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Running Head: Teaching to pronounce regular past tense.

The Importance of Phonetics when Teaching Regular Verbs Past Tense Pronunciation.
Mauro David Villacrs Benalczar
Escuela Superior Politcnica del Litoral

A Paper Presented in Partial Fulfillment


Od the Requirements for the Master in TEFL
Wayne Gregory, PhD, Professor & Mentor

Teaching to pronounce regular past tense.

Abstract
Teaching a second language is a challenge for teachers because of all the components
that a language contains. In this case teaching English is a challenge as well for teachers
considering that the educators of the language are not native speakers, that is why that an
understanding of linguistics is necessary in every teacher to be able to transmit that
knowledge to learners, obviously not in the way that linguistics is taught to teachers but
adapted to the students. In this paper will be explained why knowing linguistics is important
for teachers in terms of pronunciation of students, specifically in the pronunciation of the
regular verbs in past tense.
Key words: past, tense, allomorph, phonetics, phonology, morpheme.

Teaching to pronounce regular past tense.

Overview

English is a language that presents a series of components and variations that brings
and becomes difficulty for students in terms of pronunciation. In this time I will talk about
phonology since pronunciation is one field that my students struggle the most. For our
students is not difficult to learn the regular verbs in the base form neither in the past form but
the pronunciation becomes a challenge for them. In the study of the English language we have
Phonetics that according to Forel & Puskas, (2005), in their Reader for First Year English
Linguistics for PHONETICS AND PHONOLOGY describes as Phonetics as the study of the
pronunciation of the sounds produced and received, on the other hand Phonology is focused
in knowing how sounds works in relation to other sounds in the English Language.

There are some reasons why it is important to know about Phonetics and Phonology
for instance, the study of these areas gives a better understanding of how a human brain works
and as foreign language learners give us the ability to listen and solve problems in
pronunciation by correcting mistakes and also to teach sounds.

In the study of a language, Linguistics becomes the basis of the understanding of it,
among of the many things that Linguistics involve we have the Morphemes that is defined by
Thomas, E., (1997), as the smallest unit with meaning immerse in the grammar of the English
Language. To get to the point, it is necessary to explain also about a variation of the
morphemes that is the Allomorph.
Yule, G., (2010) defines in the book The Study of Language allomorph as variants
of morphemes that occurs in some occasions, for instance, in derivational morphemes as in
impossible vs. incorrect, in lexical morphemes as in official from office, and also in
grammatical endings as in voiced /d/ in loved vs. /t/ in walked.

Teaching to pronounce regular past tense.

In the English Language the past tense is made thanks to a morpheme that in this case
is the ed and is used in different situations depending on its environment. To be more
specific it depends on it phonological environment. Considering these aspects, it could happen
that we must apply voicing of the previous sound or also it could be that an insertion of schwa
is necessary when we have an alveolar sound that also could be a stop sound.

To explain better what this is about, it is necessary also to explain the three categories in
which the past tense of regular verbs is divided according to their ending sounds.
In the past tense of regular verbs we have a group whose ending is pronounced like
with a /t/ this happens because the stem ends with voiceless phonemes different than
/t/ as in the case of fished /ft/.
Another group is with the ending that sounds like /d/, this occurs when the stem
finishes with a voiced phoneme different than /d/ as in the case of buzzed /bzd/.
In the last group the stem ends with the alveolar stops /t/ or /d/, the sound of these are
represented as /d/ or /d/ as in hunted /hntd/ or 'banded' /bndd/

Application

The application of this knowledge will make a big impact in my students in their
pronunciation. The most of the time students are reluctant to learn English because of some
factors that stop them to learn and increases their affective filter. We as teachers have to face
the reality that students are afraid to speak in English because of their fair to make
grammatical mistakes but more importantly to make pronunciation mistakes and be bullied by
peers because of that. For many years, at least in Ecuador, English teaching have been not so
good thanks to the lack of update in knowledge by teachers and even at some point I can say
that teachers finished their studies with not the enough tools to teach. The teenagers that

Teaching to pronounce regular past tense.

nowadays are my students have had some of the teachers detailed before and with that
experience comes the weaknesses and gaps to be fixed in them. The pronunciation is one of
the most important features that a learner has to develop to produce a clear output so that the
receiver understands well the messaged expressed. Going back to my students example, they
struggle a lot when they have to pronounce the past tense of the regular verbs due to that
almost every verbs just they have to add -ed at the end of it. That is why that teachers must
know about linguistics so that they can give a clear explanation of the variations in sounds
when pronouncing the ed. To reach to this goal will be necessary to develop a plan in which is
detailed step by step to teach students to pronounce well.

