Suprasegmental Phonology

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Part One: (275 – 300 words)
First read:
1. U5-1 and
2. Thornbury, S. 1997. About Language: Tasks for Teachers of English. Cambridge: CUP. Chapters 7, 8 and 9.
3. Thornbury, S. 2006. An A-Z of ELT. Oxford: Macmillan. Entry ‘weak forms’
Here are two views on the teaching of connected speech features:
“Extensive work on the aspects of connected speech .. will not only contribute to students’ ability to produce fluent and comprehensible speech, but also to their ability to comprehend the spoken language.” (Avery, P., and Ehrlich, S. 1992. Teaching American English Pronunciation. Oxford University Press, p. 89).
“I have already suggested that I do not approve of teaching students to produce ‘assimilated’ forms and elided forms. Sophisticated students who have been taught to be aware of these forms will introduce them into their own speech in a natural context when they feel able to control them”. (Brown, G. 1990. Listening to Spoken English (2nd edn). Harlow: Longman, p. 158)
To what extent do you agree with each of these statements? How is your own view reflected in your classroom practice?
PART TWO: (275-300 words)
First read:
1. Thornbury, S. 2006. An A-Z of ELT. Oxford: Macmillan. entry on ‘intonation’
1. According to An A to Z of ELT, intonation is ‘the meaningful use that speakers make of changes in their voice pitch’. In what sense (or senses) is intonation ‘meaningful’?
2. The entry on intonation also states that intonation ‘seems to be a system that is best acquired through exposure rather than learned through formal study’. To what extent do your agree, and what are the implications for classroom practice?
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