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Teaching connected speech to Polish students

 
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john123



Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:20 pm    Post subject: Teaching connected speech to Polish students Reply with quote

Greetings.

I've slaved away in recent weeks in my attempts to develop several of my students' communication skills - and also see whether teaching connected speech is met with approval from two people who had been used to rocking up and having a good old chat with their previous teachers. Sure, they are very communicative B2 level students, but I am adamant that fluency is a perception. In my opinion, therefore, only with a healthy smattering of connected speech features (vowel to vowel gildes, schwa, catenation etc..) can they advance beyond B2.

One of the students is well into his connected speech. The other one, whose receptive skills are lacklustre, is overwhelmed by it all.

Interesting period though - I never thought that I would delve into depths of phonology.

I suppose this is more of a general discussion type post, but I am in Poland. Any experience or comments?

Regards
John


Last edited by john123 on Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Richfilth



Joined: 24 Sep 2007
Posts: 225
Location: Warszawa

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bring pronunciation up every few months, but not many students are receptive to it. They won't immediately considerate a necessary element of high-level English in the way that tenses and article mastery is, so you have to be prepared to convince them that speech training is important.

I normally use a mix of videos to demonstrate how speech manners are connected to character perception, and training materials from all over the place. Headway Advanced has some very handy pages with speech exercises, and one of the vintage speech books is How Now Brown Cow by Mimi Ponsonby (very old-school).

If students struggle it's worth giving them Phonology 101 with a drawing of the mouth, and working through the alphabet to explain the manners of articulation. I'm not suggesting you explain alveolar fricatives, but this link (http://homes.chass.utoronto.ca/~danhall/phonetics/sammy.html) should explain how the mouth moves based on what sound you're making.
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TwinCentre



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 271
Location: Mokotow

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whilst I found many Asian students receptive to phonology and connected speech, prominence etc etc, in Poland it was often met with blank stares, so I taught it to them in a very non-obvious way...through example rather than any explanation....they can pick it up sub-consiously...almost.
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 958
Location: Itabashi, Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With kids it's so easy. I just tell them 'we're going to sing a song' or 'do a chant' and they enjoy it.

With adults, I really try to sell it to them first. I give them my spiel about how most communication problems are caused by poor pronunciation, not grammar or vocab mistakes. I testify that many English speakers complain that Poles sound like robots when they talk. Then I explain how Polish is a stressed-timed language but English is syllable-timed and that's why you have these problems, yadda yadda....

Usually, they'll at least give some pron and connected speech activities a try after this.

Catch 22 alert: The students who are good at and like these activities are the ones who already have good pronunciation. The ones who suck at and hate them are the hopeless robots.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9580
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Master Shake wrote:
Then I explain how Polish is a stressed-timed language but English is syllable-timed and that's why you have these problems, yadda yadda....



Ahem!
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 958
Location: Itabashi, Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, English is stressed-timed and Polish is more syllable-timed. Some linguists disagree as to whether Polish is actually stress or syllable-timed.

Good thing I got it right in class. Wink
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ecocks



Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 886
Location: Gdansk, Poland

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The part you nailed though is that the ones who need it least are the ones most likely to take to it and enjoy it.

I truly detest this whole "don't want to be embarrassed" attitude in this region (not just Poland but also the FSU countries). A co-worker who did a couple of years in China related he saw far less of it there or in Indonesia than this region. You actually get a sullen response and complaints sometimes that the teacher MAKES me talk in front of others.

I appreciate nervousness and stage fright but....you can't learn to swim if you don't get in the water.


Last edited by ecocks on Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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sparks



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 509

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This should help you shake: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUMM5eCvi8w
Smile Smile Smile
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12323
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isochrony
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 958
Location: Itabashi, Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sparks wrote:
This should help you shake: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUMM5eCvi8w
Smile Smile Smile
That's informative, but boring as heck. Reminds me of doing DELTA.

I've been meaning to make this old gem into a pron/household objects lesson: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cz2-ukrd2VQ I'd have to pre-teach a lot of vocab first. Smile
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Richfilth



Joined: 24 Sep 2007
Posts: 225
Location: Warszawa

PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've used Fork Handles before, but you do need to pre-teach a lot of vocab, and the final joke always falls flat. F-U-N-E-X works a lot better, but does nothing for connected speech.
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