Anyone devoted to the procedures noted below probably does us all a favour by quickly going out of business as a pronunciation teacher. Here are a few samples, my favourites, of what we might term the "near idiotic" in pronunciation teaching. (Most are from websites or pronunciation textbooks--or workshops I've attended over the years!) If you have any other examples, please post them below!
- "Move your tongue slightly up and back, and curl up the edges to make a groove . . . "
- "Now check your partner's pronunciation as she reads that passage."
- "As long as you are intelligible, you'll get (or keep) the job."
- "Work together with your spouse or significant other on your pronunciation."
- "Think, Men, think!" (The Harold Hill method from the "Music Man")
- "Go out and talk with native speakers and practice your 'r's and 'l's!"
- "Listen carefully to yourself while you are speaking!"
- "Stick your tongue out and whip it back in, scraping the scum off it to do a "th" sound!"
- "Fill your mouth with marbles or hard candy and read this."
- "Write that down." (with no instructions as to how or how to follow up or practice)
- "Look it up in the dictionary" (with no instructions as to how or how to follow up or practice)
- "If you just have good conversation in English often enough your pronunciation will improve enough on its own."
- "Convince those around you to accept your accent."
- "Once you are a teenager, it is almost too late to improve your pronunciation much."
- "Native speaker-like accent in 4 weeks!"
- "Just watch my lips."
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2014, December 11). Study supports the theory that men are idiots. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/12/141211210038.htm