Reality of Teaching and Learning Pronunciation Essay Rationale of the study Nowadays, with the rapid pace of integration and globalization, English becomes a golden key to open the door of many fields such as commerce, communication, science and technology throughout the world. Therefore, to meet the demand of the society, it is very necessary to teach English in schools at all levels. And the highest target is to get well in communication. If one wants to get successful in communication, he must be good at pronunciation: â€œa threshold level of pronunciation in English such that if a given non-native speakers pronunciation falls below this level, he or she will not be able to communicate orally no matter how good his or her control of English grammar and vocabulary might beâ€ (Celce-Murcia, 1987:5). In the field of language teaching, the role of pronunciation has varied widely from having virtually no role in the grammar-translation method to being the central focus in the audio-lingual method where emphasis is on the traditional notions of pronunciation, minimal pairs, drills and short conversations. The growing emphasis on communicative approaches for the teaching of English has placed higher demands for correct pronunciation. Despite this fact, at the upper-secondary school level in Vietnam, in language teaching and learning, compared with vocabulary, grammar and language skills, pronunciation has so far been paid less attention to. In the official textbooks used for teaching English at high school level, there are a few exercises for pronunciation practice. To make the matter worse, all important English exams at schools as well as the entrance exam to universities are always in written form so most teachers as well as students have little motivation to teach and to learn pronunciation. As a result, students are often shy and unconfident to speak in English. And that is the reason why the effectiveness of teaching pronunciation still remains one of the most widely problematic subjects in the field of language teaching. Coping with this pressing fact, as a language teacher teaching English at Quynh Coi high school (QCHS), the author always thinks of some burning questions: in language teaching and learning, what is the present situation of teaching and learning pronunciation at high school level in QCHS? What are the problems teachers and students face in teaching and learning pronunciation? How to find suitable methods to teach pronunciation? What should teachers do to teach pronunciation effectively? How should teachers make students become interested in learning pronunciation? The answers to these questions will help language teachers improve their studentsâ€™ pronunciation as well as help them make progress in effective communication. For the above reasons, the author decides to carry out the study entitled: â€œThe reality of teaching and learning pronunciation at Quynh Coi high school: problems and solutionsâ€. 1. 2 Aims of the study The main purpose of this study is to discover the reality of teaching and learning pronunciation at Quynh Coi high school, especially to find out problems that teachers and students often have in pronunciation lessons. The writer also hopes to make some feasible solutions that can help the English teachers overcome those problems and improve studentsâ€™ pronunciation. 1. 3 Research questions The above aims of the study can be realized by answering the following research questions: (1) What is the present situation of teaching and learning pronunciation at QCHS? (2) Which problems do the teachers and students at QCHS face in pronunciation lessons? (3) What teaching techniques can be used to improve teaching pronunciation for students at QCHS? 1. 4 Scope of the study As a case study, this study focuses on the reality of teaching and learning two aspects of English pronunciation: stress and intonation for the 12th form students at Quynh Coi high school. The subjects of the study are 12th form students those are familiar with learning pronunciation for two years at high school. Moreover, stress and intonation are two major aspects of pronunciation introduced in the official textbook used by the 12th form students. Other characteristics of English pronunciation would not be deeply investigated in this research. . 5 Methods of the study In order to fulfill the tasks mentioned above, both qualitative and quantitative methods are selected for this case study, involving the following instruments: survey questionnaires, classroom observations and interviews. Firstly, the survey questionnaires were delivered to both teachers and students to investigate the reality of teaching and learning pronunciation at QCHS. Then, some classroom observations and interviews with some English teachers have been also conducted to get supplementary information. Finally, the results obtained from questionnaires, observations and interviews have been discussed and analyzed to with a hope for providing language teacher with some feasible teaching techniques to work successfully with their students. 1. 6 Significance of the study This study hopes to make contribution to teaching pronunciation at high school level in Vietnam and the result of the study is considered to be useful for teachers and students at school. Thus, this study will be an interesting reference material for any high school language teachers in Vietnam, especially for those who are in favor of improving their students pronunciation. This research will help teachers and students identify their problems in teaching and learning pronunciation and self- improve their pronunciation. 1. 7 Design of the study This thesis consists of six main chapters: Chapter one is the INTRODUCTION including the rationales, the aims, the scope, the research questions, the methods, and the design of the research. In the book â€œPronunciationâ€ published in 1994, Christiane Dalton and Barbara Seidlhofer (1994:3) consider pronunciation â€œas the production of significant soundâ€. They look at the word in two senses. First, it is used as part of a code of a particular language. That is the reason why English sounds are distinguished from sounds of other languages. In this sense, pronunciation can be told as the production and reception of sounds of speech. Second, sound is used to achieve meaning in contexts of use. Here the code combines with other factors to make communication possible. In this sense pronunciation is referred with reference to acts of speaking. In the scope of this study, the concept of pronunciation can be described as â€œa way of speaking a word, especially a way that is accepted or generally understoodâ€ (American Heritage Dictionary, 1992) or â€œmay be said to conclude the sounds of the language or phonology; stress and rhythm; intonation; combination sounds; linkage of soundâ€ (Ur, 1996). 2. 2 Features of pronunciation Gerald Kelly (2000) points out main features of pronunciation including phonemes and suprasegmental features, in which consonants and vowels belong to phonemes, intonation and stress are two main parts of suprasegmental. Phonemes are units of sound, they are known as segments. Suprasegmental features are features of speech which apply to groups of segments, or phonemes. The features which are important in English are stress, intonation, and how sounds change in connected speech. The following diagram shows a breakdown of the main features of pronunciation: Features of pronunciation (Kelly, 2000:1) As seen from the diagram, pronunciation is a broad subject with the boundaries of various items such as consonants, vowels, stress, and intonation. This study is intended to focus on two major features of pronunciation: intonation and stress are deeply investigated. According to Quirk R. and Greenbaun S. (1973:450), stress is the prominence with one part of a word or of a longer utterance is distinguished from other parts. This can be understood like this: when an English word consists of more than one syllable, one of these syllables is made to stand out more than the others. This is done by saying the syllable louder. For instance, in such words as â€œEnglishâ€, â€œteacherâ€, and â€œstudentâ€ the first syllables are stressed. Intonation is an important part that most teachers have to deal with when teaching connected speech, it refers to the way the voice â€œgoes up and down in pitchâ€ (Kelly, 2000: 86) when we are speaking. It plays a vital role in helping people express their opinions, and understanding thought of others. In short, the word â€œpronunciationâ€ is like a big umbrella covering various sub-items as consonants, vowels, intonations, stress, etc. With such big boundaries of items, language teachers and learners have to think of how to master these key aspects, especially stress and intonation, to be successful in teaching and learning pronunciation. 