English Pronunciation: where to start? (Outline)

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Abstract

The first article, English Pronunciation: where to start?, which will serve as an introduction to the study of English pronunciation, will focus on the importance of finding a model and of learning the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) to reproduce the correct sounds corresponding to that chosen model. The idea behind this paper is that, first of all, given that there are many standard varieties of English (Trudgill and Hannah 2002) and that the phonological level of language plays a crucial part in distinguishing them (Bauer 2002), one needs to know which model to adopt and, consequently, which sound system to reproduce before facing such studies. To start off, an overview of the English varieties around the world will be given to become familiar with these differences. Then, the IPA, which is an International Phonetic Alphabet especially designed to help reproduce the correct sounds of a language particularly when not corresponding to its spelling system, will be introduced. Suggestions about online and offline dictionaries and how to use them to learn pronunciation will also be given. The second article, Phonetics, Phonology and the Organs of Speech, will offer a short overview on how sounds are produced, transmitted and perceived. The aim of this section is to teach the basics of the speaking process and the proper terminology related to it. Special emphasis will be given to articulatory phonetics and the organs of speech: common mistakes made by non-native speakers of English are usually due to the mis-use of the organs of speech which are spontaneously trained to the movements of the native language. Keeping this in mind, the following six articles will then focus on the standard sounds of British English and the common mistakes usually made by Italian speakers when speaking English. The main topics will respectively be: consonant sounds (third article), common mistakes related to consonants (fourth article), vowel sounds (fifth article), common mistakes related to vowels (sixth article), stress, intonation and common mistakes related to stress and intonation (seventh article). The eight article, British English vs. American English, will compare the two major standards of the world: after learning the main basics of phonetics and phonology, the student will be taught the main phonological differences concerning British English, which is traditionally the main standard taught in Europe, and American English, which, nowadays, is the most widespread English variety of the world. The final paper, Putting it all together, will offer a practical analysis of some texts, such as songs and movie transcripts, by taking into account the material taught in the previous papers. As regards the methodology and the teaching material present in all the papers, the scientific framework will be taken from the main linguistic literature concerning phonetics and phonology and the examples will be taken from natural occurring language including songs, movie transcripts and comics suggested by secondary school students through a questionnaire. Practical illustrations will offer further support to the teachers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-48
Number of pages1
JournalSCUOLA E DIDATTICA
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Keywords

  • Pronunciation

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