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A.D. - India said:
PHONETICS?The English Language must be introduced to the Indian students by using the phonetics in all the schools?. The English Language is difficult to learn as far as the spelling and their pronunciation goes and the same can be well understood by George Bernard Shaw?s poem ?Hints on Pronunciation for Foreigners?. The same is also evident with the examples of similar spellings but different pronunciations as well as different spellings but same pronunciations such as : ?but??? ?put??? ?dead???.?bead? ?hair???.?hare??? ?red???..?read? and many others ????. No doubt it is possible for students to learn the English language without the phonetic symbols but than the students would not be able to achieve the perfect pronunciation patterns. Further, in all the dictionaries worldwide, after the spelling of the word, the word is again written with the help of symbols and they are nothing but the phonetic symbols. In this scenario, teacher would be doing injustice by not introducing phonetics to the students of English language. In majority of the English medium schools and the convent schools in India, the English language is introduced to the students at a very early age i.e. at the young learner?s stage when the students are of the age group 6-7 years. Before that in the private play schools also, they learn the basic alphabets (A-Z) of the English language. Even if we don?t introduce the phonetics in the play schools (as the students are of a very young age to understand the concepts), the same can be introduced once the students go to proper schools. In India, all the schools do not teach the English language with the help of the phonetics. However, some of the private schools indeed have introduced phonetics to their students; but it has remained a privileged resource which has benefited only a certain class of students. What I want to recommend is that the English Language itself be introduced to all the students with the help of phonetics and the IPA to be more particular. The reasoning for my opinion can be well understood once we see what phonetics, IPA and phonetic transcription means and how it becomes an effective tool in understanding the pronunciation pattern of the English language. According to the Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia : Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that comprises the study of the sounds of human speech. It is concerned with the physical properties of speech sounds (phones): their physiological production, acoustic properties, auditory perception, and neurophysiological status. Phonology, on the other hand, is concerned with abstract, grammatical characterization of systems of sounds. The study of phonetics is a multiple layered subject of linguistics that focuses on speech. In this field of research there are three basic areas of study. ? Articulatory phonetics- the study of the production of speech by the articulatory and vocal tract by the speaker ? Acoustic phonetics- the study of the transmission of speech from the speaker to the listener ? Auditory Phonetics- the study of phonetics of the reception and perception of speech by the listener All parts of phonetics are inter-connected because the process of human communication is a system of auditory mechanisms which correspond to each other and are mediated by wavelength, pitch, and the other physical properties of sound. IPA is used as the basis for the phonetic transcription of speech. It is based on the Latin alphabet and is able to transcribe most features of speech such as consonants, vowels, and suprasegmental features. Every documented phoneme available within the known languages in the world is assigned its own corresponding symbol. Phonetic transcription is a system for transcribing sounds that occur in spoken language or signed language. The most widely known system of phonetic transcription, IPA, uses a one-to-one mapping between phones and written symbols. The standardized nature of the IPA enables its users to transcribe accurately and consistently the phones of different languages, dialects, and idiolects. The IPA is a useful tool not only for the study of phonetics, but also for language teaching, professional acting, and speech pathology. The use of phonetic symbols in English language teaching and learning is potentially very advantageous if the values of phonetic symbols are known. The benefits in students learning the phonemic alphabet are as follows: 1. It provides a standard from which to teach and learn pronunciation; 2. It enables the students to better use their dictionaries; 3. It gives the teacher a fast and effective tool for teaching pronunciation and for correcting errors; 4. Once accustomed to it the students can use it in their notes to help learn the correct pronunciation of new vocabulary. Often without proper drilling etc, it can be difficult for students to remember the correct pronunciation as the spelling of English can be confusing. Despite the convenience of phonetic notation in English language teaching and learning, any potential benefit depends crucially on how the notation is taught and learned. Good teaching practices may increase student?s motivation to use phonetic symbols. Thus, the introduction of phonetics to the Indian students learning English language becomes very important and a must for all the schools teaching the English Language. References : 1. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 2. Notes & articles from the TEFL site