2. 3 Teaching pronunciation 2. 3. 1 The importance of teaching/ learning pronunciation and a â€œparadoxâ€ 2. 3. 1. 1 The importance of teaching and learning pronunciation Pronunciation is as important as any other aspects of language like syntax and vocabulary. Some people may argue that speech is obviously much more significant than pronunciation. However, speech cannot exist without pronunciation. Correct pronunciation, in fact, is considered to be a prerequisite to develop the speaking skill. That is why teaching pronunciation should occupy an important place in the study of any language. According to Gerald Kelly (2000), pronunciation â€œinvolves far more than individual soundsâ€ including word stress, sentence stress, intonation, and word linking. All of these influence the sound of spoken English. Sound is the core of the language. When teaching a language, the first and foremost thing teachers should do is to let learners have chances to expose themselves to the sounds of that language. That is the reason why more and more teachers pay much attention to teaching pronunciation to their students. Considering the importance of communication in general and pronunciation in particular, Gerald Kelly confirms â€œa learner who constantly mispronounces a range of phonemes can be extremely difficult for a speaker from another language community to understand. A consideration of learnersâ€™ pronunciation errors and of how these can inhibit successful communication is a useful basis on which to assess why it is important to deal with pronunciation in the classâ€ (2000:11). Sharing the same ideas with Kelly, Martin Hewings (2004:10) adds â€œdifficulties with pronunciation might mean that students fail to get their message across, even when the correct words are being used, or they might fail to understand what is said to them. â€ The inaccurate use of suprasegmetal elements, such as tress or intonation, can also cause problems. Errors in pronunciation can lead to a problem of reception, or comprehension of the meaning or function of an utterance, even worse, they can affect the perceived tone or mood of an utterance. Moreover, it is obvious that good pronunciation serves as a strong motivation for language learners. Most language learners show considerable enthusiasm for pronunciation as they consider it as a good way to show that they are competent in the language. Once they have obtained adequate pronunciation competence, they gradually build up strong confidence for themselves and are ready to learn new things without hesitation. 2. 3. 1. 2 A â€œparadoxâ€ As the matter of fact, the role of pronunciation in English learning process could not be negated. Regrettably, teaching and learning pronunciation has not received appropriate attention as expected and Gerald Kelly call this fact a name â€œa paradoxâ€ (Kelly, 2000: 1). It tends to suffer from being neglected. This may not be teachersâ€™ lack of interest or motivation in pronunciation. The main reason comes from their teaching experience and confidence, â€œfeeling of doubt as to hoe to teachâ€ (Kelly, 2000:13). In spite of the fact that both teacher and students are keen on pronunciation, they often take grammar or vocabulary precedence over pronunciation for granted. If it is not neglected, â€œit tends to be reactive to a particular problem that has arisen in the classroom rather than being strategically plannedâ€ (Kelly, 2000:13). This is the most popular problem is pronunciation lessons. Teachers only deal with pronunciation when it comes to be problematic. There is no lesson plan, no strategy in teaching and learning pronunciation. Most teachers often prepare lesson plan for teaching grammar, vocabulary, but pronunciation. Yet pronunciation work can, and should, be planned for, too. Teachers should regard features of pronunciation as integral to language analysis and lesson planning. This paradox arises from both the nature of pronunciation itself, from the teaching staff as well as from the learners themselves. However, to deal with this problem, as language teachers, teachers need to have a good grounding in theoretical knowledge. Furthermore, in order to teach pronunciation successfully, teachers should be practically skilled in classrooms, and they need to have good ideas, approaches, techniques, as well as classroom activities. 2. 3. 2 Teachersâ€™ roles in teaching pronunciation Mastering a foreign language pronunciation is not something impossible as far as the student and the teacher participate together in the total learning process. Thus, to succeed in a pronunciation program, the teacher plays an essential role. Kenworthy (1987), Nguyen Bang and Nguyen Ba Ngoc (2001), and Hoang Van Van, et al. (2006) shared the similar ideas about teachersâ€™ roles in the teaching and learning pronunciation process, in which, teachers are responsible for: â€¢Helping learners to hear: The teacher has a mission to provide appropriate input of the target sounds for learners to hear. Teacher needs to check that their students are hearing sounds according to the appropriate categories and help them develop new categories if necessary. â€¢Helping learners to make sounds: It is true that some English sounds do not exist in the learnersâ€™ mother tongue. Some learners may be able to imitate the target sounds if they are provided models. However, for those who lack such an ability, it is teachersâ€™ duty to explain the way those difficult sounds are made and provide aids to help learners produce correct sounds. â€¢Providing feedback: Students need to be told where they are standing, how much they have gained and what they need to improve because sometimes, students themselves can not know whether they are making mistakes or not. The teacher must provide them with feedbacks on their performance. â€¢Pointing out what is going on: In many cases, learners fail to realize what and how they are speaking, as speaking is for most parts unconsciously controlled, learners may sometimes make mistakes in the way they produce a particular sequence of sounds, or put stress in an incorrect place, leading to misunderstanding. It is the teachersâ€™ role to specify the area that learners have to pay attention to so as not to cause miscomprehension. â€¢Establishing priorities: Native-like pronunciation is not easy to achieve. Therefore, learners need a guide to tell them about what aspects they should master, what aspects they not need to be â€œperfectâ€. Inevitably, when learning a foreign language, it is dealt if learners master every aspect of it. However, as this is somehow unrealistic, learners should learn to satisfy at an accepted level of those aspects which are not vital. The level at which learners can feel satisfied at depends on different situations for different individuals. â€¢Devising activities: It is not easy for teachers to cover all activities in a limited time. Thus, teachers need to identify what exercises will be suitable for their learners, what activities would bring them the best effect. In devising them, however, it should be accepted that certain activities are more suitable to some students than others. â€¢Assessing progress: An important role of teacher is to assess progress. Learners need to know at what level they are in pronunciation. Tests allocated at appropriate times will serve as a strong motivation for students. When they look at their marks, they have a clear sense of how much they have gained. Judging learnersâ€™ pronunciation performance is very complicated. However, this should be done accordingly. 