Melanie Talbot
Filling the gap in pronunciation

As teachers teaching mixed nationality classes we often have students who fall through the gap where pronunciation is concerned. In all other areas these students’ skills are equivalent to other students but their speech is extremely difficult to understand. This is particularly true of Vietnamese students due to the particular phonetic differences in the sound system of Vietnamese compared to English.
In this presentation I would like to address:

• When and why phonemic work might be important or necessary
• Why one-on-one work with immediate feedback is essential for picking up new phonemes
• Some ideas on setting up smaller groups within a larger class
• Which phonemes are most helpful to focus on
• Some basic techniques to help phoneme acquisition

I currently teach English for PICE. I graduated from UWA with a B.A. in Linguistics and Chinese. I taught English for 1 year in China and have taught for 6 years in Australia. Last year I started teaching a remedial pronunciation course. I ran 15-30 minute sessions with small groups, focusing mostly on pronunciation of consonants. I developed many of my own resources as I found there was a lack of pronunciation materials that were specific to the difficulties of my students, most of whom were Vietnamese.