Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Haptic-integrated intonation instruction for NNESTs proposal

My students are submitting this proposal for the upcoming BCTEAL conference at Capilano University (outside of Vancouver, BC):
Clipart: Clker

Teaching essential English intonation can be difficult for nonnative English speaking teachers (NNEST). That can be especially true if the teacher’s L1 has a prosodic system that is quite different from English, such as Thai or Chinese, where tone may have other functions. Although some textbooks have basic explanations and brief practice, integrating features of intonation into general speaking instruction can be challenging, at best. One problem is that, without a minimum of training in English prosody, it can be nearly impossible for some to accurately assign intonation contours to phrases and sentences. The key is first understanding how intonation is related to basic grammatical structure—something NNESTs are often even more conversant with than their NS colleagues! Whereas for NS teachers deciding on the intonation of a conversational turn in speaking (or even in listening comprehension) can be almost effortless, just a matter of “listening to” their native-speaking “inner voice,” many NNESTs are not fortunate enough to have developed one of those, at least not yet. In this workshop, four NNESTs in training to be teacher-trainers first present a simple, grammar and rhythm-based method for determining what intonation contour to use. They then demonstrate a straightforward, classroom tested, “haptic-integrated” system (making extensive use of movement and touch) for practicing conversational intonation rhythmically with students. Participants are given guidelines and handouts for using the framework in classes with teenage and adult learners.

Hopefully, it'll be accepted for presentation. If not, invite them to come to your school and present it there! 

2 comments:

Angelina Van Dyke said...

I'm sure it will fly - go NNESTs and Moses!

Bill Acton said...

It has been accepted!

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