do-you-use-phonemic-script-in-class-why-or-why-not-eltchat-summary-22022012/
- Gregory Quinlivan says:February 27, 2012 at 5:55 amFor the half of the world’s population whose first language does not use a Latin script, IPA is a waste of time.
In my situation, I teach students in Taiwan 40 minutes per week. Their first language uses traditional Chinese script and its more than 10,000 characters take many years for them to master. As one of the speakers mentioned, IPA is just another level of complexity to impose on them, which is why we don’t do it.
Students are quite capable of learning to speak reasonable English without IPA. For example, the excellent Synthetic Phonics approach used widely in the U.K. (and increasingly in the USA) offers a more straightforward system linked closely to English spelling.
Once students know some reference sounds used within key words, they can use them to learn new words, rather than trying to recall isolated, decontextualised symbols.
Although I had to endure some IPA as part of my own formal training, I see it more as a tool for professional linguists than for second language learners.
I published the following post on Jason Renshaw's English Raven site today:
Here's my rough-and-ready list of potential pronunciation activities. Some may require further explanation, but many will be familiar with them or be able to figure out what to do.
These and other activities for ELL (mainly at elementary school level) can be found on my website (under Teaching - Ideas). Good luck, Greg.
* playing a memory game to review language items
* spot the difference
* tongue twisters
* reinforce with - teacher says, class repeats if correct, stays silent if not
* drills - choral, individual, substitution
* games - board, memory, guess, Simon Says, I Spy, Hangman/Shark, bingo (e.g. call definitions), tic-tac-toe, pointing, Pelmanisms, Go Fish, snap, dominoes, computer software, treasure hunt
* spelling bee
* identify mistakes
* chants and raps
* requesting cards e.g. 'Do you have ...'
* speed memory game
* remove flashcards and recall what's missing
* show flashcard upside down, gradually, quickly, through a peephole, with missing letters, pull out of a bag and say; bomb game
* play FC Showdown - two ss back-to-back, three paces, turn, first to say other's FC wins
* respond to stimulus by touching, hitting, throwing ball at flashcards
* Mexican wave - words, sounds
* whispers game
* Hot Potato - pass a ball, when music stops student with ball responds as required
* syllable counting and splitting
* assonance (same middle sound)
* segmentation and counting sounds
* manipulation (add, subtract, substitute, reverse); play with sounds e.g. try spelling nonsense syllables; go up word ladder changing one letter at a time
* sing to 'Bingo' song
* 5x5 sound bingo
* word or sentence unscramble
* spelling games e.g. guess word teacher starts to spell; name nth letter in a word; stand in row holding letter cards for words; hopscotch grids
* letter feature sort
* letter line up
* pronunciation practice using video with sound off, picture prompts, various models
* train the ear using minimal pairs (e.g. same/different, circle the right one), odd one out, number of times in a sentence
* repetition using different volume,say it high, say it low, different tones (scared, surprised, angry, bored, sad, happy, tired, forgetful, curious), different speed, backwards, using odd/even ones, words that rhyme, words that fit a pattern (e.g. stress), raps, chants, songs, up your sleeve, out the window, soft to loud, loud to soft, think one/say one word, to a beat, with actions, like a robot
* stress by counting syllables, using visual pattterns, anticipation with new words, songs
* respond by putting up hand, an object, a picture/word card, standing up, another action (e.g. as a group)
* identify the odd one out
* memorise & recall a sequence of words, letters
* choosing correct item on worksheet
* dictate sounds or words to write onto bingo grids, pictures, treasure maps
Posted by: Greg Quinlivan
| September 23, 2010 at 03:07 PM
Greg Quinlivan (12:24:18) :
OK, I’m a simple teacher, so I may be completely wrong. However, I assume you’re referring to incremental improvements that you might be trying to produce in intermediate or higher level students who have had significant exposure to English already.
I can’t imagine you would subscribe to the same conclusion in the case of beginners. For example, one group of my students are first grade elementary school Taiwanese kids. Many have never seen English Ietters before, and both their Chinese characters and “bopomofo” phonetic system are of no assistance for reading, writing or pronunciation of English. I can’t see myself standing in front of them with an alphabet flashcard and just letting them pronounce the letters any way they feel like on first exposure to them. If I showed them “a” and let them say “b” their chances of being able to communicate ANYTHING would be nil.
While I don’t expect many of them to ever approximate the pronunciation of a native speaker, I do hope they will get to the point where they can at least be understood by one.
Am I wasting my time and theirs?
Posted 1st August, 2010 at http://scottthornbury.wordpress.com/2010/08/01/p-is-for-pronunciation/#comment-1588