Back in February, I began TESOL’s Electronic Village Online (EVO) course called Teaching Pronunciation Differently.
I want to be up front that I didn’t finish it (yet).
But every minute I spent on it was a revelation and a half – except for the videos of Audrey Hepburn singing as Eliza in My Fair Lady.
Their premise is that teaching pronunciation using a “watch and repeat” method is not particularly effective for most adult learners.
They purpose instead direct instruction on breathing, mouth position, and other physical aspects of articulation that students can learn step by step.
My most excited moment was when they taught something I had vaguely noticed when learning Russian – I thought of it as holding my mouth differently. There’s a word for that! It’s called articulatory setting! And people actually study this to better understand it! And apparently English has kind of a weird one.
They also offered many strategies for helping students sensitize themselves to different types of breathing, the interior of their mouths, etc.
Many thanks to EVO and to the TPD course instructors – even a fraction of this course was incredibly valuable and absolutely fascinating!