I suggest that pronunciation is the Cinderella of language teaching. It has been neglected, and disconnected from other language learning activities. This post and this website is about including pronunciation in language teaching, to bring language to life and life to language.
Two ways to reconnect with pronunciation teaching…
1. Students and teachers need a SOUND MAP. This gives a clear mental concept and sense of direction. What are the sounds to work on? How do they relate to each other? Where are the sounds made in the mouth?
2. Pronunciation is PHYSICAL. Grammar and vocabulary take place “in the head,” but pronunciation works through the body. Pronunciation is like dance, it has coordination, sequence, grace and beauty.
This phonemic chart provides the MAP. Information about WHERE & HOW sounds are made is embedded in the chart layout. This chart is not just a list of sounds like some other charts. The arrangement of sounds on this chart tells you something very precise about how to make the sounds. The chart offers a pronunciation worktable, a place to experiment where words can be made from sounds and connected speech from words. It offers a way to include pronunciation in language teaching more completely and naturally than at present.
Making pronunciation PHYSICAL
This approach has a methodology to enable you to discover and connect with the muscles that make the pronunciation difference. This means to locate the internal muscle buttons. So, you can start by discovering the muscles that change the sounds. And this changes everything else. Muscles work by moving, and this movement helps make pronunciation visible to the eye. The movement of pronunciation can be sensed internally and seen externally. This helps learners and teachers.
By using this mental map (the Sound Foundations chart) and by making pronunciation physical we can demystify pronunciation, bring Cinderella in from the cold, and integrate pronunciation profitably and enjoyably in ALL language teaching and learning activities.
Your comments ….
Do you think that pronunciation teaching is the Cinderella of language teaching?
Do you have techniques for using the phonemic chart and for making pronunciation physical?
You can explore my guided tour of the phonemic chart at <http://www.macmillanenglish.com/webinars>
And extracts from my pronunciation workshop with teachers at www.youtube.com/macmillanelt