When studying and teaching pronunciation, you will need to learn to use a respelling system to help students get the feel of the language.
A simple system is used in the listening book Sound Advice and in the pronunciation book Sound Advantage, both authored by Stacy A. EFL teachers are all too familiar with students that approach them and speak clear complete sentences of something that is not even remotely understandable. Students NEED to hear natural fast relaxed pronunciation as we speak it every day, not a carefully over-articulated overly-pronounced one-word-by-one-word phrasing of sentences. If you habitually speak slowly and over-enunciate, your students will listen for How much is it?
Sue wants to get a better water heater – say it quickly in normal speech several times and listen to what it really sounds like.
The way you respell will be different from someone else as we all have some minor variations in our pronunciation. When you pronounce words with two or more syllables, one syllable will be stressed more than the others.
If you listen carefully, the middle syllable has a slightly higher tone, lasts longer and is slightly louder. Sentences will have similar stress patterns that students need to learn, and respelling can help them with that too. Excellent pronunciation videos for EFL students provided by Stacy Hagen (mentioned above on this page) can be found HERE at YouTube.


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This chart shows the phonemic symbols that are used to represent NAE sounds in our textbook (Teaching Pronunciation: A Course Book and Reference Guide, Second Edition, by Marianne Celce-Murcia, Donna M.
ISE offers free workshops to all our current students from 12:45 to 1:15pm Monday to Thursdays!
Taking over the Pronunciation workshop is Lawrence, a native of Brighton & CELTA qualified teacher, ready to help you sound like a British person! For students requireing more speaking and listening practise, Bob holds the Conversation workshop on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But, with a little training and practice you can facilitate the improvement of your students’ pronunciation almost as well as the seasoned professional. Some people advocate the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), but a problem with that system is that very few students know it and you can spend an inordinate amount of time teaching it to them only to have them move on to another teacher who doesn’t use it. Hagen (a link to some excellent YouTube videos by Stacy Hagen is at the bottom of this page). A student may well have a good understanding of English and an excellent vocabulary, but if their pronunciation is so poor that they can not communicate, all is lost. Speaking too slowly and too emphatically is a common characteristic of the untrained teacher.
First, they will imitate your speaking style and speak unnaturally too, and second, they will not recognize and understand natural rapid speech when they hear it.


Until you practice a bit, you may have trouble hearing stress because it is such a natural part of a native-speaker’s speech. The suggested readings are ranked in the order of difficulty and the order in which they are best read. These videos are primarily for EFL students (not for teachers), but they can give you an excellent idea of how to teach the very things we have addressed on this page. Additionally, there are at least ten other major phonetic systems that appear in even the best dictionaries and pronunciation and listening books. The skilled EFL teacher instructs her students in these differences, how to pronounce them and how to listen for them.
A simple respelling system that is intuitive and easy to use is critical to your success in helping your students succeed in speaking in a comprehensible way. It is more important that you just try it and work with it and develop your skills with it. Stacy is one of the most skilled, practical and straight-forward EFL teachers you will ever find.
Teaching EFL pronunciation takes somr practice, but it WILL make you a much better teacher in the long run.



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