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Ampersand: An International Journal of General and Applied Linguistics

Edited By R. Cann, H. Pichler, K. Van De Poel, D. van Olmen, and K. Watson

Academic Paper

Title: Teaching English Intonation with a Visual Display of Fundamental Frequency
Paper URL:
Author: Richard M Stibbard
Email: click here to access email
Institution: The British School of Phonetics
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Computational Linguistics; Language Acquisition; Phonology
Abstract: In the context of this study, involving university students in Hong Kong, Morley's assertion that students need "instruction that will give them communicative empowerment - effective language use that will help them not just to survive, but to succeed" (Morley, 489) could not be more true. Both to succeed on a personal level and to contribute to the continued success of Hong Kong on the world stage, many of our students will need a standard of spoken English high enough to feel at ease in demanding business or academic situations involving participants from around the world./L/In order to equip them for these tasks, the teacher of English pronunciation in Hong Kong must address the many facets of pronunciation. It is now widely accepted that pronunciation teaching involves attention not just to the segmental (phonemic) level but to the suprasegmental level as well, which includes those features which span across the phonemes and operate at sentence, discourse or language level./L/A number of reseachers and teachers have used speech analysis programs to teach suprasegmental features of English pronunciation (e.g. Molholt 1988) and Leather welcomes the use of computer technology to teach suprasegmental features of English pronunciation (Leather, 1983: 211), while Morley refers positively to the possible imaginative uses to which computers might be put (Morley, 1991: 511). Others are at present engaged in further research into the pedagogical applications of visual displays of speech (Lambacher 1996)./L//L/The expansion in higher education in Hong Kong and elsewhere has in recent years led to greater emphasis being placed on autonomous self-access work and enhanced self-monitoring skills on the part of students. This paper reports on a pilot self-access programme in which students used a fundamental frequency analyser to see visual feedback on their intonation patterns. Projects such as this, which place in students' hands tools to help them monitor and improve their own performance are thus valuable in view of the current educational climate./L//L/After discussing the acoustic correlates of the phonological features pitch, intonation and prominence, and giving a brief overview of the pedagogical model of intonation used, this paper presents examples of the type of feedback generated, illustrating a number of features of student's pronunciation which can be examined, and reports on possible areas of pronunciation this may benefit, before concluding with suggestions regarding the introduction of a CSL-Pitch in a Self-Access Centre.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Publication Info: The Internet TESL Journal. II (8)

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