2. 3. 3. Approaches, techniques and activities in teaching pronunciation 2. 3. 3. 1 Approaches in teaching pronunciation In the book â€œTeaching pronunciationâ€ (Celce-Murcia M. , et al. 1996: 2), the authors point out two general approaches to the teaching of pronunciation in the modern time, namely intuitive-imitative approach and analytic-linguistic approach. An intuitive-imitative approach depends on â€œthe learnersâ€™ ability to listen to and imitate the rhythms and sounds of the target language without the intervention of any explicit informationâ€. This means the teaching of pronunciation depends largely on the teacherâ€™s turning on and rewinding a cassette player (or another instrument), and the main activities in the class are listening and repeating. In this approach, the teacher has no responsibility to explain how sounds are formed or produced and the learners do their main task of listening and imitating, and it is expected that learners will gradually gain pronunciation competence. Meanwhile, an analytic-linguistic approach â€œutilizes information and tools such as a phonetic alphabet, articulator descriptions, charts of the vocal apparatus and other aids to supplement listening, imitation, and productionâ€ (Celce-Murcia M. , et al. , 1996: 2). In this approach, learners are given explanation as well as training on how to form particular sounds of the target language. Between these two approaches, there is no scale on whether which one is better. Choosing to apply which approach into teaching pronunciation depends on teachers themselves and the level of learners. To do well with these two approaches, it is a need for both teachers and learners to fulfill knowledge of articulator system such as consonants, vowels, stress, and intonation, etc. In this study, the author considers the use of both approaches to gain best effect in teaching and learning pronunciation. 2. 3. 3. 2 Techniques and activities Pronunciation is never an end in itself, thus to receive expected result in teaching and learning pronunciation, teachers have made use of a great deal of techniques. It may be taught in isolation or in combination with language skills of speaking, listening, reading or writing. Supported by Kelly (2000:16); and Celce, et al (1996:8), some common techniques are: â€¢Drilling: One of the main ways in which pronunciation is practiced in the classroom is through drilling. In its most basic form, drilling simply involves the teacher saying a word or a structure, and getting class to repeat it. â€¢Listen and imitateâ€ The pronunciation of the target language is provided by the teacher or tape recorders, language labs, etc. students are to listen to a sequence of sounds or sentences and repeat it. â€¢Chaining: This can be used for sentences which prove difficult for students to pronounce, either because they are long, or because they include difficult words and sounds The above mentioned techniques are nearly similar; they usually take two forms, which are either all-class or individual. These two forms are actually the two phase of the same techniques. Normally, at first, the whole class repeats after certain sound and phrases. After a certain amount of class-drilling, individual students take turns and pronounce those items themselves. â€¢Phonetic chaining: This technique makes use of articulator descriptions, articulator diagrams and a phonetic alphabet. Learners are provided with basic theoretical knowledge about how sounds are formed. They are also aided by the teacher to make genuine sound production. â€¢Minimal pair drills: These relate to words which differ from each other only one phoneme. Normally, students are allowed to listen to the tape and distinguish between the two sounds. This type of activities is particularly useful to teach sounds which causes difficulties for learners or sounds that are mismatched. â€¢Contextualized minimal pair: In this technique, the teacher establishes the setting and present key vocabulary; students are then trained to respond to a sentence stem with the appropriate meaningful response. When minimal pair drills seem a bit boring and too theoretical with separated sounds, the contextualization seems to be more useful because it is more practical. â€¢Tongue Twisters: This technique rooted from speech correction strategies for native speakers. When other techniques look serious and sometimes put learners under pressure, tongue twisters provide a more delighting way to learn pronunciation. Sounds which are difficult to differentiate are put together to make meaningful sentences. â€¢Reading aloud/recitation: Students are provided with a passage or scripts and then read aloud, focusing on stress, timing and intonation. This activity is often done with texts such as poems, rhymes, song lyrics, etc. â€¢Recording of learnersâ€™ production. This technique can use audio-tape, video-tapes of rehearsed and spontaneous speeches, free conversations, and role plays. It needs the feedbacks of teachers as well as self-evaluation. â€¢Practice of vowel shifts and stress shifts related by affixation: Base on rule of generative phonology, used with intermediate or advanced learners. The teachers point out the rule-based nature of vowel and stress shifts in etymologically related words to raise awareness; sentences and short texts that contain both number of a pair may be provide as oral practice material such as:PHOtograph And phoTOgraphy 2. 4 Learning pronunciation 2. 4. 1 Factors affecting learning pronunciation According to Joane Kenworthy (1987), there are many factors affecting learning pronunciation, including the native language, the age factor, the amount of exposure, phonetic ability, attitude and identity. The native language: it is inevitable that learnersâ€™ native language has a great impact on their ability of pronouncing English. The â€œforeign accentâ€ is therefore easy to identity. The age factor: it is often assumed that the younger a person starts learning a foreign language, the better he is at pronouncing it and he has a greater chance of having a native-like accent. The amount of exposure: people who live in the country where the target language is spoken and is surrounded by an English-speaking environment may have some advantages over some who do not. Phonetic ability: researches have shown that some people naturally have a â€œbetter earâ€ for a foreign language than others. Attitude and identity: results from many studies have shown that learners who have a positive attitude towards speakers of a foreign language tend to have a more native-like pronunciation. 2. 4. 2 Studentsâ€™ roles in learning pronunciation It is essential that in order to learn a language, motivation plays a vital role. The same thing happens to learning pronunciation. If students really care much about their pronunciation, they will become more cautious about their speaking, and gradually build up good pronunciation. In teaching and learning pronunciation, if teachers play the roles of a â€œspeech coachâ€, students themselves need to involve in this process as much as possible in order to get good results. According to Nguyen Bang and Nguyen Ba Ngoc (2001), students need to satisfy some demands. Firstly, they need to perceive the model as exactly as they can. Secondly, they need to response as much as and as well as possible to the recognition, the imitation and repetition activities. Lastly, beside the help of the teachers, students should do self-correction of their pronunciation mistakes. 