TEACHING PRONUNCIATION

The following is an outline of the method I use to teach pronunciation-fluency in my adult ESL classes to all students, whether beginners or intermediate, or advanced.

I “weave” pronunciation into each class, for at least 15 minutes, so that it is an integral part of all lessons, including grammar.

My classes are bilingual and follow my website, PUMAROSA.COM, which students should use for the first hour of the class.

  • All students are given the workbook, PUMAROSA.COM, PRINCIPIANTE, and we begin the first class with the alphabet. With the text in front of them, I ask them to spell their names, their streets and the words English and Pumarosa. 

  • I emphasize the pronunciation of the soft g, the j, the v and show that the letter A is pronounced like the letter E in Spanish, the letter E l ike I, the letter I like Eye, pointing to my eye. And I also greatly exaggerate the sounds and ask the students to replicate my mouth movements.

  • In the second class, we practice greetings and salutations, with the students taking turns reading the dialogues. And each student is encouraged to memorize the phrase:

         “Please speak slowly.”

  • In the third class, the students are referred to the lesson on the numbers, which are also spelled phonetically. We practice the numbers up to one million.

  • I ask them to tell me their address, their telephone number, etc.

  • I emphasize the pronunciation of the short u, short  i, th, the n at the end of the teens, and the y sound at the end.

  • I personally demonstrate the particular sounds and use a lot of humor. For the th I draw a cartoon of a man sticking his tongue out with TH at the tip.

  • The students all take turns reading the dialogues in the text out loud and I usually give ‘reminders’ when someone stumbles.

  • After the class has completed most of the lessons in VB, I introduce the text called “Cognados./Cognates”. In one class I can cover most of the words that are similar in both languages.

  • Then it’s on to the text  called ‘Confusing Words”. Here I hold up a large print sheet and read each pair out loud, then ask the class to guess which word I am about to say. For example, Cheap or Chip. Usually at first the students are a little bewildered, but gradually everyone can understand which word I am saying.

  • Then after a while I use the text called “Pronunciation Test” and read the words out loud asking which word I am saying, Three or Tree, etc.

  • The text called “Pronunciacion Completa” can be used at a later date.

  • At this point all students are give a lesson on Useful Phrases, such as “Como se dice…Como se dice? – en INGLES? Included are simple questions to be used in the class….

  • Students are then all given a text with Nursery Rhymes from Mother Goose that focus on the lessons of the alphabet, numbers, parts of the body, etc. And each student is asked to read out loud his or her favorite.

  • When we begin to study verb tenses in the second month or so, I introduce popular, slow and romantic songs such as Unchained Melody, Stand By Me, etc. The song sheets contain a bilingual vocabulary, and we translate the songs in class. Then we listen to the song, then each student reads or sings each song out loud.

  • I also introduce a few graded readers, such as “Ricardo and His Family”, which the students read out loud.

  • Finally, I explain often that everyone has trouble pronouncing English, and my job is to help them overcome their timidity. I explain my own difficulty learning to speak Spanish, which is much easier to pronounce.

  •  Using the above as a base, I can then go on to help each student improve his or her pronunciation.  

  •  Pronunciation of difficult sounds with humor, reading dialogues out loud, recitation of poetry and the lyrics to songs, short conversations, leading up to ….real fluency, step by step – that is the basis of learning how to speak in English.

 

 

 

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