Mark's Pronunciation Blog

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

Walker, Spiewak and Hancock on English as a Lingua Franca

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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
Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

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 (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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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".

Dangerous Dictation no.3

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The sign should of course read "No dogs allowed". But since what's actually on the sign is a perfect phrasal homophone, a transcriber is perfectly entitled to write it either way. Notice what this shows us about the pronunciation of "are" as nothing more than a schwa.

Dangerous Dictation n.2

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Dangerous Dictations are puzzles which depend on word-boundary confusions. For example, 'Bow Tie' sounds exactly like 'Boat Eye', because you can't be sure whether the /t/ sound is the end of 'Boat' or the start of 'Tie'. This could lead to dictation errors. The puzzle for your students is to identify and explain the error.

Dangerous Dictation n.1

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog
Dangerous Dictations are puzzles which depend on word-boundary confusions. For example, 'The Great Ape' sounds exactly like 'The Grey Tape', because you can't be sure whether the /t/ sound is the end of 'Great' or the start of 'Tape'. This could lead to dictation errors. The puzzle for your students is to identify and explain the error.

English Pronunciation in Use - New edition!

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Event date: 
Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - 09:00
English Pronunciation in Use - new edition March 2012

New Edition of English Pronunciation in Use, out just last week! There's plenty that's new here, including a much clarified approach to tonic stress placement, and a section focusing on receptive pronunciation (ie, pronunciation for listening), including variation and accents.

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