2. 5 Teachersâ€™ and studentsâ€™ problems in teaching and learning pronunciation Both teachers and students encounter various problems in the process of teaching and learning pronunciation. These problems do not only arise from the nature of pronunciation itself, but from various subjective and objective factors. In the light of the previous and current studies, some major problems that teachers and learners face in teaching and learning pronunciation are:. The nature of pronunciation According to Nunan (1991), the problem of acquiring the phonology of a second or a foreign language presents a formidable challenge to any theory of second language acquisition. In teaching and learning pronunciation, the biggest problem that most of the English teachers and students complain come from nature of pronunciation. English pronunciation itself contains so many complicated factors and invisible rules. In the light of this problem, Doff A. (1988) listed some common problems that learners often make when they speak English. The first is difficulties in pronouncing sounds which do not exist in the studentsâ€™ own language. The second is the problems with similar sounds that often cause learnersâ€™ confusion. The third is difficulties in pronouncing consonant clusters. And the last problem mainly comes from English stress and intonation. Students seem to have a tendency to give all syllables equal stress and â€œflatâ€ intonation. Class setting A lot of problems in teaching and learning pronunciation come from class setting such as classroom size, quality of the teaching staff, teaching and learning equipment. Firstly, a large class causes difficulty in teaching pronunciation. At high school, on average, there are over 50 students per class. With such a high student-teacher ratio, it is impossible to make sure that the teacher could carry out successful teaching techniques and activities, and the learner is not able to listen and receive what the teacher is saying. The quality of teaching staff is also a big problem. Most teachers of English are non-native speakers, and a few of them can have a native-like pronunciation. As a result, the language input that students receive every day is from non-native people. Therefore, it is impossible to require students to achieve perfect pronunciation. Teaching model According to Kelly (2000), in the past, the model of teaching English pronunciation was â€œreceived pronunciationâ€, the pronounciation of people in the southwest England. Today, there are a vast number of English: American English, Australian English, etc. Thus, it is difficult for teachers to choose what model to teach. In fact, each teacher often cannot produce a â€œperfectâ€ accent without being affected by his own language. This fact sometimes causes both teachers and students problems in teaching and learning pronunciation. Some teachers do not feel confident with their own voice and students do not know what input language is perfect to receive. Intelligibility Beside factors from the nature of pronunciation, class setting, etc, teaching and learning pronunciation involves in its own problem that Kenworthy (1987) calls it as â€œintelligibilityâ€. He defines â€œintelligibilityâ€ as â€œbeing understood by a listener at a given time in a given situationâ€. This means that intelligibility is affected by a number of factors: the speaker, the listener, the time, and the situation. This also means that teaching and learning pronunciation depends on many factors, causing many problems for both teachers and students. In conclusion, in this chapter, some theoretical backgrounds relating to teaching and learning pronunciation have been pointed out. These factors are the pronunciation concepts and their features. Factors relating to pronunciation teaching and learning as the importance, the problems, techniques and activities have been also given. It cannot be denied that pronunciation and teaching pronunciation is an important part to conduct in any language course. It is even more important for those who are or will be teachers of the language. Methods of teaching pronunciation are various with different elements of pronunciation. What are the attitudes of teachers and learners towards teaching and learning pronunciation? The school has 36 classes with 90 teachers and 1,800 students. Each year, the school enrolls more than 600 new comers. 3. 1. 2 Description of the course At school, all students when pass the entrance exam to the school have to study English as one of the compulsory subjects. During the process of learning English at school, students use three English textbooks (English 10, English 11, English 12) focusing on four skills including reading, speaking, listening, writing and language focus part. The language focus comprises two major parts: pronunciation and grammar. Normally, students start learning pronunciation when they study English 10. However, at grade 10th, students only learn some vowels and simple consonants. At grade 11th, students continue to study complex consonants. And at grade 12th, students start to be familiar with stress and intonation exercises. That is the reason why stress and intonation are two major aspects of pronunciation chosen in this investigation. 3. 2 Subjects The subjects of this study comprised 10 teachers and 55 12th-form students at QCHS. All English teachers were invited to participate in this study. They are from 27 to 60 years old, and have taught English for more than 2 years. They graduated from both regular and in-service training. With those teachers who have taught English for many years, they have teaching experience, but were not well trained. They mainly graduated from colleges, even in-service training. With younger teachers, they graduated from many different universities: state and non-state universities. They are full of motivation, but lack of teaching experience. In general, these teachers are good at teaching grammar and do not feel confident to deal with speaking, listening, and pronunciation lessons. Thus, they often focus their lesson on grammar but the speaking and pronunciation. The class that the author chose to study consists of fifty-five 12th-form students. These students have had at least 6 years of academic English experience by the time they reach this course. However, their English proficiency is not good, especially at pronunciation. They may be good at grammar and can do these grammar exercises quickly, but can not speak fluently. Most of them do not feel confident to speak in class and express their ideas in English. These students have studied at high school for more than two years. Therefore, they have been getting similar with the teaching and studying methods, the conditions and the teaching environment, so it easy for the author to get their consent to participate in the research. 3. 