Thursday, September 22, 2011

The grammar of covert, integrated pronunciation instruction

A good model for understanding the transition from
Image: Routledge, Pub.

  • pronunciation taught in isolation in a free-standing pronunciation course, 
  • to a system where basically the same course is chopped up in pieces and inserted throughout the curriculum (generally in speaking or conversation courses), 
  • to quasi-integrated models where instructors are provided with a (mostly suprasegmental) set of tools and told attend to relevant targets of opportunity--
  • to the kind of integration we have been considering in EHIEP 

is "Teaching grammar in second language classrooms" by Nassaji and Fotos.

Functionally, the relevant pronunciation issues are dealt with as well, but from instructor and learner perspective, the work has merged with both output and input instruction such that pronunciation is now  not seen as a discrete skill by many . . . attention to "pronunciation" flowing naturally out of the language being learned and the tasks of the classroom.

Some of it has been subsumed under the rubric of "expressiveness," but most of it is to be somehow engineered into the coursework as meaningful response to a problem in effective communication. There are still short explicit introductory presentations of aspects of the system, analogous to the "form-focused instruction--or focus on form" distinction as characterized by Nassaji and Fotos, but overall the integrated pronunciation-oriented tasks should become so integral to the learning process that they, in effect, can no longer be perceived as optional or nonessential.

Can't see the teaching of pronunciation from that perspective? Good!

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