Language Teaching – Pronunciation Essay

Language Teaching – Pronunciation Essay

The perfection of speaking English language depends upon the right accent and correct pronunciation. An English language teacher or a self-learner must conceive the professional ways of learning the right accent and correct pronunciation for getting perfection in speaking English language like a Native English Speaker (Carkin, 2010).

The right accent and the correct pronunciation must be delivered in order to develop any sort of speech skills or some kind of language speaking skills with regard to particular language words. The communication gets better and points are cleared through the correct usage of intonation and accent. The understanding of listeners gets obvious by the way of pronouncing words or addressing them precisely. The communication of wrong pronunciation can distract others (listeners) and change the meaning of sentence and consequently, the real intended meaning of words remains remain unclear. People do not pronounce word precisely with regard to their spelling due to uncertainty between correctly pronounced words and their spellings. The main aspect of speaking any language is comprised of two; firstly, the pronunciation should be precise and secondly, the delivery of language should be fluent (Bhatia, 2010).

Way of Speaking Language Fluently

The vocabulary should be practiced many times in order to exactly pronounce a word with regard to spelling which will help in delivering the words comfortably and eventually, the regular practicing will result in fluent usage of words properly and exactly with the right accent. The speed does not mean fluency but that is only the accuracy which involves the pronunciation of words finely and comfortably. A great effort and practice is required for fluency in speech-making which is done at its best in life-like circumstances. It is perceived by many people that maintaining fluency by delivering maximum words creates an impression on others which is almost wrong way of learning language. But the fact is, reality lies only with the balancing of words with regard to spelling and pronunciation (“Studying Tips and Speaking Skills”).

The right of learning and better way of practicing fluency is to be in communication with a native English speaker because they have good English speaking power with correct pronunciation of words which are delivered fluently. While speaking with native English speaker, all experience and knowledge should be practiced and used for learning fluency at the maximum level. The beginning speakers who try to practice fluency, of course, makes much mistakes in pronunciation of words but later on, these mistakes helps in perfect delivery of words for individuals. It is a wise saying that practice makes a person perfect; therefore, regular practicing must be continued for learning better pronunciation and developing much fluency (Bhatia, 2010).

Key Principles for Developing Correct Pronunciation

The correction of language is the second aspect which depends upon rules of grammar. The following are some essential points which should be perceived by a teacher for gaining overall excellence:

  1. The written text should be read loudly. The way of reading loudly and usage of proper voice will help in the identification of mistakes which generally occurs in pronunciation.

  2. The same text should also be listen carefully either from other person while listening or from a language built speaking software because it will identify the speaking mistakes. Language speaking software are generally available on the internet which guides the precise way of speaking and pronunciation. Upon writing a word in the available software, it will speak out the word loudly with accurate accent and correct pronunciation through which pronunciation is enhance and developed successfully.

  3. The text should be pronounced exactly the same with the speaker. The speaking power is developed with correct sounds of words and precise text reading and thus, an ability to pronounce each word is learned effectively and efficiently.

  4. The speaking of words should also be practiced in front of mirror. It helps in the development of correct movement of jaw, tongue and lips for better pronunciation.

In short, a good pronunciation will be developed through regular and efficient practicing of aforesaid four points (Carkin, 2010).

Applying Principles in Classroom

The art of teaching ‘English language’ should explain the way of using a good accent and correct pronunciation. It is realized the teachers usually skip this important aspect of teaching which results in confusion for students to understand the exact sound of a particular words which are significant skills in speaking English language. A teacher should identify the different meanings of similar words and should too clarify the meanings which are changed due to mistakes in writing words. A teacher can also teach the sound of different words as well as their meanings through entertaining activities such as dramas and play sessions. Many teachers develop language skills through the use of dialogues and role-plays which is professionally acquainted by them. Various teachers strategically implement improvisation which is generally drawn from textbooks or self-created. It facilitates students in screen playing that develops the functional vocabulary as well as fluency (Bakshi, 2010).

A teacher can give the best examples of few alphabets which makes some differently spoken words. The usage of jaw, teeth and lip should also be taught by teacher for better understanding the movement of different words. For example:

  1. PH It should be pronounced ‘F’ and not ‘P’

  2. F Upper front teeth should be put on bottom lip and then should be blown gently. The lips need to be less or more closed.

  3. H The mouth needs to be opened with lot of air in it which will help in making the correct sound. A deep breath should be taken while sitting straight or standing up. The air should be let out quickly (just like it is expelled in case of frustration) which will enable the body to get slumped. For testing the sound accuracy, a hand should be placed around 12 cm right away from mouth. The sound pronunciation will be okay if the position of your mouth and hand are placed correctly and the hot air is felt good enough in hand. Thus, the quantity of air should be produced upon saying a word H.