3 Research methods As mentioned previously, the researcher chose a mixed-method approach to data collection, utilizing triangulation to measure a broad variety of variables in the research. Necessary data was gathered directly from the teachers and students participating in the research in several ways: Questionnaires: In order to collect reliable and comprehensive data, two questionnaires were designed: one for teachers and one for students. They are both open-ended and close-ended questions. Teacher questionnaire (Appendix 1): one survey questionnaire with 8 questions was designed for the teachers to get their ideas of pronunciation teaching and learning reality, problems faced by their students and some recommendations to improve learning pronunciation reality at school. To get this aim, the questionnaire is categorized into the following groups: â€¢Teachersâ€™ attitude towards present situation of teaching and learning pronunciation at QCHS; â€¢Approaches, techniques and classroom activities used by teachers in teaching pronunciation; â€¢Problems faced by teachers in teaching pronunciation; and â€¢Teachersâ€™ recommendations of techniques to improve studentsâ€™ pronunciation. Student questionnaire Appendix 2): another survey questionnaire with 8 questions was designed for students including the following categories: â€¢Studentsâ€™ attitude towards learning pronunciation, especially stress and intonation; â€¢Studentsâ€™ problems in learning pronunciation; and â€¢Studentsâ€™ expectations in learning pronunciation. In-depth classroom observations: Six informal classroom observations during regular classroom sessions were used as an additional data source. The observations were carried out for two weeks during the course of the study to get more practical information about teachersâ€™ and studentsâ€™ attitudes towards teaching and learning pronunciation, and difficulties as well as techniques used in pronunciation lessons. During the process of observations, the author focused on some aspects taking in class as: â€¢Teaching and learning materials used in class; â€¢Studentsâ€™ activities and their mistakes in producing pronunciation; and â€¢Teachersâ€™ approaches and techniques used in teaching pronunciation. Interviews and discussions (Appendix 3): after collecting data from the survey questionnaires and classroom observations, the author used the post interview in order to get the in-depth discussion about techniques used to improve studentsâ€™ pronunciation. Because it is too difficult for the researcher to conduct long interviews with all teachers, the researcher randomly selected 5/10 teachers for interviews. They were willing to express deeply their opinions, and ideas about teaching techniques. 3. 2. Data collection procedures The study was conducted in the first term of the school year 2010-2011 (from September 2010 to December, 2010). At the beginning of the first term, two sets of questionnaires were given to the teachers and the students who agreed to participate in the research. After two days, these questionnaires were collected. The information from these questionnaires were then summarized and presented in the form of statistics. For the following two weeks, the author carried out some classroom observations. The observations during six English lessons including one in reading, one in writing, one in listening, one in speaking and two in language focus periods. At each session, the researcher took field notes on what happened when the students learned pronunciation. Finally, when the information from the survey questionnaires and classroom observations were collected and analyzed, structured interviews were carried out. The data collected from three different resources were read through to obtain a sense of the overall data. They were then analyzed both descriptively and interpretatively. The initial sorting-out process was writing findings in the form of reflective notes and summaries of field notes. The information was then displayed in forms of tables and figures while qualitative data from the open-ended questionnaire items, classroom observations and interviews were presented by quoting relevant responses from the respondents. CHAPTER FOUR: PRESENTATION OF THE DATA This part, the information from collected data was presented in accordance with the category of data collection instruments. 4. 1 Survey questionnaires 4. 1. Teachersâ€™ and studentsâ€™ attitudes towards teaching and learning pronunciation Assuming that the consideration of the teachersâ€™ and studentsâ€™ attitude towards teaching and learning pronunciation would be beneficial to the research, at the outset, these factors were surveyed. The results, shown in below, reflect that grammar is the most concerning aspect in learning English at high school. Surprisingly, only 10% of the teachers think that pronunciation is the most necessary for their students. They always pay much attention and time and energy on grammar. In contrast, teaching and learning pronunciation as well as developing listening, speaking or reading skills do not receive enough attention to. 4. 1. 2 Studentsâ€™ pronunciation level From the chart 2, we can see an optimistic reality of studentsâ€™ level in learning pronunciation at Quynh Coi high school. Being asked about this, all the teachers said that studentsâ€™ level is not equal, however; it is not good as expected. 60% teachers said that their studentsâ€™ level at pronunciation is at average; and even 30% of the students get under average level. None of the teachers evaluate their studentsâ€™ level at pronunciation is good or excellent. . 1. 3 Pronunciation teaching and learning time Chart 3 presents time that teachers and students spend on teaching and learning pronunciation. One more time teachers and students share the same ideas about the fact that too little time is on pronunciation. 80% of the teachers and 43% of the students said that they did not have time to spend on teaching and learning pronunciation in one teaching session (45 minutes); 20% of the teachers and 32% of the students spend less than 20 minutes on teaching pronunciation. None of the teachers and a very small number of the students teach and learn pronunciation for more than 20 minutes. The overall results indicate that the reality of teaching and learning pronunciation at Quynh Coi high school is not positive as expected. Although both teachers and students are very optimistic towards teaching and learning pronunciation, studentsâ€™ level is not good as well as time spent on teaching pronunciation is limited during one normal teaching session. 4. 1. 4 Teachers and studentsâ€™ problems in teaching and learning pronunciation Chart 4 shows that both the teachers and the students face many problems during the process of teaching and learning pronunciation. The biggest problem that both teachers and students face comes from the nature of pronunciation. The next two factors preventing students from gaining good pronunciation are teaching time and studentsâ€™ competence. 27% of the teachers and 22% of the students said that they do not have enough time on pronunciation. 20% of the teachers considered that their studentsâ€™ competence in pronunciation is too low. 22% students also agreed with that idea. Class setting is the next factor that 20% teachers chose. It is clear that quality of teaching staff is not good enough to come over all the difficulties in teaching pronunciation. In contrast, only 1% of the students agreed with this. The smallest factor that both teachers and students think that causing problem in teaching and learning pronunciation is studentsâ€™ motivation. 4. 1. 5 Teachersâ€™ and studentsâ€™ problems in teaching and learning intonation and stress From the chart above, most of the teachers (50%) and students (43%) think that stress is the most difficulty in teaching and learning pronunciation. the second is intonation: 30% of the teachers and 14% of the students think that intonation causes trouble. Meanwhile, none of the teachers meet any difficulties in teaching consonants and vowels. Particularly, chart 6 shows that 43% of the students cannot know the place of stress in a word; 20% said they cannot pronounce stress though they may be know place of stress in those words. Surprisingly, 27% of the students said that they do not know anything of stress. From the above chart, we can see that the reality of learning intonation is even worse than learning stress. 56% of all surveyed students understand nothing about intonation, causing a lot of difficulties in teaching and learning pronunciation.
ransposition of lexico-grammatical classes of nouns. Stylistic function of articles, genitive case, plural number. Stylistic functions of different grammatical categories in different parts of speech. 1) Stylistic transposition of pronouns. 2) Adjectives, stylistic function of degrees of comparison. 3) Stylistic functions of verbal categories. 4) Stylistic functions of adverbs.Style is less investigated on the morphological level than on any other one because very many scholars hold the opinion that stylistic connotations appear only when the use of grammatical phenomenon departs from the normative usage and functions on the outskirts or beyond the system of Standard language. Nevertheless stylistic connotations donâ€™t necessarily mean the violation of the normative speech patterns. They are based on different cases of transposition.Transposition is the usage of different parts of speech in unusual grammatical meaning which breaks the usual correlation within a grammatical category and is used to express the speakerâ€™s emotions and his attitude to the object of discussion. It is the shift from one grammatical class to another, controversy between the traditional and situational reference on the level of morphology. (I. V. A. ) 1. Transposition of lexico-grammatical class (LGC) of NOUNS: Transposition of nouns is based on the usage of nouns in unusual exico-grammatical class (LGC), thus causing a stylistic effect. According to their usual LGC they are subdivided into: Personal nouns (agents) (man, woman, children) Living beings (birds, cats, dogs) Collective nouns (mankind, peerage) Material nouns (water, stone) Abstract nouns (clarity, kindness), etc. Transposition from one LGC to another causes expressive, evaluative, emotive and functional connotations. Thus transposition of personal nouns denoting animals to those denoting people causes metaphorization and appearance of zoo morphemes: ass, bear, beast and bitch.Pig, donkey, monkey may have tender but ironical connotation, while swine, ass, ape acquire rude, negative coloring. Negative connotation is intensified by emphatic constructions: you impudent pup, you filthy swineâ€. I was not going to have all the old tabbies bossing her around just because she is not what they call â€œour classâ€ (A. Wilson) Emotive and expressive connotations are achieved in transposition of abstract nouns into personal nouns (abstract nouns used in plural): â€œThe chubby little eccentricity :: a chubby eccentric child. â€Transposition of parts of speech (A>N): â€œListen, my sweet (coll. )â€, a man of intelligence, a flush of heat (bookish). Stylistic functions of the Genitive case, plural number and the articles The genitive case is considered to be a formal sign of personification alongside with the personal pronouns â€˜he and sheâ€™ referred to inanimate objects. The genitive case is limited in its usage to the LGC of nouns denoting living beings: my fatherâ€™s room, Georgeâ€™s sister. When used with nouns of some other class the genitive case gets emotive coloring and an elevated ring: â€œEnglandâ€™s troubles.My countryâ€™s lawsâ€. â€œ^ The trees had eagerness in every turg, stretching their buds upward to the sunâ€™s warmth; the blackbirds were in songâ€ (J. Galsworthy) The suffixâ€˜sâ€™ may be also added to the phrase or to the whole sentence: Sheâ€™s the boy I used to go withâ€™s mother. Heâ€™s the niece, I told you aboutâ€™s husband. A comic effect is achieved due to many factors: The suffix is added not to a stem but to a noun, followed by a subordinate clause. Logical incompatibility of the following words placed together: sheâ€™s the boy; heâ€™s the niece; aboutâ€™s husband.The use of^ Plural number in unusual collocations is also a source of expressiveness: One Iâ€™m â€“ sorry â€“ for â€“you is worth twenty I â€“ told â€“ you â€“ soâ€™s. The sentence has a jocular ring because a plural ending â€™sâ€™ is added to the whole sentence together with the numeral â€˜twentyâ€™. Abstract nouns used in plural become countable, concrete and acquire additional expressive connotation making the description more vivid and impressive: â€œOh! Wilfred has emotions, hates, pities, wants; at least sometimes; when he does his stuff is jolly good.Otherwise he just makes a song about nothing â€“ like the rest (J. Galsworthy) â€¦â€; â€œThe peculiar look came into Bossineyâ€™s face which marked all his enthusiasmsâ€. Sometimes the forms of singular and plural of abstract nouns have different shades of the given abstract notion and are used for emphasis: â€œHe had nerve but no nerves. â€ LGC of Material nouns as a rule have no plural but in descriptions of nature and landscapes they may be used in plural for the sake of expressiveness: The snows of Kilimanjaro, the sands of Africa, the waters of the Ocean.The same effect is achieved when PUs with nouns denoting weight and measure lose their concrete meaning and become synonyms to the pronouns much, many, a lot of, little, few: Tons of funs, loads of friends; a sea of troubles, a pound of pardons. Stylistic functions of articles The indefinite article before a proper name creates an additional evaluative connotation due to the clash of nominal and logical meanings (antonomasia):^ I donâ€™t claim to be a Rembrandt. Have a Van Deyk? A century ago there may have been no Leibnitz, but there was a Gauss, a Faraday, and a Darwin (Winner).The indefinite article stresses a very high evaluation of the role of the scientists in the development of the world science. But very often the indefinite article before the name of ordinary people denotes negative characteristics of the persons under those names: â€œI will never marry a Malone or a Sykesâ€ (Sh. Bronte) The definite article before the surname may stress that the person is famous or notorious: â€œYes, the Robinson. Donâ€™t you know? The notorious Robinson. â€ (J. Conrade)The repetition of the article intensifies the expressiveness of the enumerated nouns: â€œThe waiting â€“ the hope â€“ the disappointment â€“ the fear â€“ the misery â€“ the poverty â€“ the flight of his hopes â€“ and the end to his career â€“ the suicide, perhaps, of the shabby, slip-shod drunkard (Ch. Dickens). ^ Stylistic transposition of pronouns The personal pronoun is a formal sign of the 1st person narration. If used too often it denotes the speakerâ€™s self-estimation, self-satisfaction and egoism: â€œAnd thatâ€™s where the real businessman comes in: where I come in. But I am cleverer than some.I donâ€™t mind dropping a little money to start the process. I took your fatherâ€™s measure, I saw that he had a sound idea; I sawâ€¦I knewâ€¦I explainedâ€¦ (B. Shaw) When I is substituted for the indefinite one or you in a generalizing function the contact of the speaker and listener is closer, making the words of the speaker sound modest and reserved: â€œYou see, Chris, even in quite a small provincial town you could have a clinic, a little team of doctors, each doing his own stuffâ€ (A. Cronin). â€œI am ancient but I donâ€™t feel it. Thatâ€™s one thing about painting, it keeps you young.Titian lived to ninety-nine and had to have plague to kill him offâ€. (J. Galswarthy) I may be substituted by nouns a man, a chap, a fellow, a girl. Thus the listener is included in the events and feelings portrayed. Archaic pronouns (Archaisms): thee (you), thou (your), thy (your), thine (yours) thyself (yourself) are used in poetry and create a high-flown atmosphere: Hail to thee, blithe spirit! Bird thou never wert (P. B. Shelly). Pronouns he, she, it may be formal indication of personification when used in reference to natural phenomena as the sun(he) and the earth(she) in T. Hardyâ€™s Tess of the dâ€™Urbervilles.When he or she are substituted for it living beings are reduced to the class of things, hence a humorous or an ironical effect and mostly negative evaluation being created. The same function is performed by pronouns what, this, that, anything and nouns beast, brute, creature: â€œIs there anything wrong with me, Mister Mate? It askedâ€ (J. Conrad). â€˜Weâ€™ may denote some group of people with whom the speaker connects himself: â€œBecause he was a Forsyte; we never part with things you know, unless we want something in their place; and not always then. (J. Galsworthy) Proverbs: We never know the value of water till the well is dry.We soon believe what we desire. There exist the so-called Pluralis Majestatis ( â€“ , ? ?. ?): â€œ^ We, the king of Great Britainâ€â€™ and Pluralis Modestiae ( ) or the authorâ€™s â€œweâ€. In fiction Pluralis Modestiae brings associations with scientific prose and produces the impression of historic truth (authenticity). â€œWe soon believe what we desireâ€ (Pluralis Modestiae) The pronoun â€œtheyâ€ denotes that the action is performed by a group of people where the speaker is not included, as if he is separated from them: â€œMy poor girl, what have they been doing to you! â€Demonstrative pronouns this and that single the objects out of the whole class and emotionally stress them: â€œGeorge: Oh, donâ€™t be innocent, Ruth. This house! This room! This hideous, God-awful room! â€ This and That may express anger and irritation, merriment and mockery especially in case of redundancy typical of familiar-colloquial style: â€œThey had this headmaster, this very cute girlâ€. â€œBy all means let us have a policy of free employment, increased production, no gap between exports and imports, social security, a balanced This and a planned That, but let us also have fountains, exquisite fountains, beautiful fountainsâ€¦â€(J. B.Priestley) Demonstrative pronouns are especially expressive when used with possessive ones in postposition and accompanied by epithets: that lovely ring of yours, that brother of mine, this idea of his, that wretched puppy of yours! Adjectives, stylistic function of degrees of comparison Adjectives possess a single grammatical category of comparison, meant to portray the degrees of intensity with the help of comparative and superlative degrees contributing to the expressive stylistic function: â€˜a most valuable idea, the newest fashion of all, a foolish, foolish wife, my wife is a foolishness herself, Is she as foolish as that? . The usage of the comparative degree with other than qualitative adjectives makes them foregrounded due to their expressiveness: â€˜â€œYou cannot be deader than the deadâ€ (E. Hemingway). Polysyllabic adjectives form degrees of comparison with more and most, but in case of the synthetic forms â€“er and â€“est the utterance sounds expressive and stylistically relevant: â€˜Curiouser and curiouser! Cried Alice (she was so much surprised that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good Englishâ€™ (L. Carrol).This device is used in the language of advertising thus breaking the valency of the incompatible elements joined together: â€œthe orangemostest drink in the worldâ€. There are several structural combinations with adjectives that are very expressive: A duck of a boy. A devil of a fellow. Good and strong. Nice and warm. Most happy. Much of a lad. More of a realist; very happy; most happy; the greatest pleasure. ^ Stylistic functions of verbal categories Stylistic potentialities of verbs are not enough investigated. Transposition is one of the main sources of expressiveness. Transposition from the past to the present is stylistically relevant.It brings the events which happened in the past closer to the reader. Description becomes more vivid and lively. This kind of transposition is called Historical (dramatic) present. Historical present instead of the past: â€œ^ And then on the night of the banquet she appears in her emeralds, and throughout the evening Max pays attention to no one elseâ€. (M. Mitchel) (to make the narrative more vivid and dramatic). â€œLooking back, as I was saying into the back of my infancy, the first objects I can remember as standing out by themselves from a confusion of things, are my mother and Pegotty, what else do I remember?Let me seeâ€¦ There comes out of the cloud, our house â€“ not new to me, but quite familiar, in its earliest remembrance. On the ground floor is Pegottyâ€™s kitchen, opening into a back yardâ€¦â€ (Ch. Dickens) Transposition of the future to the present to stress its potential possibility: â€œBut mark my words! The first woman, who fishes for him, hooks him! â€ Transposition of the Imperative mood to the Indicative mood: â€œI canâ€™t stand it! Donâ€™t tempt me! You are coming home with me nowâ€ (Dr. ) â€“ (in emotional speech of characters)Transposition of tenses in speech characterization in colloquial speech: â€œI says, he, she ainâ€™t; You done me a hill turnâ€. ^ Archaic verbal forms are stylistically marked: dost, knowest, doth, liveth â€“ to create the atmosphere of antiquity in historical novels and in poetry. Transposition from future into present tenses:â€™ Itâ€™s