Using limericks for the development of L2 students’ phonetic skills | Статья в сборнике международной научной конференции

Отправьте статью сегодня! Журнал выйдет 6 февраля, печатный экземпляр отправим 10 февраля.

Опубликовать статью в журнале

Автор:

Рубрика: 5. Педагогика общеобразовательной школы

Опубликовано в

XII международная научная конференция «Теория и практика образования в современном мире» (Санкт-Петербург, июль 2020)

Дата публикации: 30.06.2020

Статья просмотрена: 19 раз

Библиографическое описание:

Шелест, Н. В. Using limericks for the development of L2 students’ phonetic skills / Н. В. Шелест. — Текст : непосредственный // Теория и практика образования в современном мире : материалы XII Междунар. науч. конф. (г. Санкт-Петербург, июль 2020 г.). — Санкт-Петербург : Свое издательство, 2020. — С. 40-43. — URL: https://moluch.ru/conf/ped/archive/375/15958/ (дата обращения: 25.01.2021).



This article is concerned with the advantages of using limericks to study and practice the elements of English prosody. Along with the theoretical justification of the appropriateness of this training material, practical recommendations are given on the methodology for working in the lesson, as well as examples of limericks for drilling certain phonetic difficulties.

Keywords: foreign language acquisition, pronunciation training, L2 learners, rhythm, stress-timed language, syllable-timed language, limerick, intonation, vowels.

Pronunciation training is an integral part of the teaching process, which largely determines the effectiveness of foreign language acquisition. It is known that significant deviations from pronunciation standards lead to misunderstanding of the interlocutor's speech, obstructing the process of verbal exchange of thoughts. One of the most important conditions for communication is the development of listening and pronunciation skills, that is, the ability to recognize correctly the audible sounds and produce sounds corresponding to certain meanings.

Communicative competence involves learning individual phonetic segments (vowels and consonants) as well as prosody, which includes rhythm, tone, stress and intonation. Mastering prosodic elements of a foreign language may present particular difficulties for L2 students. One of the reasons for it is that each language is characterized by a unique intonation, acquisition of which is a necessary condition for communication skills learning. Equally, rhythm is one of the most important components of communication. The English language is characterized by the alternation of stressed and unstressed syllables. «English is a stress-timed language. This means, briefly, that the main stresses in an utterance will fall at approximately regular intervals, no matter how many 'weak' syllables intervene. It is this phenomenon which causes speakers of other languages to comment on the English speaker's 'slurred' speech.» [4, p. 56]. Unlike stress-timed languages, in syllable-timed ones each syllable takes approximately the same period of time. French, Italian, Spanish, Cantonese, Finnish, Polish, Turkish belong to syllable-timed languages. Learners whose first language is a syllable-timed one often have problems producing the unstressed sounds in a stress-timed language like English, as they can pronounce them with equal stress. Along with the special phonetic exercises for practicing this skill, it can be recommended to use limerics as an authentic training material. «One point to emerge from this is that it is important for students of English to hear (on type or on the radio or live, when possible) examples of normal everyday speech in addition to the carefully produced and modulated tones of the actor on tapes specially produced for language training. Another way of overcoming this problem of teaching stress patterns is by using the 'limerick', the comic verse form which relies for much of its effect on the strongly marked rhythm. This is what makes it a useful teaching tool... such a teaching technique can be used as successfully for initial teaching of stress as for remedial teaching to eradicate errors.» [4, p. 57]

Limerick is a kind of humorous nonsense poem which refers to the «hard forms» of a verse where the size, the way of rhyming, and the number of lines are strictly regulated. Limerick as a special genre has its own characteristics: it consists of a five-line stanza with, in all, thirteen stresses. The first line rhymes with the second and the fifth ones; each of them has three feet consisting of three syllables. The position of the unstressed syllables and their number can vary. There should be one or more unstressed syllables between the stressed ones but their number should not prevent keeping equal intervals between stresses [1]. The scheme of the rhyme can be presented as AA BB A. The traditional meter of the limericks is the anapaest (ta-ta-TUM), but there are also amphibrachic limericks (ta-TUM-ta), in which a weak syllable at the beginning of a line may be absent, and an extra unstressed syllable can be added.

