Friday, September 23, 2011

Pronunciation teaching: from methods to integrative "tool kits" and back again!

I'd characterize today's pronunciation teaching as presenting "integrative tool kits" to instructors, that is providing for instructors a wide range of options in terms of techniques and perspectives on how to work with pronunciation in their classes and programs. For what they are, there are several good ones, including Gilbert's prosodic framework. For instructors of a requisite level of training, that kind of support is potentially adequate. For those less trained, and those who do not have a good sense of how to create optimal sequencing of pronunciation work, that type of informed "recommendations" is often relatively useless--at best.

Clip art: Clker
The approach to working with pronunciation that has been developed on this blog is, in many respects a method, a relative fixed set of procedures, focusing on a limited set of phonological targets, presented to learners in a fixed order and then used in all aspects of language teaching. That such a system could be applicable or capable of being modified for most learners and classrooms is, I realize, quite a claim. In subsequent blog posts, I'll outline the EHIEP system in some detail, not as the "only" way to integrate pronunciation but as a model for how it can be done. In our "post-method" era, it may seem odd to propose one again, but, as always, methods will inevitably emerge from the current often bewildering, chaotic, mix-and-match-ness.

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