Teaching English Language Pronunciation to Chinese Students.

Teaching ESL to adults

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Hubert
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Teaching English Language Pronunciation to Chinese Students.

Unread postby Hubert » 21 Feb 2007, 14:06

Hi,

Does anyone have ideas relating to how teach Chinese learners of English about how to deal with the pronunciation problems they may encounter when they are trying to speak in English?
Hubert.

China rose
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Unread postby China rose » 06 Jun 2007, 17:08

Has nobody replied to this??? I'm in the middle of writing a short handout for our Chinese English language interns in the office in which I work here in China and was looking on the internet to see what words of wisdom anybody else has to share.

Anyhow, for what it is worth, here are a few tips that I've gained after a decade in China.

* Rhythm is a problem for Chinese speakers of English. Chinese is a syllable stressed language, while English stresses the important words and runs the rest together to make them fit! (How's that for amateurish English?!) I'm always emphasizing to students the importance of stressing the key words, although I don't require them to run the others together quite as obviously as native speakers do.

* Syllable stress within words is a bit tricky but not too hard - once they've remembered it for each particular word, they're fine (e.g. photograph, photographer, photographic).

* /th/ as in 'three' is a problem. Books here often teach people that they needn't put their tongue out between their teeth. However, I tell students that if they do, then they certainly won't mess up this sound. I ask them to hold their finger against their lips and see if they can get their finger damp from their tongue (but it's kind of dirty - carry wet wipes when you do this lesson!) when they say this sound.

* /au/ as in 'how now brown cow'. Chinese has a similar sound but the mouth is less wide. I ask my students to smile broadly as they say this sound! There is a delightful dialogue about a mouse in the house in Ann Baker's 'Ship or Sheep' that I often use.

* /eu/ as in 'phone', 'cone' etc. This seems to be a particular problem when followed by a consonant. One of my female students insisted for the longest time that her English name was 'John' ... it turned out, of course, to be 'Joan'. Again, Ann Baker's 'Ship or Sheep' is most helpful here with a lovely dialogue.

* The sound in 'usual' (can't do phonemics on the boards, I guess) is something they've learnt but quickly forget when speaking.

* Finishing words with a consonant is a problem - they often want to add a final vowel sound. E.g. 'sunny' and 'sun', 'Jonah' and 'Joan'.

* We Aussies like to have a well rounded /ei/ eg pain, main, brain. Chinese speakers of English don't round it anything near like we do, but then, neither do speakers of English in some other English speaking countries.

To help with some of these problems, I like to use jazz chants (great for the rhythm) as well as songs, I play Bingo occassionally using minimal pairs for problem sounds, I use dialogues and tongue twisters etc. I'll often choose one problem sound and do a ten minute section at the beginning of the lesson and then hound the poor students any time they don't pronounce that particular problem sound correctly for the rest of the week.

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Hubert
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Unread postby Hubert » 06 Jun 2007, 17:59

Thanks for the useful tips,
Hubert.

jasminade
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Unread postby jasminade » 07 Jun 2007, 09:24

Yes, thanks. I may be off to China to teach later this year.

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Hubert
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Unread postby Hubert » 07 Jun 2007, 13:48

Hi,

Was I supposed to receive this reply or was it sent to me in error?

Yours,
Hubert.

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jonnielsen
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Re: Teaching English Language Pronunciation to Chinese Students.

Unread postby jonnielsen » 08 Feb 2010, 14:58

Working with others who do not speak the same language as you can be frustrating. If you work with Chinese employees and you are interested in effectively communicating with them, teaching them English may be worth the effort. Although it is assumed that Chinese employees working in the United States have some basic form of English knowledge, it is best to start teaching them English as if they were beginners.

Here are the other tips in teaching english language to chinese..http://www.ehow.com/how_4448701_teach-c ... glish.html
"Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it. "
Editor @ Daily Reviews

allard02
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Re: Teaching English Language Pronunciation to Chinese Students.

Unread postby allard02 » 02 Nov 2015, 04:13

You need to do the following things:

(A) Create a strong context for the english language learning that you are teaching. Make it meaningful and important for them before you teach it.
(B) Make sure your students get controlled and also free practice of the target language.
(C) Build your syllabus around functions, and - as you have already mentioned - skills for independent and future learning. You only have 16 40-minute lessons lessons - don't try and teach a comprehensive grammar syllabus - it's a waste of time in this time frame. Give them 16 functions/situations and the grammar/vocab needed to be able to carry them out/negotiate them.
(D) Train yourself up with non-intrusive correction techniques - hand signals, gesture, echoing, mouth movements. Never bother to correct stuff if your students aren't going to repeat it.
(E) Don't tell your students things, ask them questions.
(F) Make your classroom a rehearsal room for real life.
(G) Your 11 hours of teaching amount to a puny input. The greatest and most important thing you can do in this time frame is to give your students an enduring enthusiasm for the language and for learning and to make them positive about what they can do, and what they could achieve. It is proven by research that it's virtually impossible to stop a motivated and enthusiastic student from learning language. Make sure this is what they are when you leave. You'll have set them up for life.

[You will of course want to plan your syllabus before you start. However, when you actually meet your students, you'll need to do a fresh needs analysis based on their strengths, weaknesses and learning aims during your fist couple of lessons. You'll then need to adjust your syllabus accordingly].

Good luck!


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