  4. L This sound can be made by taking up the tongue temporarily at the roof of mouth and getting it down at the same place. Also, the teeth should not be touched until the TH sound is next. A mirror can be used for checking the right position of tongue. Also, you can see the movement of your tongue by saying La, La.

  5. R The tongue is used shortly upon practicing the sound of R. The tongue remains beneath the mouth but the minor jaw is moved ahead, down and returned quickly.

  6. W The lips are puckered while creating the sound of W. Its just like the act of kissing an ideal film star. The right lip shape can be achieved with the help of mirror.

The students can test and perform all sounds by pushing a specific sound outward with the help of lip funnel which should be used just like ‘feeling hurt and saying out something’ from lips. The sound can also be made by ‘shaping the lips’ just like lips are generally shaped while speaking out ‘numbers as 1, 2, 3’. Upon practicing all these styles, the students will be able to say all words easily (“Studying Tips and Speaking Skills).

Development of a Chinese Pronunciation

The way of speaking and writing Chinese language is quite different from each other. Generally, the Chinese spoken words are differentiated through higher volume of internal variety; yet, every Chinese speaking variety is reasoned and tonal. The Chinese have main regional groups between thirteen and seven which depends on scheme’s categorization. The usual and standardized form of Chinese speaking is ‘Mandarin’ which is practiced by approx 850 million. The recognition of exact ‘Chinese word’ according to ‘English word’ is the main problem in developing a Chinese pronunciation. Another issue is the understanding of same word with regard to basic standards of ‘Mandarin’.

The Pronunciation of ‘Pin-Yan’

Pinyin is the short form of a Chinese Phonetic Alphabet that is ‘Hanyu Pinyin’. It is a Romanization system which is most commonly for Standard Mandarin. Hanyu and Pinyin are two different words which have different meanings. The meaning of Hanyu is ‘Chinese language’ and the meaing of Pinyin is ‘spelling of sound’ or ‘spell sound’. (Lai, 2008)

Pinyin is a method of expressing the Chinese language sounds and representing Chinese characteristics with the help of alphabet. Any Mandarin word can be pronounced easily upon understanding the basics of Pinyin. A Chinese dictionary can also be used in understanding the Mandarin words. The pronunciation of Chinese character(s) can be labeled with the help of Chinese Pinyin system but the Chinese characters cannot be replaced by using this system. It is very difficult to comprehend articles which are entirely written in Chinese Pinyin System. Thus, it is generally a reading aid and not an official style of writing. (Hockett, 1951)

Problems in Teaching Chinese Language

While developing a Chinese accent in speaking power, various problems are faced by people specially who possess ‘English as a first language’. These problems are as follows (Wang, 1997):

              1. The Chinese letters are quite dissimilar than expected which creates much trouble while learning and developing pronunciation.

              2. A map becomes very necessary for learners which contain all the basic words of Chinese and English. The map also explains the meaning of both Chinese as well as English words for better understanding their equivalence.

              3. The major problem is the recognition of Chinese characters because these are quite different from English characteristics. For instance, English language has a starting letter ‘A’ the pronunciation of which is ‘Aay’ so one must be thinking and judging the first letter of Chinese and its pronunciation as the same but it is not the fact because Chinese letters are very much different than one can expect. Also, it looks quite amazing due to its different structure.

Thus, a person should have adequate knowledge of Pinyin and must have enthusiasm of learning and developing Chinese language which will help in gaining a sound command over Chinese speaking power and practicing the same for long time will, of course, result in perfection.

References

Bakshi, S. (2010), Developing Good Speaking Skills, Retrieved on May 8, 2010 from an Articles Database

Bhatia, P. (2010), Tips to Improve Your English Pronunciation, BM English Speaking Institute, Retrieved on May 8, 2010 from an Articles Database

Carkin, G. (2010), Using Plays for Pronunciation Practice: Acting and English in Seven Easy Steps, Southern New Hampshire University Anchester, NH, United States, Retrieved on May 8, 2010 from an Articles Database

Hockett, C. F. (1951). Progressive exercises in Chinese pronunciation. Connecticut: Institute of Far Eastern Languages, Yale University.

Lai, J. (2008). Complete Mandarin Chinese: The Basics. New York: Random House Information Group.

Studying Tips and Speaking Skills”, Retrieved on May 8, 2010 from articles of ‘Musical English Lessons International, England’.

Wang, G. (1997). Learn to Speak Chinese. Beijing: Commercial Press Limited.

Related Essays

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *