Pronunciation

Accent: are we bovvered?

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Pronunciation - hancockmcdonald.com/focus/pronunciation

Many teachers worry about what the best model accent should be, and whether their own accent serves as a suitable model. My argument is that the premise of the question is wrong – there needn’t be a single model accent, and that the teacher’s own accent will usually be the best model, providing that the teacher is an intelligible speaker of English.

A new look for English Pronunciation in Use

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Event date: 
Saturday, April 1, 2017 - 10:15
Pronunciation - hancockmcdonald.com/focus/pronunciation

English Pronunciation in Use gets a new look this month. The new cover design comes along with a new approach to audio - instead of being on a set of 5 CDs (which were expensive), the audio is now a free online download. Makes the whole package much more affordable.

To articulate or not to articulate, that is the question

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Pronunciation - hancockmcdonald.com/focus/pronunciation

In speaking styles, there is a continuum between mumbling and rolling your ‘r’s –. What I mean by mumbling here is speaking with as little mouth movement as possible in order to minimize effort on the part of the speaker.

Pronunciation for Listeners

Speaker: 
Event date: 
Monday, February 6, 2017 - 14:00
Venue: 
University of Chester
Extra info: 
Plus downloads
Pronunciation - hancockmcdonald.com/focus/pronunciation

In this session, we look at pronunciation from the perspective of listening. Find the slides on a PDF below. Here are links to some of the materials used in the talk.

The "Lost" Rap

A song-based Mondegreen activity

Long jumper

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Pronunciation - hancockmcdonald.com/focus/pronunciation

"My sister went out with a long jumper". Here's a claim with two meanings, and reading it, you'd never be sure which was intended. But hearing it would clarify things, because the speaker has a way of communicating the intended meaning. It's the vocal effort known as 'stress'. "Long jumper" (athlete) is two words acting as a single lexical item.

Surreal Soundscapes

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Pronunciation - hancockmcdonald.com/focus/pronunciation

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.

The Complete Pronunciation Workout

Speaker: 
Event date: 
Friday, March 17, 2017 - 11:30
Venue: 
Nationaal Congres Engels
Location: 
Ede, Netherlands
Extra info: 
Plus downloads
Pronunciation - hancockmcdonald.com/focus/pronunciation

Sometimes pronunciation deserves more than a passing correction or one-off task. In this workshop, we will see how pronunciation points can be worked on from various different angles, in coherent and enjoyable task sequences. Participants will try out example activities and discuss them. You can download the slides below.

Accent: are we bovvered?

Speaker: 
Event date: 
Wednesday, April 5, 2017 - 10:15
Venue: 
IATEFL Glasgow
Location: 
Boisdale 1, Scottish Exhibition & Conference Centre (SECC) Exhibition Way, Glasgow G3 8YW
Extra info: 
Plus downloads
Pronunciation - hancockmcdonald.com/focus/pronunciation

There is a write-up of this talk here. Accent can be a problem in English teaching. Which accent do we take as a model? Must it be a native-speaker accent? Must it be a prestige accent?

Long and short; tense and lax

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Pronunciation - hancockmcdonald.com/focus/pronunciation

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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Pronunciation - hancockmcdonald.com/focus/pronunciation

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.

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