The typical content of a limerick is a ridiculous and absurd story about a person who violates generally accepted norms of behavior. This person is always indicated at the beginning of the first line and followed by geographical attribution, often exotic one, at the end of that line.

There are many hypotheses regarding the origin of the word «limerick». The roots of the genre should be sought in British folklore. The name is generally taken to be a reference to County of Limerick in Ireland and may derive from the chorus of an 18 th century Irish soldiers’ song «Will You Come Up to Limerick?» [3]. Another hypothesis connects the emergence of the genre with the names of Maigue Poets, Seán Ó Tuama and Aindrias Mac Craith, who lived in County Limerick in the 18th-century [2].

Limericks became widely known in Britain thanks to Edward Lear, an English artist, musician and poet, who popularized the form [2]. His «Book of Nonsense» (1846) and another collection «More Nonsense, Pictures, Rhymes, Botany and Alphabet» (1872) laid the foundation for the development of a new literary genre of limerick and literary nonsense as a whole. In total, Edward Lear wrote 212 limericks, although he did not use the term. The word «limerick» first appeared in print after the death of the poet. The first known usage in England was from 1898 in the New English Dictionary, and in the United States it was from 1902. Many famous writers and poets, including Lewis Carroll, Rudyard Kipling, John Galsworthy, Mark Twain, practiced in composing limericks. At the beginning of the 20 th century limerick moved to the pages of magazines and newspapers, into advertising publications. Limericks were modified into tongue twisters, played up with anomalies of English pronunciation, were written in Latin and in French. The form of the limerick was used both for political satire and for serious philosophical revelations. Many limericks are written by an unknown person, and it is almost impossible to establish their authorship. To the present day, in many English-speaking countries humorous contests are organized for limerick fans.

Limericks not only introduce the magnificent poetic samples of typically English «absurd» humor, but also represent an excellent material for working out the correct phonetic organization of English speech, its rhythm in particular. Along with other authentic poetic materials like chants, light verses or nursery rhymes, limericks can benefit learners by making specific features of English pronunciation very noticeable to them because they appear repeatedly in a short verse. They also allow students to focus on practising the target feature. A further benefit is that they tend to be very memorable, thanks to their peculiar humor and characteristic rhythm.

An important thing to consider when selecting limericks for class activity is the level of language competence of the students. If the teacher has to explain every single word, it may lead to decrease in interest and lack of motivation. On the other hand, students won’t need to understand every word to get the general idea of most poems so the language level of the material can be slightly above what the students would normally be able to handle.

The intonation contour used in the oral interpretation of limericks is usually neutral, which creates, as it is believed, the greatest humorous effect: the intonation of the first line corresponds to the incomplete utterance (Low Rise), the intonation of the second line — to the completed one (Low Fall). Then the intonation pattern is repeated — Low Rise in the third line, Low Fall in the fourth one. The last line is pronounced with the final falling tone (Low Fall).

As a first step of working on pronunciation of the limerick, the teacher should present it to the students by reading it aloud a few times and asking the students to listen for the rhythm. After listening the students should underline the rhyming words, define the stressed and weak syllables and count the number of syllables in each line. The teacher should draw the students’ attention to the patterns of rhythm, pointing out that lines one, two and five follow the same pattern, and the rhyme of the third and the fourth lines is different [6]. The students drill the lines chorally and individually until they can recite the whole limerick. To develop a clearer rhythm, it is recommended to use a metronome, the speed of which can be changed according to a given tempo — from slow to fast, or just accompany the pronunciation by tapping or clapping on the stressed syllables of the lines. At the final stage it is advisable to encourage the students to learn it by heart. Besides, getting students to record themselves saying a limerick can be a nice way to help them improve their pronunciation [7].

