One of the main problems is lack of confidence among teachers as to how to teach pronunciation, teaching pronunciation involves a great many challenges. In many language classes some teachers do not have enough time in class to pay regular attention in teaching English pronunciation even they prefer to teach themes relevant to grammatical rules or they teach phonology among the vocabulary or grammar exercises while reading texts. The best way of achieving good results in teaching English phonetics is only to practise with learners . you can see the proof of this in this points given by B Gilbert “There are also psychological factors that affect the learning of pronunciation in ways that are not so true of studying grammar or vocabulary.”
Most EFL teachers know that proper and clear pronunciation teaching is an essential part of language courses. “English is no longer spoken only by its native speakers in the UK, North America, Australia and New Zealand, and by those who learn English in order to communicate with native speakers. It is also spoken among non-native speakers within countries like India, the Philippines and Singapore and internationally among non-native speakers from a wide range of countries/first languages throughout the world. So in this qualification paper we analyzed that what is the pronunciation, what kind of problems with it in learners and developing it through songs and jazz between non-native speakers of English. The aims are to help language teachers and learners of English as a foreign language to increase their confidence in teaching pronunciation effectively.
It builds on: the observation that pronunciation is one of the most problematic aspects of English language for both teachers and learners, and the belief that this need not be the case: pronunciation can be taught and learned effectively.
The role of pronunciation in different schools of language teaching has varied widely from having virtually no role in the grammar — translation method to being the main focus in the audio-lingual method where emphasis is on the traditional notions of pronunciation, minimal pairs, drills and short conversation. (Castillo.1990:3) situational language teaching, developed in Britain, also mirrored the audio-lingual view of the pronunciation class (Richards and Rodgers, 1986). Morley (1991:484) states, “The pronunciation class … was one that gave primary attention to phonemes and their meaningful contrasts, environmental allophonic variations, and combinatory phonotactic rules, along with... attention to stress, rhythm, and intonation.’’
Pronunciation involves far more than individual sounds. Word stress, sentence stress, intonation, and word linking all influence the sound of spoken English, not to mention the way we often slur words and phrases together in casual speech. 'I am going going to do?' becomes 'I `m gonna do?' English pronunciation involves a lot of difficulties for learners to strive for a complete elimination of accent, but improving pronunciation will increase belief and confidence in your own ability , to make easy communication, and possibly lead to a better job or a least more respect in the workplace and among the stuff. Effective communication in clear speech is of greatest importance, so choose first to work on problems that significantly hinder communication and let the rest go. Students also need to learn strategies for contend with misunderstandings, as native pronunciation is a bit complicated for a lot of people.
A student's first language often interferes with English pronunciation. For example, /p/ is aspirated in English but not in Spanish, so when a Spanish speaker pronounces 'pig' without a puff of air on the /p/, an American may hear 'big' instead. Sometimes the students will be able to identify specific problem sounds and sometimes they won't. You can ask them for suggestions, but you will also need to observe them over time and make note of problem sounds. Another challenge resulting from differences in the first language is the inability to hear certain English sounds that the native language does not contain. Often these are vowels, as in 'ship' and 'sheep,' which many learners cannot distinguish. The Japanese are known for confusing /r/ and /l/, as their language contains neither of these but instead has one sound somewhere between the two. For problems such as these, listening is crucial because students can't produce a sound they can't hear. Descriptions of the sound and mouth position can help students be aware of difference of sounds.
You may see some ideas for focusing on specific pronunciation features.
Voicing: Voiced sounds will make the throat vibrate. For example, /g/ is a voiced sound while /k/ is not, even though the mouth is in the same position for both sounds. Have your students touch their throats while pronouncing voiced and voiceless sounds. They should feel vibration with the voiced sounds only.
Aspiration: Aspiration refers to a puff of air when a sound is produced. Many languages have far fewer aspirated sounds than English, and students may have trouble hearing the aspiration. The English /p/, /t/, /k/, and /ch/ are some of the more commonly aspirated sounds. Although these are not always aspirated, at the beginning of a word they usually are. To illustrate aspiration, have your students hold up a piece of facial tissue a few inches away from their mouths and push it with a puff of air while pronouncing a word containing the target sound.
Mouth Position: Draw simple diagrams of tongue and lip positions. Make sure all students can clearly see your mouth while you model sounds. Have students use a mirror to see their mouth, lips, and tongue while they imitate you.
Intonation: Word or sentence intonation can be mimicked with a kazoo, or alternatively by humming. This will take the students' attention off of the meaning of a word or sentence and help them focus on the intonation.
