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TESOL San Francisco
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Unit Thirteen was dedicated to pronunciation, a vital aspect of teaching any language. However, it is important to find a balance between phonetics and linguists, as (as stated in the unit itself) a secondary speaker will likely not ever have perfect phonetics, as compared to a native speaker, and spending too much time stressing perfect pronunciation will take away time from building fluency and vocabulary. Among the many tips and tools provided in this unit (to include mouth charts and lines to denote intonation) was the IPA chart. While we will probably use this infrequently (as it would appear very confusing to most students learning English), it is the perfect tool for our own use as teachers to effectively describe how sounds become words. Finally, a great deal was also devoted to stress in the words themselves, and intonation (the overall rising and falling patterns of the sentence as a whole), and how to pass this information onto our students. Stress and intonation, of course, are unimaginably varied, so it is best to try and get the learners to just express the words as they naturally see fit, their emotions will ideally create the perfect stress and intonation.