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Teaching Pronunciation Differently


An EVO 2016 session




All teachers have used 'listen and repeat' as a way of teaching pronunciation, and most of us have found the results unsatisfactory.


But there is a different way, and it works very well.


The 'Articulatory Approach' teaches students what to do with their mouths to sound right.


Join us to explore how to teach this way. 


source:  http://images.easyart.com/i/prints/rw/lg/9/8/The-Chelsea-Collection-My-Fair-Lady-98237.jpg














Audrey Hepburn

in My Fair Lady






Every language requires speakers to use their tongue, jaw, lips, etc in specific ways.

The Articulatory Approach differs from other approaches for teaching pronunciation. For the students, the starting point is not listening.

Instead, they are asked to explore how they can use their mouths in the way the new language demands. The teacher is a coach not a model.

In this session, you will explore how English works from this perspective.

You will come away with a new way of teaching English pronunciation.





Session objectives


In the course of the 5 weeks, you will:

  • better understand how people learn to pronounce a new language
  • improve your understanding of English pronunciation
  • develop practical ideas for your classroom 


And through personal experimentation, you will:

  • become more sensitive to how your mouth functions to make sounds when you speak
  • gain an understanding of how breath is controlled to speak English
  • understand and practise the physical actions which underlie the stress and reduction system
  • see how Articulatory Settings ‘make or break’ good pronunciation
  • discover what the English Articulatory Setting is
  • find keys to the problematic vowels and consonants of English
  • see how all of these elements come together to create good pronunciation in fluent speech.


For all of the above, you will create exercises that students enjoy and which give them better pronunciation outside the classroom.



Target audience


Teachers who are not satisfied with how their students learn to pronounce English. 


Requirement: a headset with microphone if you wish to speak during the live sessions. 



Interest Section (Sponsors)

IATEFL Pronunciation Special Interest Group (PronSIG)

TESOL Speech, Pronunciation, and Listening Interest Section (SPLIS)

English Teachers Association Switzerland (ETAS



Weekly content


Week 1

Introductions. Getting acquainted with our Google+ community and our Wiki. Where are we starting from?


Week 2

Stress and Reduction

We'll be working on the particular way that English speakers control their breath; this is the basis for stress in English.

Then we'll look at the schwa family of sounds, from the point of view of how native speakers produce them rather than how they sound.


Week 3

The Articulatory Setting of English

Just as there is a particular posture that makes it easy to play any given sport, languages have particular ways in which it's best to hold the tongue, jaw, lips etc when speaking them. 

If a student doesn't modify his AS when speaking English, it is impossible for him to sound right.

We will look at the Articulatory Setting (AS) for English and compare & contrast it with those of the session participants.


Week 4

Teaching Sounds with the Articulatory Approach

The conventional way to teach the sounds of English is by getting students to imitate a model.

We will be experimenting with the alternative, where the teacher doesn't provide a model, but coaches the students towards the sounds of English.

The approach is physical and practical.


Week 5

Am I Going to Teach Pronunciation Differently? Conclusions and Evaluation.




There will be suggested readings for each week, and we will collect material from our community.



How to join this session



1.   Create a PBWorks account if you don't have one already. The confirmation email should arrive immediately. Check your spam if it doesn't.


2.   Log in to PBWorks. In the Home tab (under "My PBworks" in the very top left hand corner of the screen), we suggest that you set your preferences (bottom left) to not receive workspace updates:



3.   On the same page as 2 above. write the name of the workspace - teachingpronunciationdifferently - in the box:


You will be told:


and asked to contact us via this box:


Follow the instructions. We will approve you for the Wiki within 24 hours.


4.   When the session is about to start, we will send out an email and ask you to join our Google + community.

There will then be a link from the front page of the TPD pbworks to the Week 1 activities.


If you have any difficulties with the registration process, please contact us via tpd.evo2016@gmail.com


The session starts on Monday January 11, 2016



More about the moderators:






Piers Messum

p dot messum at gmail.com


Principal contact


I teach English freelance in the UK, having previously taught in Japan and France. I taught English pronunciation at the University of Paris III. I have a PhD on how pronunciation is learnt by children and adults from the Department of Phonetics at University College London.


Roslyn Young

roslyn dot young at orange.fr


I am a teacher and teacher trainer. I have integrated work on pronunciation into all my teaching for more than 40 years, mostly at the Centre de Linguistique Appliquée at the University of Franche-Comté in Besançon, France. I completed a PhD on the teaching of languages in 1990. 

Arizio Sweeting

ariziosweeting at gmail.com


I teach English and train teachers at the Institute of Continuing & TESOL Education at the University of Queensland (ICTE-UQ) in Australia, having previously worked in Brazil, Macau and New Zealand. I am doing a PhD on pronunciation instruction in teacher education with the University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia.







Evo mentor

Maria Bossa


Communication tools to be used

Google + Community, the TPD Wiki, Google Hangouts


The general email address for the session is tpd.evo2016@gmail.com

This will be monitored by all the moderators.











































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