a mercy that he did not bring us over a black daughter-in-law, my dear. But mark my words, the first woman who fishes for him, hooks him. (Future action seems potentially performed). Indefinite >Continuous: â€œsuddenly their heads cast shadows forward. A car behind them is coming up the hill.Its lights dilate and sway around themâ€ (J. Updyke). Past event are described as if going on before the eyes of the reader who becomes a participant of the events. Indicative<> Imperative: â€œ^ I canâ€™t stand it! Donâ€™t tempt me! Youâ€™re coming home with me nowâ€! (Dreiser). â€“ (in emotional speech of characters) Transposition of auxiliaries may be not only expressive but also functional â€“ stylistic. Thus, in speech characterization of heroes there appear the forms of colloquial speech: ^ I, he, and we ainâ€™t, I says, we has (was, is). You done me a hill turn. Time â€˜as changed.Archaic verbal forms: -st, dost, -th, doth (knowest, knoweth, liveth) create the atmosphere of the past centuries and a highly elevated coloring. ^ Modal verbs used in pseudoâ€“clauses acquire expressiveness and indignation mixed with nervousness: â€˜That he should be so careless! â€™ â€˜Not that they should give a warningâ€™. Grammatical forms (modal verbs) may acquire expressiveness when repeated several times: ^ And Death shall have no dominion Dead men naked, they shall be one With man in the wind and the west moon; When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone, They shall have stars at elbow and foot;Though they go mad they shall be sane, Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again; Though lovers be lost love shall not, And death shall have no dominion (D. Thomas). The idea of the union of man and nature is intensified in the constant and insistent repetition of shall indicating in this context not only modality but promise and solemn prophecy. It makes the poem very expressive and emotional, pointing out persistent necessity and affirmation. Adverbs are not enough investigated. Their stylistic relevance in the scientific texts is based on their usage as logical connectives.Logical sequence of utterances is achieved with the help of an adverb now in the scientific style. â€œNow there is no normal process except death which completely clears the brains from all past impressions; and after death it is impossible to set it going againâ€. (N. Viner) ^ Now- right away â€“ (in colloquial speech): She also senses this terrific empathy from him right away. N+wise=ADV: budgetwise, trade unionwise: â€œI am better off living in Connecticut, but transportationwise and entertainmentwise I am a loser. â€ In fiction verbs are used to create the temporal plane of narration.In E. Hemingwayâ€™s novel â€œFor Whom the Bell Tollsâ€ the adverb â€˜nowâ€™ serves a metronome of dramatic actions before and after the explosion of the bridge. Now, ever, never, forever are the key-words in E. Hemingwayâ€™s prose presenting the shift of the past, present and future. Temporal plane of narration is created with the help of intensifiers: now, never, forever, again: â€œJust as the earth can never die, neither will those who have ever been free, return to slavery. There is forever for them to remember them inâ€. (E. Hemingway) â€“ The stylistic function of intensification.
Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph made by Kevin Carter in 1993 I decided to describe the story behind this photograph, because of two reasons. The first one is a book I am reading now: â€˜The Bang â€“ Bang Clubâ€™. Kevin Carter â€“ the author of this photograph belonged to this four-member club of South African photographers. The second reason is that this is an important moment in documentary photograhy. This photograph was taken during the Sudan Famine in 1993.
The picture depicts a hunger stricken child crawling towards a United Nations food camp, located a kilometer away. The child is dying and he wonâ€™t make it to the camp. In the background a vulture is waiting for the child to die so it can eat him. The photographer waited for the vulture to spread its wings over the child, but it didnâ€™t happen. Nevertheless, this picture shocked the whole world in 1993. As it turned out, it also took another death-toll â€“ three months after taking the shot Kevin Carter, aged 33, committed suicide due to depression.
The photograph first appeared in New York Times on March 26, 1993 and was reproduced in many other newspapers around the world. After the publication lots of people contacted the Times to ask about the fate of the boy. His fate was unknown, but it was almost impossible for him to have reached the feeding center. In 1994, the photograph won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography. It wasnâ€™t the most shocking scene in Carterâ€™s career, as he had been working ear- lier for â€œThe Johannesburg Starâ€, being exposed to the real brutality of Apartheid.
The publication caused rapid reactions. Carter was bombarded with questions about why he had not helped the child, and only used him to take a picture. He was accused by another newspaper: â€œThe man adjusting his lens to take just the right frame of his suffering, might just as well be a predator, another vulture on the scene. â€ In most cases photojournalists say that showing the whole world in its drama is more important that helping starving children at a particular moment, for they will die anyway.
It may sound cynical but I believe this is the right thing for them to do. Carterâ€™s photograph started a discussion about the moral aspects of photojournalism. But the author appeared to be its victim. After his death, Carterâ€™s daughter Megan responded: â€œI see my dad as the suffering child. And the rest of the world is the vulture. â€ Photojournalism is a tough profession. Only one member of Carterâ€™s â€œBang â€“ Bang Clubâ€ has survived.
Others were killed while working or committed suicides, due to stress and depression. The world should have a bit more respect for photojournalists who have been showing us the most important events in the 20th century. Not longer then a week ago the â€˜Chicago Sun-Timesâ€™ fired all its staff photographers and decided to give reporters some Iphone trainingâ€¦ It wasnâ€™t the most shocking scene in Carter career, as he was working earlier for â€œJohanesburg Starâ€ being exposed to the real brutality of apartheid.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.