Teaching Pronunciation to speakers of Mandarin

<b>Forum for ideas on how to teach pronunciation </b>

Moderators: Dimitris, maneki neko2, Lorikeet, Enrico Palazzo, superpeach, cecil2, Mr. Kalgukshi2

Post Reply
boy from the black stuff
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2006 7:10 pm

Teaching Pronunciation to speakers of Mandarin

Post by boy from the black stuff » Sun Oct 01, 2006 7:16 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm about to start teaching a class on pronunciation, listening and conversation. I don't have a lot of experience teaching pron but would really like to help my students to progress, as they have just begun studying in the UK and will need to make themselves readily understood. The class is for one 2-hour session per week, and many of the students are Chinese, mostly speakers of Mandarin. Does anyone have any ideas for useful materials or specific pronunciation difficulties to watch out for and correct?

Cheers in advance for any replies :D

Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2006 12:21 pm

Post by askforlisa » Fri Oct 20, 2006 5:39 am


For mandarin speakers, here are a few difficulties to look for:

- they have difficulty in distinguishing between 3 major sounds; th, t, f
ex. three, tree, free.
The "Th" sound is often pronounced by them as "f"

- another one that they may have is "l" vs "d"
ex. dealer, leader

I read on this website a really cool tool to use, and that's the use of "mirrors", have them imitate your mouth movements. Hope this helps...let me know if you have any other questions!!!

jimmy quick
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 1:34 pm


Post by jimmy quick » Tue Nov 21, 2006 1:41 pm

theres a book called 'Teaching English Pronunciation' by Joanne Kenworthy which might be useful to you. aswell as giving loads of decent advice on the methodology, theres a section of the back that deals with the problems that different nationalities face.
Unfortunately the Chinese section describes difficulties for Cantonese and Hokkien speakers, although you might find some shared issues.

hope this helps,

Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2007 3:46 am

Post by lydia2008 » Fri May 18, 2007 3:49 am

Hi, my friend!
I'm a Chinese English Major, too. I've got from my learning experience that leaning pronunciation is an interactive process of listening and speaking.
Firstly, learners need to listen to the pronunciation of native speakers. They can get a general idea about the sound. Then, specific rules for pronouncing including manner and place of articulation should be listed. Learners may make more precise pronunciation in this way. After that, one of the most important thing in my opinion is to let every learner listen to their own pronunciation. This step is usually excluded in the classroom. But I think only when we pay attention to our own pronunciation, and make a comparison between our own pronunciation and that of the native speakers' can we find out the direction of improvement.
That's from my learning experience, and I hope it'll give you a little bit hint for your teaching.
Best wishes for you from Beijing,China

Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2007 2:36 am
Location: Beijing, China

Re- teaching Chinese pronunciation

Post by nancy0911 » Thu May 24, 2007 5:47 am

hi, my friend,
The most difficult for Chinese learners is how to pronunce "th". Many of them are quite lazy to pronunce it and they usually say it as "s", because the pronunciation of "th" is not exist in Chinese and instead, "s" is very easy for them. Moreover, Chinese tend to pronunce shorter than the native speaker of "oo", and they will quickly change their mouth until the sounds have fully pronunced.
Another problem for Chinese is that they usually break down at the middle of a sentence in speaking because they have to gain the time for thinking and organizing the next part. On the contrary, a large number of native speakers will take a short break at the end of a sentence for they have to garantee the completeness of sentence meaning.

Post Reply