Curso: phonetics and pronunciation for CLIL teachers (Febrero-Marzo 2020)

El CARLEE organiza una nueva edición del curso Phonetics for CLIL teachers, dirigido a docentes que imparten docencia de asignaturas no lingüísticas en lengua inglesa durante el presente curso en programas bilingües. El objetivo del curso es conocer nociones básicas de fonética y de cómo funcionan los sonidos del inglés, para mejorar la pronunciación de los docentes participantes. Es un curso práctico, en el que se dan numerosos ejemplos extraídos de contextos reales y de cultura audiovisual, y dirigido al entorno académico/escolar. 

La inscripción se realiza en DOCEO, del 11 al 21 de febrero.

 

Información completa en este enlace.

 

workshop: Tips and resources to improve teachers’ pronunciation

If you are interested in improving your English pronunciation in order to feel more confident when teaching in English, this 2-hour workshop may be useful to you. It will be carried out as part of the CARLEE’s ‘On Tour 2020’ training workshops in Monzón (1st February 2020) and Huesca (22nd February 2020).

This workshop is aimed at any teacher who is teaching their subject in English now or would like to do so in the future.

Essential features of English pronunciation will be dealt with in a practical manner: we will be discussing the importance of stress, and the prevalence of /ə/; we’ll get to know the twelve vowel sounds, and how to pronounce some tricky consonant sounds, among other features.

The examples will be taken from real contexts (mainly songs, ads, TV shows and films).

More information can be found in the video below:

 

You may also like: Speaking voices I like

Tools to improve pronunciation and phonological control

One Vision /ˈvɪʒ(ə)n/ by Queen and Love Profusion /prəˈfjuːʒ(ə)n/ by Madonna to practise /ʒ/, /ʃ/, and /dʒ/

The phonemes /ʒ/, /ʃ/ and /dʒ/ can be tricky to identify and sometimes produce in certain contexts for Spanish speakers of English. The song One Vision by Queen can help students get acquainted with the differences in sounds.

One Vision (Queen) -You can do this interactive exercise: click here or on the screenshot below:

Alternatively, you can download the worksheet below. Start watching the video from 1’15”:

Love Profusion by Madonna also contains plenty of words featuring those sounds (profusion, destruction, illusions…). It also contains examples of yod coalescence (I’ve got you –/ɡɒt juː/ becomes /ɡɒtʃuː/). 

Love Profusion lyrics

My Favourite Things (from The Sound of Music) to tell the difference between /s/, /z/ and /ɪz/

This activity is aimed at helping students tell the difference between /s/, /z/ (and /ɪz/) in plural endings (the same as in 3rd person singular present simple endings and possessive ‘s). It uses the song “My Favourite Things” from the film The Sound of Music, which makes a long list of plural things the singer allegedly loves.

Students are provided with the phonemic transcription of the singular word. By applying the rule, they can guess what sound(s)/phoneme(s) would be used to pronounce them in the plural. Then, they can check their answers against Julie Andrews’s performance, by paying special attention to the way she pronounces either /s/ or /z/. Can they tell the difference?

  • Exercise- click here
  • Key to answers- click here

 

Norwegian Wood, by the Beatles- vowel sounds, diphthongs, weak forms

This is an activity I came up with long ago for a course on phonetics and pronunciation. Ask students to listen to Norwegian Wood by The Beatles, and have them fill in the gaps with the vowel sound/diphthong they hear. To do so, students can have a phonemic chart in front of them. [The same number in brackets means the same vowel sound or diphthong is being used]

  • Exercise– click here
  • Key to answers– click here

Students can listen to the song twice. Then, they can share their answers with the other members of their group, or partners if they’re working in pairs.

The objective is to increase their phonemic awareness, and help them tell the difference between some tricky vowel sounds (/ɪ/ and /iː/, for example). As a follow-up, students are also asked to spot weak forms of grammatical words. These are marked green in the answer key.

IPA phonemic charts and other tools to help students improve their pronunciation

These are some of my favourite phonemic charts. They can be useful to help students make sense of phonetics, and realise they can help them improve their pronunciation and overall phonological control:

Screenshot from Sounds Right app

You may also be interested in this tool to create automatic phonemic transcriptions.

Alternatively, if you need to type IPA symbols, you can copy and paste the transcriptions from a dictionary. My favourite one for that is the Macmillan dictionary.  You can visit this website: https://ipa.typeit.org/. 

Finally, you can find links to and ideas on how to use ‘living’ pronunciation dictionaries here.