Pronunciation is a skill that should be developed and perfected throughout the whole course of learning the language, that is why we insist that the teacher should use pronunciation drill during the lesson, irrespective of the stage of instruction.
The phonetical description is connected with the purpose of the work: to show how to pronounce the sacred texts without any distortions. The organs of speech were studied carefully; the sounds were described in accord with their articulation, much attention being given to the active organs of speech: the lips, the three parts of the tongue (front, middle, and back), the larynx. Phonetical changes on the of words and affixes were also analysed with precision.
The concept of intonation is not new to foreign language teachers. It has been common knowledge that the passive is better taught as a pronunciation of the active. What is new is that a new phonetical theory makes intonation a fundamental part of language study and language teaching. It represents both as dynamic phenomena.
As to intonation it should be taught mainly though imitation, though some explanations and gestures in particular are helpful. For example, theteacher can show the rise of the voice by moving his hand up and the fall by moving it down. He can also use the following symbols: for stress, for pause, for falling tone, for rising tone, and teach pupils how to use them while listening to a text and reading it. Consequently, teaching pronunciation in school must be carried out through conscious approach to the problem and imitation of the teacher and speakers when tape-recordings and records are used. Neitherthe first nor the second should be underestimated.
Teaching a foreign language in schools begins with teaching pupils to hear and to speak it. That is, with the oral introductory course or the oral approach. A person learning a foreign language unconsciously continues to use his muscles in the old ways and substitutes the phonemes and the intonation of his native tongue. In learning pronunciation great use should also be made of imitation. Pupils learn to pronounce a new language by imitating the pronunciation of the teacher. Since young people`s ability to imitate is rather good it should be used in teaching pronunciation as well. Indeed, there are sounds in the English language which are difficult to explain, for example, vowels. The teacher is often at a loss how to show his pupils the pronunciation of this or that vowel, because he cannot show them the position of the organs of speech while producing the sound.
The teacher pronounces a number of English words and asks his pupils to recognize the new sound. When a pupil hears the sound he raises his hand and in this way the teacher sees whether the pupil can recognize the new sound among other sounds already learned or not. If most of the pupils raise their hands, the teacher can offer exercises for the pupils to perform.
In studying English pupils usually make mistakes in pronunciation, often s repeating the same mistakes again and again. The teacher should bear this in mind and either began the lesson with pronunciation drill or use pupils` errors as the point of departure for the drill.
Of course the teacher takes those words pupils are familiar with.More often than not the teacher should begin a lesson with pronunciation drill. This does not mean, however, that its place should be strictly fixed. The teacher may turn to pronunciation drill whenever he wants to draw his pupils attention to the phonic aspect of the material they deal with and in this way teach pupils correct English pronunciation.
The teacher`s principal concern is to make sure that every pupil can articulate English sounds correctly and pronounce words, phrases and sentences as close to the pattern as possible; hence pupils` learning by heart the material included in a phonetic drill (rhymes, proverbs, poems, songs, dialogues) is not th e main aim. The main aim is pupils` correct pronunciation with regard to sounds, stress, rhythm, and melody. If tape — recordings used, the material should be recorded so that pupils can first listen to the speaker, then repeat in imitation of the speaker during the pauses long enough for pupils to reproduce it. When recording the material for classwork, therefore, it is necessary to take into account not only the time for producing sounds or sound sequences, but for organizing the class to pronounce it during the pause. So pauses should not be too shot.
No matter how pronunciation is taught pupils will make mistakes in pronunciation of sounds, stress, and tones in the target language. The problem arises as to who should correct the mistakes and how they should be corrected. In the junior stage it is the teacher who corrects pupils` mistakes in pronunciation because pupils` ability to hear is not developed yet; besides they need good examples to follow which can be given either by the teacher or by the speaker. Moreover, the teacher can explain the mistake to the pupil and show him what should be done to avoid it. The ability to hear the difference in pronunciation of people should be developed from the very first steps. At the intermediate and senior stages pronunciation errors must be corrected both by the teacher and by the pupils themselves, though it becomes possible provided that sound producing aids are widely used since listening to tape- recordings and records develops the pupil`s ability to hear erroneous pronunciation when comparing the pattern pronunciation of the speaker with that of his own.
While reproducing passages of some text the students must show their command of substitutes and other means of connecting independent sentences into sequences. It is now well established that in any speech event a certain amount of information is not only issued, but also received.Human communication is two-way (two-sided) activity controlled by two different but interdependent and inter correcting mechanisms. This view upon human speech activity as a dynamic process makes the two-sided approach inevitable.
Young teachers are inclined to expect immediate results and soon they stop teaching pupils correct pronunciation as a hopeless task.No doubt they forget their own imperfections and do not that pronunciation can be taught only by a long, patient, and persistent effort throughout the whole course of study.
1. G. H. Vallins. Spelling. London, 1954 г. 34–38p.
2. D.Jones. An Outline of English Phonetics. 8th ed., Cambridge, 1957 г.18–20p.
3. N.Rogova. Methods of teaching English Moscow 1988 г. 47–49p.
4. E.Dragunova and G.Krosnoshokova. Angliyskaya orfoepicheskaya sistema. M., 1944 г. 15–16 p.
5. B. A. Vasilyev. English Phonetics, Leningrad, 1962.19–22 p.