Along with rhythm and intonation practice, limericks can be used for drilling vowel contrasts, which may be not distinguished by EFL learners, which is presented in the following examples:

1) Vowel of see versus that of sit :

A teacher called Steven from Leeds

Eats each meal with a teaspoon of seeds.

Lilies cling to his skin,

Thickets spring from his chin,

And his knees are in leaf with green weeds [5].

/ə 'tːʧə kɔːld 'stiːvn frm ↑liːdz

iːts iːʧ 'miːl wɪð ə 'tiːspuːn əv ↓siːdz

'lɪliz ↓klɪŋ tu ɪz ↓skɪn

'θɪkɪts ↓sprɪŋ frəm ɪz ↓ʧɪn

ən ɪz ↓↑niːz │ər ɪn 'liːf wɪð 'griːn ↓wiːdz./

2) Vowel of ash versus that of bed :

That fat black cat Nat from Rabat

Sat passively flat on his mat.

He never got wet

Except for a bet

And it had to be massive at that [5].

/ðæt 'fæt 'blæk 'kæt ↓↑næt │frm rə↓↑bæt

sæt 'pæsɪvli 'flæt ɒn ɪz ↓mæt

hi ↓nevə gɒt ↑wet

ek↓sep fər ə↑bet

`ænd ɪt `hæd tə bi ↓↑mæsɪv │ət ↓ðæt./

3) Vowel of too versus that of foot :

A foodie called Judy MacBruce

Found a use for the juice from a goose.

She took a good look

At a cookery book

And produced quite a beautiful goose mousse [5].

ə `fuːdi kɔːld 'ʤuːdi mək↑bruːs

faʊnd ə 'juːs fə ðə 'ʤuːs frəm ə ↓guːs

ʃi 'tʊk ə gʊd ↑lʊk

ət ə ↓kʊkəri `bʊk

ən prə'djuːst `kwaɪt ə ↓bjuːtəfl guːs `muːs./

4) Vowel of burn versus that of hair :

Said a perky old nursemaid from Durban,

Though I'm certainly firmly suburban,

Yet I wear round my hair

— People stare, I don't care —

These pearls and this purple fur turban. [5]

/sed ə `pɜːki əʊld `nɜːsmeɪd frm ↓↑dɜːbən

ðəʊ aɪm `sɜːtnli `fɜːmli sə↓↑bɜːbən

jet aɪ `weə raʊnd maɪ ↑heə

— piːpl `steər aɪ dəʊnt ↑keə –

ðiːz `↑pɜːlz │ən ðɪs 'pɜːpl fɜː ↓tɜːbən/

Thus, on the basis of the foregoing, it can be concluded that limericks not only acquaint learners of English with the remarkable poetic samples of typical English «absurd» humor, but also, due to their unique structure, represent an excellent material for working on the correct phonetic arrangement of English speech.

References:

  1. Abercrombie, D. (1965). Studies in Phonetics and Linguistics. Oxford University Press.
  2. Legman, G. (1988). The Limerick. New York, Random House.
  3. Loomis, C. G. (1963). «American Limerick Traditions». Western Folklore, 22 (3).
  4. Norrish, J. (1983). Language Learners and Their Errors. London, Macmillan Press.
  5. Windsor Lewis, J. (2008). EFL Pronunciation Practice by use of Limericks. www.yek.me.uk/limricsefl.html [accessed January 2019]
  6. Boyd, B. Limericks. grammarmancomic.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Limericks.pdf [accessed January 2019]
  7. Using poetry www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/using-poetry [accessed January 2019]
Основные термины (генерируются автоматически): EFL.

