ELT thoughts, news and updates

Here we've got ideas, observations on ELT, including Mark's Pronunciation Blog and loads of conference and speaker reports...

Surreal Soundscapes

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

In a language where "What's your address?" can become a homophone of "Watch or a dress?", there's plenty of scope for misunderstanding, even for what you might call 'native listeners'. For learner listeners, the situation is many times more perilous. For them, listening can be like wandering in a surreal soundscape.

Long and short; tense and lax

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Following last weeks post featuring a box set on the price/prize minimal pair, here's a box set on the bean/bin distinction. Again, one person is the speaker and says one of the phrases. His/her partner is the listener and says which they understood - A, B, C or D.

Vowels and voicing, belt and braces

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

This image is a minimal pair, squared - what I call a box set. One person says one of the phrases. The other has to listen and say A, B, C or D. The minimal pairs in this instance involve /s/ and /z/ - these are a pair of related consonants, the first unvoiced and the second, voiced.

Someone called Anne

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

This pair of sentences could almost be phrasal homophones (oronyms), except for the differences in punctuation. They play with the fact that the sound bite 'call Dan' is identical to the sound bite 'called Anne'. There are also two meanings of 'called' (to phone or shout out to someone or to be named), which make the pair of sentences rather confusing!

Sick Spies or Six Pies?

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Look at the pictures. Are the two pictures: a. a minimal pair, b. homophones, c. whatever?

Acoustic Drills and Audio Concordances

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

There is something missing at the heart of the listening component in most ELT course materials. They fail to dig deep into the actual raw material of the skill – what Richard Cauldwell calls the ‘sound substance’.

Accent by Numbers

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Eighth and last in the series Accent through the keyhole. Scroll down for the mp3 podcast version.

What’s the correct answer to the accent by numbers puzzle?

Hancock McDonald ELT Review

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Happy to see a review of our website in IATEFL Voices Issue 253, by Jennifer St.John of the University of Ottawa. Here are a few excerpts

Twang!

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

View 7: Twang!

Seventh in the series Accent through the keyhole. Scroll down for the mp3 podcast version.

So what’s this post about?

Getting Rid of your Accent

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Sixth in the series Accent through the keyhole. Scroll down for the mp3 podcast version.

Why are you illustrating this post with a picture of a mouthless face?

Accent Creep

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Fifth in the blog/podcast series Accent through the keyhole. Scroll down for the mp3 download.

So who’s this accent creep you mention in the title?

The Bad Boy of English Pronunciation

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Fancy an accent tattoo? Fourth in the series Accent Through the Keyhole. Scroll down for the mp3 podcast download.

Speech sounds are just neutral, aren’t they? So how can there be a ‘bad boy’?

The Reverse Lisp

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

One person's prestige accent is another person's speech impediment. Third in the series Accent through the keyhole. Scroll down for the mp3 podcast version.

Can you remind us what a lisp is?

The Brogue Meridian

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

This is the second in the blog/podcast series Accent Through the Keyhole: small views of big pictures. Scroll down for the mp3 podcast.

Accent Through the Keyhole: small views of big pictures

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

This series of 8 podcasts / posts looks at key questions relating to accent and English teaching by focusing on specific instances and generalizing out from them. This page serves as a contents list for the series:

View 1: Either will do. In which we look at what's not important in pronunciation teaching.

Either will do

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

ACCENT THROUGH THE KEYHOLE: small views of big pictures. This series of posts looks at key questions relating to accent and English teaching by focusing on specific instances and generalizing out from them. Check out the podcast too - it's at the bottom of the page...     

An Intensive Course in Teaching Pronunciation

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Event date: 
Friday, August 26, 2016 (All day)
Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

Manchester in summer is not always something to write home about, but this summer was different. Norwich Institute of Language Education (NILE) offered their first ever pronunciation teaching course, and I was the tutor and course designer. It took place as part of NILE’s summer programme at their Manchester site.

Materials Writing: Turning constraints into assets

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Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

ELT materials writing is a creative process, and the prospect of creating something from nothing on an empty white page can be quite daunting. But the materials writer has to do just that, and moreover, do it within very tight constraints. For instance, if you are writing a narrative for ELT purposes, it must not only be engaging as a narrative, but it must also be useful as a learning tool.

TESOL Spain interviews

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Event date: 
Thursday, March 24, 2016 (All day)
Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

On the TESOL Spain website (click here), you can now see videos of various speakers from the 2016 conference in Vitoria, conducted by Gerard McLaughlin.

TESOL Spain 2016

Event date: 
Friday, March 11, 2016 - 09:15 to Sunday, March 13, 2016 - 14:15
Blog - hancockmcdonald.com/blog

We're off to the north of Spain this weekend for the 39th annual TESOL Spain convention, which is taking place in Vitoria-Gasteiz. Mark will be presenting a complete pronunciation workout.

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