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V.S. - U.S.A. said:
PhoneticsIt is no secret that many learners face pronunciation difficulties at every stage of their English studies. Linguistics, specifically the fields of Phonetics and Phonology, are invaluable assets to learners and teachers alike. English, as any other language, has a certain set of linguistic rules which foreign students must acquire and which native speakers adopt naturally throughout the course of their early years. Unfortunately, each language has different rules and pronunciation guidelines which naturally conflict with secondary language acquisition. It is in this way that phonology and phonetics may be employed most effectively within the classroom. A good knowledge of these fields would enable teachers to understand the frustrations of their students and more easily remedy them. At this junction it is important to recognise the differences between the fields of phonology and phonetics. ?Phonology is the study of sound pertaining to the system of language; phonetics is the study of sound pertaining to the act of speech.? Central to phonetics is the idea of a universal phonetic language, developed to promote easier language acquisition and the ability to pronounce foreign words without instruction. This syllable based language transcends linguistic barriers by using universally pronounceable sounds to enable an individual to properly sound out new words. This phonetic language is applicable in all languages and would be invaluable for aiding a learner?s development in a classroom. If teachers were to utilise this skill within the classroom it would surely lead to superior pronunciation and increased confidence of the students with the language itself. On the other hand Phonology would be helpful to prepare the tutor for the conflict of linguistic rules and the difference of inventories in each language. Both of these would impact a student?s understanding of the secondary language. For example, if a tefl teacher were to teach a monolingual beginners class in Madrid she would be smart to acquire prior knowledge of phonology with regarding the Spanish language. In Spanish, there are no consonants following immediately after ?s? within the standard language. This is one of the ?rules? for this particular language pertaining to it?s sound inventory. Armed with this knowledge it would not come as a shock to the tefl teacher when students had an inordinate amount of trouble pronouncing words such as ?school? or ?speak?. Native Spanish speakers linguistic patterns do not accommodate for such sounds and it may take time and patience for a students jaw to acquire the muscular manipulation required for such sounds. A teacher who understood, or even expected, this plight is far more equipped to deal with it when it inevitably occurs. Such a teacher would be pre-prepared to deal with the issue or take preventive measures by knowing the source of the problem lay with muscular manipulation. Ultimately phonetics and phonology would be exceedingly useful for a tefl teacher or a language student to know. A good teacher would be well read in the linguistic rules of her future students, and how such rules related to English. A firm grasp of phonology and a good knowledge of the phonetic alphabet could only help a teacher connect to her students. A good teacher understands the needs of her students and linguistics is a valuable resource to this end. Bibliography 1. Clark, J, Yallop, C, An Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology, Oxford, 1990 2. Hoard,J.E., Sloat, C., Taylor, S.H., Introduction to Phonology, London, 1978 3. Trubetzkoy, N.S., (trans,) Baltaxe, A.M., Principles of Phonology, London, 1969 4. 5. 6. 7.