Lesson Plan
The following lesson plan is based in the ACA model proposed by Herrera, S., &
Kavimandam, S., Holmes, M., (2011), in their book CROSSING THE VOCABULARY
BRIDGE in which they explain the importance of the three momentous that according to the
ACA initials stands for Activation Connection and Affirmation.

Teaching to pronounce regular past tense.

LESSON PLAN
COURSE: Second
TOPIC:
OBJECTIVE:
MATERIALS:

DATE: December 3th


2015
Pronunciation of the verbs in past tense.

TIME: 40 Minutes

To make students be aware about the different pronunciation in the past tense of
regular verbs.
Laptop, projector, board, markers, pencils, paper.
ACTIVATION

The students will be divided into two groups. Once the two groups are formed they will be asked to write one word per
participant of the group. In this case they must think in regular verbs to participate. The teacher will explain that each
group must write verbs starting with the letter A and every participant of the group must write one verb with A, when
the last person finishes with the word the first person again will go to the board to write a verb but this time with the
letter B and they have to continue until they get to the letter Z. The first group that gets to the letter Z wins.
CONNECTION
The teacher will make students remember the difference between regular and irregular verbs, after the teacher will
explain them that for regular verbs they must add -ed at the end of the verb in the most of the cases and also will
explain about the exceptions. To help students understand about the difference in pronunciation the teacher will use a
chart where is explicit the variations.
The teacher will also use a page from internet that
shows the position and the movements of the parts
that articulate sounds for those students that struggle
to understand or produce any sound.
http://soundsofspeech.uiowa.edu/english/english.html

AFFIRMATION
To enhance the knowledge, the teacher will ask students to work in pairs to practice with a bank of words given by the teacher on
the board, they must make the past tense of the verbs, pronounce, and decide in which group the word belongs to. The groups are
/Id/, /t/, & /d/. The words are: rest, stay, raise, cook, afford, paint, flood, love, watch, park, save, cause, want, record, show, use,
demand, cover, add, mail, sound, answer, need, & wash. After the students finish with the practice and classification of the words
they will share with the group. The presentation of the couples will serve as evaluation of the knowledge acquisition besides the
group work and peer collaboration when receiving feedback from classmates.

Teaching to pronounce regular past tense.

Summary

To sum up, the dominance of linguistics in a teacher is essential. It is necessary that


teachers know how the language works to get a wider understanding of the variations that it
presents as in this case the understanding of Phonetics, Phonology, Morphemes and
allophones. We have to keep in mind that English for us is a foreign language and for that
reason we may not reproduce exactly the same sounds as an English speaker because Spanish
manage a different set of sounds and patterns, but knowing how the mouth articulates to make
the sounds will help us to pronounce better. Considering that Spanish is our first language we
may have an accent which is considered acceptable as long as the message is clear. We as
teacher must procure to have the knowledge and creativity to teach our learners to pronounce
well.

Bibliography
Forel, C., & Puskas, G., (2005), PHONETICS AND PHONOLOGY, Reader for First Year
English Linguistics, University of Geneva, p. 5.
Herrera, S., Kavimandam, S., Holmes, M., (2011), CROSSING THE VOCABULARY
BRIDGE, Differentiated Strategies for Diverse Secondary Classrooms, Teachers
College University New York, NY 10027.
Thomas, E., (1997), Describing Morphosyntax: A guide for field linguists. Cambridge;
New York: Cambridge University Press. 413 pages.
Yule, G., (2010), The stidy of Language, Fourth Edition,p. 67