Monday, December 5, 2011

Pronunciation syllabus "line of march"

Clip art: Clker
Recall that HICP (and EHIEP) assumes that pronunciation classes as separate entities are at best unnecessary, that the work should be integrated into speaking, listening or conversation teaching. Somewhat paradoxically, it has a relatively fixed order of presentation and practice that is generally applicable for ANY learner group. Most importantly, what is also being learned is a set of learner skills and strategies to enhance pronunciation learning--and a toolkit of pedagogical tools for classroom presentation, feedback and correction. In some ways it is a return to the idea of a more uniform syllabus ordering in pronunciation instruction in terms of efficient, initial teaching, followed up with extensive, integrated classroom application.

There are several good pronunciation texts out today that can be used in conjunction w/EHIEP, or to complement it, depending on the context.  For adult pre-academic types, I still like Clear Speech by Gilbert. One reason is that the syllabus, or at least the table of contents (linked above) is not too far off from that of EHIEP: Syllables, Rhythm, Vowels, Word and Sentence stress, Consonants, Intonation and Thought groups. Clear Speech is set up so that it is not necessary to go through the book in that order--but it isn't a bad idea; it is still fine to skip around. (So it says in the introduction to most pronunciation books today, in fact.)  

Here is the basic EHIEP order of instruction: Warm up, Vowels and word stress, Syllables and sentence stress, Intonation, Rhythm, Integrated thought groups. (Consonants are dealt with as necessary, throughout the syllabus.) This fixed "line of march" is probably the most controversial--and critical--feature of the EHIEP system. The underlying rationale for that will be the subject of an upcoming post. For the time being, just warm up a bit more to HICP instruction and follow us. 

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