Unit 2 The Study of English

Module 2 Pronunciation, Stress and Intonation

At the end of this module you will:-

a) be aware of the elements involved in communicating with ‘good

b) understand the importance of teaching pronunciation

c) have some ideas on how to do this

Many teachers do not often involve their classes in formal spoken pronunciation practice but are at pains to correct their students' pronunciation errors as and when they occur and to give advice on stress and intonation.

The matter of pronunciation rarely takes up a whole lesson because of its potentially repetitive nature; in fact it is not unusual to see it restricted to a five or ten minute portion in some lessons. It is good policy to include it in response to the making of a common error; some teachers do this at the end of a lesson, others consider it as a useful tool for varying the pace of a lesson and schedule it as a secondary activity in the middle. Wherever they occur pronunciation activities enable the students to concentrate on the same thing at the same time thus bringing the whole group under the teacher's control.

Although it may seem less important than the teaching of structures and vocabulary in terms of the limited time spent on it, pronunciation is an element essential to effective communication and is a subject with which all ESOL student teachers are expected to be familiar.


Pronunciation is understood to include:-

a) intonation
b) stress (on words and in sentences)
c) phonology (the sounds of the language)

Not all textbooks agree that the concept of pronunciation should be taught in this order although the sounds produced in individual words should come without too much difficulty if intonation and stress are focussed upon within the structure of a sentence or phrase.

Mastering ‘pronunciation’ as a feature of English involves...

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