Mark's Pronunciation Blog

This is Mark Hancock's blog strand devoted specifically to ideas and issues connected to pronunciation teaching.

Pronunciation Tasks Video

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Mark Hancock demonstrating pronunciation activities

This is a video showing clips from a presentation I did at Living Learning English in Bristol.

A Map of Pronunciation

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Hancock Pronmap

IATEFL Pronsig's "Speak Out" magazine 50th Edition celebratory issue is just out, and what an amazing collection it is. Contrats to Robin Walker for getting it together! I'm very proud to have an article in it myself, entitled "A Map of Pronunciation Teaching". Here's the map and excerpts from the intro and conclusion of the article.

Alphabet Poem

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Alphabet Poem by Mark Hancock

For awareness of pronunciation features including sounds and spelling, and features of connected speech, for B1 upwards: put this poem on the board and ask students to read it and work out what it's all about. Here's what happened when I tried: they all looked totally blank. One or two asked for vocab items, like 'gee!', which I then explained.

Ray Parker on stress-timing

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Event date: 
Saturday, September 28, 2013 - 10:15
 - hancockmcdonald.com/talks/calendar/day/2013-09-28

Ray Parker argued that, regarding stress-timing and rhythm, we have tended to throw the baby out with the bathwater. The notion that natural spoken English has a regular rhythm, he says, has been discredited by the research, but our response has been to abandon both that, and any attention to stress-timing.

Pron event in Bath

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Event date: 
Saturday, September 28, 2013 - 10:00
 - hancockmcdonald.com/talks/calendar/day/2013-09-28

Mark: Great pronunciation event at the weekend. Adrian Underhill shared insights in how sounds are articulated and relate to one another (see his blog on the phonemic chart here).

Adrian Underhill on pronunciation as the Cinderella of ELT

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Adrian Underhill on pronunciation as the Cinderella of ELT - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/adrian-underhill-pronunciation-cinderella-elt
Adrian began by pointing out how central pronunciation is to language learning. And while this is obviously true for spoken production, it is also true, surprisingly enough, for reading, writing, or even thinking in the target language. For example, during reading, we tend to sub-vocalize, that is, hear the words aloud in our heads. And how will these words be pronounced in our heads?

Walker, Spiewak and Hancock on English as a Lingua Franca

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 - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/archive/201304

The Pronunciation SIG Pre-conference event for 2013 took an ELF perspective on teaching pronunciation. The speakers were Robin Walker, Grzegorz Spiewak and Mark Hancock, and it was hosted by Wayne Rimmer. Robin Walker started off the day by showing the differences this perspective makes in terms of goals, models, view of L1, variations and accents, and intelligibility.

Richard Cauldwell on the jungle of connected speech

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Event date: 
Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - 11:30
 - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/archive/201304

Richard Cauldwell is gradually developing a whole new set of words and images for conceptualizing connected speech, and his system is given power by his long experience in close analysis of natural, unscripted recordings. His principle claim is that unscripted speech radically departs from anything that the written form might lead us to expect.

Robin Walker on technology in pronunciation teaching

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Robin Walker on technology in pronunciation teaching - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/robin-walker-technology-pronunciation-teaching

Robin Walker (read our review of his latest book here) began by positing 3 stages in acquiring pronunciation: 1. the cognitive stage - becoming aware of a feature; 2. the associative stage - training yourself to be able to deal with the feature; 3.

Dangerous dictation no.5

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Dangerous dictation no.5 - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/dangerous-dictation-no5

What basic information question has been misunderstood in this picture? Answer = "What's your address?". Surprisingly, for many speakers, these two sentences are perfectly identical in sound. The S in "what's" and the Y in "your" combine to make an SH sound. This in turn joins the T in "What" to create the CH sound. That makes "Watch". The "Your" minus that first Y sound becomes "or".

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