Focus on teaching pronunciation at primary schools in Slovakia

Eva Reid, Michaela Debnarova

Abstract


Teaching and practicing correct pronunciation is often neglected in English language lessons. The importance of correct pronunciation is unquestionable as it is a fundamental feature of successful communication. For this reason, it needs to be taught and practiced right from the beginning of English language teaching, because young learners are the best recipients and often can achieve flawless-like pronunciation. This qualitative study investigates how teachers perceive teaching pronunciation at several primary schools in Slovakia, focusing on teaching techniques and materials used for teaching pronunciation, and aspects of pronunciation. Methods for collecting research data were observation and interview. Findings show that the most used teaching techniques are corrections, drills and songs, and that the most used materials are pictures and textbook CDs. Segmental aspects were practiced when learning new words, but without any particular attention to segmenatal features and suprasegmental aspects of rhythm were practiced by rhymes, chants and songs and no attention was paid to word stress. The study indicates that teachers pay attention to teaching pronunciation, but without particular focus on different features of pronunciaton and using limited teaching techniques and materials.

Keywords


Primary education, Teaching English, Teaching English pronunciation

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