Ключевые слова

intonation, foreign language acquisition, pronunciation training, L2 learners, rhythm, stress-timed language, syllable-timed language, limerick, vowels

Похожие статьи

The role of games in teaching English in primary classes

Integrating language skills with visual aids in EFL classes.

Иноязычный письменный текст как основа обучения устной... Language teaching can be an interesting challenge | Молодой ученый.

Teaching Reading in the EFL | Статья в журнале «Молодой ученый»

This article sets out the methodological foundations for teaching reading of English language in the EFL (English as a Foreign Language) classroom.

Practical techniques for cultural-based language teaching in the...

This article presents the observational data on practical methods and techniques of teaching culture in the ESL and EFL classrooms. Every language is a part of culture.

The importance of teaching lingua-culturology in EFL classes

Lingua-culturology is a notion that a language includes not only competence such as grammar and vocabulary, but also acquired knowledge, rituals and cultural information, habits and behaviors.

Speech error classifications in the context of teaching EFL

In this article we examine various speech error classifications and suggest possible ways of using them in the process of teaching English as a foreign language.

Effective EFL activities through tongue-twisters | Статья в журнале...

The paper deals with examples of effective EFL activities, improving student’s foreign language pronunciation through English tong-twisters within Tomsk Polytechnic University environment that...

The effectiveness of using realia in teaching English vocabularies to...

Direct Approaches to language teaching: Turning point in language teaching. TESOL Quarterly 31/1. Key words: TBLT, ESL, EFL, TESOL. The senses are the foundation of learning and teaching.

Effectiveness of modern technologies for English language teaching

EFL/ESL: Tweets about learning and teaching English as a second or foreign language. – eal: Tweets about English being used as an additional language.

Importance of using Realia in ESP classes | Статья в журнале...

As the English language has become a universal language in Uzbekistan as well as throughout

Teaching foreign languages including English as a second language has been one of the most.

Effective ways of teaching writing in EFL classes | Статья в журнале...

Writing has always been seen as an important skill in ESL classes. It is the area in which learners are expected to be offered adequate time to develop their writing skill.

Похожие статьи

The role of games in teaching English in primary classes

Integrating language skills with visual aids in EFL classes.

Иноязычный письменный текст как основа обучения устной... Language teaching can be an interesting challenge | Молодой ученый.

Teaching Reading in the EFL | Статья в журнале «Молодой ученый»

This article sets out the methodological foundations for teaching reading of English language in the EFL (English as a Foreign Language) classroom.

Practical techniques for cultural-based language teaching in the...

This article presents the observational data on practical methods and techniques of teaching culture in the ESL and EFL classrooms. Every language is a part of culture.

The importance of teaching lingua-culturology in EFL classes

Lingua-culturology is a notion that a language includes not only competence such as grammar and vocabulary, but also acquired knowledge, rituals and cultural information, habits and behaviors.

Speech error classifications in the context of teaching EFL

In this article we examine various speech error classifications and suggest possible ways of using them in the process of teaching English as a foreign language.

Effective EFL activities through tongue-twisters | Статья в журнале...

The paper deals with examples of effective EFL activities, improving student’s foreign language pronunciation through English tong-twisters within Tomsk Polytechnic University environment that...

The effectiveness of using realia in teaching English vocabularies to...

Direct Approaches to language teaching: Turning point in language teaching. TESOL Quarterly 31/1. Key words: TBLT, ESL, EFL, TESOL. The senses are the foundation of learning and teaching.

Effectiveness of modern technologies for English language teaching

EFL/ESL: Tweets about learning and teaching English as a second or foreign language. – eal: Tweets about English being used as an additional language.

Importance of using Realia in ESP classes | Статья в журнале...

As the English language has become a universal language in Uzbekistan as well as throughout

Teaching foreign languages including English as a second language has been one of the most.

Effective ways of teaching writing in EFL classes | Статья в журнале...

Writing has always been seen as an important skill in ESL classes. It is the area in which learners are expected to be offered adequate time to develop their writing skill.