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Teacher Education for Languages with Technology / Formation des enseignants de langue avec les TICE
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Syllable structure matters: Jane Setter

Syllable structure matters: Jane Setter | TELT | Scoop.it

The thing which always surprises me - and perhaps it shouldn't - is that teachers of English from other language backgrounds often know nothing about the phonology of their own language, and so do not understand that a learner's problem with pronouncing a sound in a particular position in the syllable is unlikely to be about not being able to produce the sound per se but that the learner's language does not permit certain sounds in certain positions in the syllable. If, for example, a learner is from a Chinese language background and that language only permits a zero-coda (i.e., no consonants at the end of syllables) or only a nasal of some description in the coda, pronouncing any other consonant at the end of a syllable may be difficult, and pronouncing clusters is going to be an extreme challenge.

Shona Whyte's insight:

Accessible discussion of syllable structure for language learning/teaching.

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A World of Englishes: The International Phonetic Alphabet

A World of Englishes: The International Phonetic Alphabet | TELT | Scoop.it

The current revision of the IPA chart (above) starts with a large table showing consonant sounds, or phones, made on a pulmonic egressive airstream (i.e., with air from the lungs). Place of articulation (POA) is indicated by which column a symbol is located in. The passive articulator is usually indicated, i.e., the part of the oral cavity which remains in place while the active articulator – often the tongue – moves towards it; e.g., if a sound is labelled “alveolar” it means the tongue moves towards the alveolar ridge. Manner of articulation (MOA) is indicated by row. Where voiceless and voiced pairs of consonants are given, the one on the left is voiceless. The usual way of describing a consonant is to use a VPM label, where VPM stands for “voice place manner” – so [t] is a voiceless alveolar plosive.

Shona Whyte's insight:

The IPA explained by a specialist

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A World of Englishes: Flipping phonetics

A World of Englishes: Flipping phonetics | TELT | Scoop.it

Jane Setter: "The flipped classroom basically involves presenting what would normally be lecture content via vodcasts which the students watch ahead of the class, thus allowing more time in the actual class itself for practical work. This approach works well in the sciences where a lot of practical work is needed for students to progress, and [and it is] also suitable for phonetics, which also requires a lot of rehearsal of skills and time for class discussion of issues. 

I had wanted to try this for a while as I have been becoming increasingly concerned that the growing number of students I have in my class meant that I had less time to spend with each of them and that it was difficult to support individual student needs. Thanks to a small grant from the University of Reading's "Partnerships in Learning and Teaching" (PLanT) pilot scheme, I was able to buy some software to do video capture of my desktop which enables me to record video and audio of me narrating my way through my lecture slides. I then post these on our virtual learning environment, Blackboard, for the students to view ahead of class."

Shona Whyte's insight:

Account of a university teaching experiment with links to teaching resources (vodcasts) and student reactions (and final test scores).

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