'Best order' to learn the phonetic symbols in?

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'Best order' to learn the phonetic symbols in?

Unread postby LeilaItaly » 26 Mar 2011, 19:22

Just wanted to say thanks for the advice. I gave the second lesson today and it seemed to go OK. I tried playing hangman (for spelling names of numbers) and that seemed to go down well. I think in future I'll try to do half the lesson with the book and half that's more games, using physical objects to learn vocab and prepositions, etc. I found that exercises I thought might take 10 minutes took 20, so at least I know that for next time.

Can I ask a couple more questions?

1) is there a 'best order' to learn the phonetic symbols in?

2) Would you expect learners to know the present simple tense perfectly (within reason) before introducing them to the past and the future? Or would you teach them the present, past, future of some useful verbs (like, go, do, be, think) at roughly the same time, with the idea that they could then communicate more complex ideas and be more motivated to speak, but stick with present tense only for most other verbs?

thanks again,
Leila
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Re: 'Best order' to learn the phonetic symbols in?

Unread postby Lucy » 29 Mar 2011, 21:17

Dear Leila,

I'm glad to hear it went well. I think that with every class there is a period of adjustment and learning about each other; this goes both ways between teacher and students. I'm sure you're on the right track and that you'll be a great success.

As for phonetic symbols, I would start by introducing the ones that students have most difficulty with. This will be specific to your students and their mother tongue. For many students, the most difficult are: "th", the schwa (especially in connected speech) and diphthongs. I suggested you introduce just 2 or 3 at a time.

As for the present simple, I wouldn't wait for the students to get it almost perfect. It could take a long time and the students might get bored. I've never tried the approach that you suggest but it sounds very interesting. If the students have been exposed to the tenses before, it could work very well. I tend to focus on one tense, give plenty of exposure and practice. Then I move onto another language point; go back and review the first tense or item and then find a way to combine both. I focus on more complex language and constantly go back and review and find ways to combine all the language.This is not the only or best way to do it, just the way I tend to work. If you do teach them the various tenses of a few verbs, it could work if the language is revision but it would make the oral practice very limited. If you decide to do this, I'd be very interested to find out how it went.

All the best and keep in touch!

LUcy
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