giovedì 8 maggio 2008

Whose accent can we teach then?

Teach them their accent first if possible. I believe we need to be aware of how they speak first. But I have too many languages to learn to do that for Monday. Let's start with mine and yours: valid, current, understandable accents. You wouldn't and shouldn't be teaching English if you didn't get through an interview. If you did that you communicate clearly. Keep up the good work.

Each native accent is valid as long as it can be understood. Any accent at all is valid as long as ut is understood. A student really can approach a native speaker’s level of listening comprehension and confidence of new accents with exposure and training. For exposure the student needs travel and time and that's money. You and I should be able to provide a better alternative with training.

This blog is here to
help you find the tools which you and your students will need to start that training. I believe that one of many basic abilities needed in listening to any new language or dialect is the ability to differentiate sounds. To hear the difference between bear and beer. Maybe a student can't say them but if they hear them they really are more than halfway there. A phonetic alphabet is a tool used to note the sound differences by their means of production.

With training some aspects of the International Phonetic Alphabet become instinctive, but we all learn best with an interested teacher. I’m interested. And if you're reading this then obviously I'm in good company.

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