My Phone Is Playing Music Out Of The Wrong Speaker Intonation in English Is an Important Part of Pronunciation for ESL Teachers

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Intonation in English Is an Important Part of Pronunciation for ESL Teachers

It must be said that one thing that is sometimes overlooked when teaching English pronunciation to ESL students is intonation. For ESL students, English intonation is an important part of learning English because it not only provides the rhythm of the English language, but also helps you understand what a person is saying.

English intonation is where native speakers and good non-native speakers place more emphasis (stress) on certain words. Rhythm in English comes from stress on certain words and not on certain words. Native speakers pay more attention to highlighting key words when speaking. Key words are nouns, main verbs, adjectives, and other words when necessary. If you can only hear the highlighted words, you will still be able to understand most of what the person is saying. You will notice that native speakers of different countries give different meanings to certain words.

Native speakers tend to hear stressed words because unstressed words are less important to understanding what is being said. “I like walking in the park because it makes me feel nature.” is a complete sentence. Which word is emphasized will have a big impact on the listener’s understanding. The following two sentences show what happens when certain words are correctly or incorrectly stressed.

Correctly highlighted – “I like to walk … the park … gives me … the feeling … of nature “. Here you will get a good idea of ​​what the person said.

If you’re emphasizing words that aren’t important, you might hear “… because it’s… a… for.” If those are the only words you hear, it’s hard to understand what you’re saying

The example shows how highlighted words can make a difference in how you understand what a person is saying. Here we can see that the correct placement of emphasis is important in speaking intelligible English. Additional accentuation in this word is done in several ways, but the most common is to lengthen (slow) the main vowel of the word. This accent helps to understand what the person is saying and creates the rhythm of the English language. This makes intonation an important part of pronunciation because it separates important words, gives rhythm to English, and affects the pronunciation of stressed and unstressed words.

Given the importance of intonation, it is surprising that some or many ESL teachers do not spend more time emphasizing intonation when teaching English. I see this as a problem because you can’t stress the right words, if you stress the wrong words, the listener will have trouble understanding. It can also change the pronunciation of a word to sound like a different word. Because a stressed vowel can sound different from an unstressed vowel. This is the difference between a long vowel and a short vowel for a particular vowel.

A consequence of improper intonation is that the stress on the wrong word can change the vowel of two words. The two are the word you stressed but shouldn’t have stressed, and the word you should have stressed and didn’t. The difference is that the long vowel became a schwa sound (É™) and the schwa became a long vowel. An inappropriate accent will lead to this. Unstressed vowels may not be schwa sounds, but short vowels are different from long vowels. This will reduce the listener’s comprehension and lead to misunderstandings or misunderstandings.

Misaccented words and pronunciation of misaccented words affect the listener’s perception. Keywords are not distinguished, and the listener has difficulty understanding what is said. If the attention word is not the main word and is not important to understanding what the speaker is saying, more confusion occurs. Additionally, changing the vowels of a word can cause further confusion, as the word may now sound like unrelated words.

For the above reasons, ESL teachers should spend some time on their students’ dialects to learn pronunciation. One good way is to grab an audio or video file that you already have a copy of. First, ask students to identify and label nouns, main verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. Then listen to the speaker’s emphasis and check to see if you have found all the emphasis words. Students can now practice speaking with the person on the file and focus on the same words as the speaker on the file. This can be repeated until the students’ accent matches the person in the file. You can also assign this type of exercise to students as homework. If you search the Internet for something like “accent when speaking English,” you’ll find some sites that have useful intonation exercises.

Listen to students’ rhythms as they speak to see if they need help with intonation. Sound right? If it’s too rhythmic or sounds wrong, you can work with them to fix it. If the wrong words are being emphasized, or some are correct and some are incorrect, you can work with them. Start with a simple sentence, tell me which words are stressed and why, and then read them to yourself.

After correcting and improving intonation, the teacher can work on other pronunciation issues. They will be more pronounced when many incorrect long vowels are removed and many schwa sounds are not made into long vowels.

As you can see, intonation is important for non-native English speakers because it affects pronunciation and listener comprehension. ESL students’ pronunciation will also improve if you work a little on English intonation.

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