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Friday, June 17, 2011

Teaching English r and l to EFL Learners, a Lexical approach

Teaching English /r/ and /l/ to EFL learners: a lexical approach (parts 1-3

The article is at the link below. These ideas were developed teaching JHS, SHS
and university. They could be adapted to younger learners but the
teacher-student interaction would be different. I think teaching pronunciation
can be very challenging and would rather do it in a team teaching situation
(rather than solo at a university). Please note that these are activities in
order to integrate a pronunciation strand onto any syllabus. They are not
intended for teaching phonetics to English majors or teaching majors (if you
teach at a university).

If you are in China and can not read blogger, send me an e-mail off list and I
will send you a .pdf or .rtf or .doc of the article. Excerpt follows the link.

Charles Jannuzi
Fukui, Japan

brief excerpt:

English /r/, /l/ and contrasts across these two categories of sounds are often
cited as pronunciation and listening perception problems for a variety of EFL
learners, most from E. Asia. The language backgrounds most often associated with
these problems are Japanese, Korean, Chinese and some languages of SE Asia
(e.g., Thai but also Cantonese Chinese). Other language speakers have also
expressed an interest in improving their pronunciation of English /r/ and /l/,
including Russian and German EFL learners.

Perhaps the most well-known group to have a problem with the two categories of
sounds is Japanese EFL learners. This could be because their native language
background creates the most difficult problems to overcome, both in terms of
listening perception and spoken production. It could also be because Japan
attained affluence before most of the rest of Asia and hired native speakers of
English to help teach and model the language. So a lot of information based on
knowledge and experience of Japanese and Japanese learners of EFL has been
exchanged and discussed in 'global ELT'.