Linking: We pronounce phrases and even whole sentences as one smooth sound instead of a series of separate words. 'Will Amy go away,' is rendered 'Willaymeegowaway.' To help learners link words, try starting at the end of a sentence and have them repeat a phrase, adding more of the sentence as they can master it. For example, 'gowaway,' then 'aymeegowaway,' and finally 'Willaymeegowaway' without any pauses between words.
Vowel Length:You can demonstrate varying vowel lengths within a word by stretching rubber bands on the longer vowels and letting them contract on shorter ones. Then let the students try it. For example, the word 'fifteen' would have the rubber band stretched for the 'ee' vowel, but the word 'fifty' would not have the band stretched because both of its vowels are spoken quickly.
Syllables: Have students count syllables in a word and hold up the correct number of fingers, or place objects on table to represent each syllable.
Illustrate syllable stress by clapping softly and loudly corresponding to the syllables of a word. For example, the word 'beautiful' would be loud-soft-soft. Practice with short lists of words with the same syllabic stress pattern ('beautiful,' 'telephone,' 'Florida') and then see if your learners can list other words with that pattern.
Specific Sounds: Minimal pairs, or words such as 'bit/bat' that differ by only one sound, are useful for helping students distinguish similar sounds. They can be used to illustrate voicing ('curl/girl') or commonly confused sounds ('play/pray'). Remember that it's the sound and not the spelling you are focusing on.
Tongue twisters are useful for practicing specific target sounds, plus they're fun. Make sure the vocabulary isn't too difficult.
The Sounds of English, American Accent Training, and EngVid programs below offer guidelines for describing how to produce various English sounds. You can find good resources for improving your pronunciation.
Teaching English pronunciation is a difficult and time-consuming task with different objectives and teaching materials at each level. This guide on how to teach pronunciation provides a short overview of the main issues to be addressed at each level, as well as pointing to resources on the site, such as lesson plans and activities, that you can use in class to help your students improve their English pronunciation skills. Following each level are a few suggestions for level appropriate activities. Finally, the best way to help students improve their pronunciation skills is to encourage them to speak English as much as they possibly can. Introduce the idea that even when doing homework students should be reading aloud. Learning to pronounce English well takes muscle coordination, and that means practice — not just mental activity!
Beginning Level English Learners
At the beginning level, English learners need to focus on the basics of pronunciation. In general, the use of rote learning is best for this level. For example, the use of grammar chants and interesting songs is a great way to help learners improve pronunciation skills through repetition. Teaching the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) is too difficult task at this point as learners already encountered like the challenges of learning a language. Learning another alphabet for pronunciation is beyond the capability of most beginning level English learners. Certain patters such as silent letters in English, and the pronunciation of -ed in the simple past is a good starting point for future pronunciation drills. Students should also learn the difference between voiced and voiceless consonants.
One of the best way of achieving good results in teaching phonology to learners is making various warm-up activities in relevant to phonological theme you are explaining. Warm-up activities must be suitable for learners` level and interests. You may see below the most activities that are used during lessons.
Intermediate Level English Learners
It is not difficult to work with Intermediate level learner because they have elementary knowledge about phonology and sounds. English learners will feel comfortable with relatively simple pronunciation patterns in English. Moving on to exercises using minimal pairs will help learners further refine their pronunciation of individual phonemes. Intermediate level learners should learn common word stress patterns, as well as sentence stress types to use word and sentence stress correctly in their speech .
Advanced Level English Learners
Improving pronunciation through focus on stress and intonation is one of the best ways to improve higher intermediate to advanced level English learners. At this level, students should be aware of the basics of each phoneme through the use of exercises such as minimal pairs, and individual syllable stress. However, English learners at this level often focus too much on correct pronunciation of each word, rather than on the music of each sentence. To introduce the concept of stress and intonation and the role it plays in understanding, the students first need to understand the role of content and function words. Use this lesson on practicing stress and intonation to help. Next, students should learn how to use sound scripting — a way of marking up texts to help prepare for reading aloud. Finally, advanced level students should be capable of changing meaning through word stresses within sentences to bring out contextual meaning through pronunciation.
Good advanced learners of English use assimilations and elisions naturally, but a surprising number of quite advanced learners continue to articulate the citation-form phonemes of English words in casual, connected speech. This will not usually cause problems of communication but is undoubtedly a contributing factor in 'foreign accent', and there may be a case for explicit intervention by the teacher to train students in the use of the most commonly occurring assimilations and elisions by practicing pronunciation in (at least minimal) contexts. Alternatively, the answer may be to tackle the problem simultaneously from a 'top-down' and 'bottom-up' approach, on the premise that articulation, rhythmicality (see below) and intonation are inextricably linked, and that good intonation will have a wash back effect on articulation in terms of reduced and altered articulations of individual phonemes, alongside the specific teaching of phonemes and the most common altered and reduced forms.