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TESOL Videos - Pronunciation and Phonology in the EFL Classroom - Traditional Spellings to Phonemic Spellings Pt. 1
Now let's take a look at how we go from traditional spellings into the phonemic spellings. The first step in this process is identifying each unit of sound or each phoneme within a word. Let's look at bet, bit, but, and bought. The only difference in each one of these words is in the vowel sound. We have bet, bit, but and bought. Each word simply uses three sounds. Now we have photo. That's four phonemes. Wow we have taxi. That's five phonemes. We have unite with a hidden phoneme in there being the ?y? sound before anything else. Those are five phonemes as well and now we have a longer word: chemistry. Let's give that a shot. That's eight phonemes used in the word chemistry. Now once we've isolated each sound we want to assign a phoneme for each one of those sounds let's do that now.
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From this unit it can be seen that pronunciation and all that it entails is a complicated concept, even to native speakers. Being a native speaker, these rules and guidelines can be confusing since I do not have to think about them in natural conversations. It is also very confusing for students learning English, seeing that there are so many different exceptions to how words are pronounced (tough and though, sweat and meat, etc). The first topic covered is how tones affect the meaning or desired message of a spoken sentence. A sentence usually spoken with a rise/fall intonation being spoken with a fall/rise intonation will sound awkward and unnatural to a native speaker. Stressing particular words in a sentence and particular syllables in words can also add to the confusion if the wrong words are stressed. This can be especially confusing to learn due to how subtle some stresses are. Even more confusing is how native speakers join sounds in words and link words together in regular conversation. Using hand gestures or drawing and highlighting intonations and stresses are an effective way to show students how these work in a sentence. When it comes to teaching articulation, the way the mouth pronounces certain sounds (characterized by phonemic symbols) can be taught. Using visuals of a mouth showing how the tongue moves to pronounce a phonemic symbol can help visualize how a student can move their mouth when pronouncing sounds. Different pronunciation based activities like tongue twisters are also a fun and helpful way to help students deconstruct a sound in a word.