Our ﬁrst, and most basic goal in a foreign language classroom is to teach students how to correctly pronounce words. Techniques such as chaining, in conjunction with an understanding of articulation will assist your students in overall pronunciation practices. This chapter also covers the three major barriers (and how to overcome them) to successful pronunciation in the classroom.
With regard to the three barriers to communication, anxiety, learned helplessness and maintaining cultural identity are the three most recognized.
Anxiety is typiﬁed by an unwillingness to participate in activities, or any kind of involvement in classroom discussions. A student who is anxious about using the language will generally hide within a group, especially during choral exercises. This barrier is easy to identify and rectify, with positive reinforcement and encouragement.
Learned helplessness is a psychological reaction to a learning situation that is perceived to be hopeless. If a student attempts to use the language a number of times and is unsuccessful, they will just give up and no longer attempt to improve. This is due to the belief that they can genuinely not succeed.
Cultural identity is a little more difﬁcult to navigate and discover, as some students will not attempt to use a second language simply because they want to maintain the integrity of their own culture.
In this chapter we also explore the importance of pronunciation, the phonetic chart, intonation and articulation of the English Language.
Assessment Category: Language Analysis & Awareness