Workshop Series - Pronunciation

Topic 1: Using a Self-developed Learners’ Corpus for English Pronunciation Teaching and Learning

To provide opportunities for teachers to explore new ways of English language teaching and support them to adopt corpus-based approach in their teaching, a Knowledge Transfer (KT) Workshop Series was launched. The Series consisted of language skills covering lexis, grammar, phonology, and translation. The Series also aims at equipping teachers with skills and tools to develop their own corpus-based teaching and learning materials.

DATE: 24-Nov- 2017 (Fri)

TIME: 15:30 - 17:30 pm

VENUE: D4-G/F-05A, Tai Po Campus, The Education University of Hong

Abstract

In this workshop, a corpus-based pronunciation learning system will be introduced to help English learners and teachers to (1) identify Chinese learners’ recurrent segmental (vowels and consonants) and suprasegmental (lexical stress, pausing, linking, and intonation) difficulties in learning English pronunciation, and (2) suggest possible remedies that may reduce such difficulties. The use of learner corpora in two levels of teacher training courses in the EdUHK will be introduced and discussed.

Summary

Pronunciation, as an essential part of teaching and learning English, is more difficult than people imagine because it is hard to mark down the difference in pronunciation without IPA. Thus, Dr. Chen showed the participants how to teach IPA and use spoken corpora as a resource to find out common mistakes of Chinese students compared with native speakers. She explained the advantages of using her self-developed spoken corpus the aim of which is to identify Chinese students’ recurrent difficulties in English pronunciation. She also provided possible remedies to reduce the difficulties. How to make use of the corpus-based learning website has been put forward for:

  • Undergraduates: self-access learning activities
  • Teaching training programme (e.g. PGDE/MATESOL students): to collect and analyze the authentic data
  • Frontline Teachers: to use the corpus-informed pronunciation teaching resources and pronunciation practice in their class

In addition to this, Dr. Chen shared three corpus-based lesson plans designed by school teachers at both the primary and secondary levels. She further elaborated the pedagogical applications of the learners’ corpus through inviting one of her student teachers to share his self-designed teaching plan involving the spoken corpus. The student teacher illustrated how he made use of the corpus to teach pronunciation items:

  • Teaching Schwa with the corpus
  • Teaching Linking with the corpus
  • Teaching Stress and Rhyme with the corpus

Dr. Rebecca concluded with specifying the pedagogical applications of her learners’ corpus.


Topic 2: Using a Corpus-aided Approach to Learn English Pronunciation

DATE: 24-Apr-2018 (Tue)

TIME: 16:00-17:30

VENUE: The Houde Academy (厚德書院), 9 Guansheng 5th Road, Long Hua District, Shenzhen (zip code: 518110)

Abstract

In language learning, applying learner corpora could be more effective than using native corpora because learners are provided with more opportunities to discover distinctive errors produced by learners of a specific language background through learner corpora. By observing the most frequent and typical errors of learners, students might become more aware of the features of their own interlanguage and possibly stimulate a restructuring of their own language use and knowledge. Therefore, an annotated learner spoken corpus could be an effective tool for pronunciation learning. In this workshop, I will share my corpus-based pronunciation learning system which was established to help learners and teachers to (a) identify Hong Kong and mainland Chinese learners’ recurrent segmental and supra-segmental difficulties in learning English pronunciation, and (b) suggest possible remedies that may reduce such difficulties and enhance intra and inter- cultural communication. Several sets of ready-made, corpus-aided English pronunciation lesson plans and teaching materials will be provided to introduce the corpus-aided teaching and learning approach for learners at different levels.

Biography

Dr. Rebecca Chen is Assistant Professor at the Education University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include inter-language phonology, experimental phonetics and computer assisted pronunciation learning. Recently Dr. Chen and her research team have completed the construction of three publicly accessible corpus-based pronunciation learning websites: Using self-developed learners’ corpora for pronunciation learning and teaching: English, Mandarin and Japanese. (http://pronunciationlearning.my-free.website/)