据罗杰森 - 雷维尔（2011年：2），音韵学手段和语音学“的一个特定的语言中有意义的音效模式，如中国或英语学习”是指“讲话的科学描述跨语言的声音，无关的特定语言“音韵的零件部分包括声音（辅音和元音），重音，连接语音和语调（同上）。有24个辅音和英式英语中20个元音。皮革（1999）所指出的，这是比较困难的学生能够准确发音的元音比辅音;然而，辅音似乎比在可懂而言元音更重要。
According to Rogerson-Revell (2011: 2), phonology means “the study of meaningful sound patterns within a particular language, such as Chinese or English” and phonetics refers to “the scientific description of speech sounds across languages, unrelated to a specific language.” The components parts of phonology include sounds (consonants and vowels), stress, connected speech and intonation (ibid.). In the following, sounds, stress and intonation would be mainly talked about, and connected speech may not be discussed due to the limitation of word count.
There are 24 consonants and 20 vowels in British English. As Leather (1999) points out, it is more difficult for the learner to pronounce vowels accurately than that of consonants; however, consonants seem to be more important than vowels in terms of intelligibility.
It is not easy to give the definition of stress, and stress is related to “prominence, emphasis or accent” (Rogerson-Revell, 2011: 137). Cruttenden (2008: 235) demonstrates that stress is accent which can be explained as “the syllable or syllables of a word which stand out from the remainder are said to be accented, to receive the accent.” With regard to stress placement, it is true that there are some stress placement rules in English pronunciation; however, the rules seem to be so complicated that the learner can hardly master thoroughly. According to Rogerson-Revell (2011), there are four aspects that can determine stress placement: number one is to see if the word is simple or complex or compound; number two is the grammatical category of a word; number three is the number of syllables in a word; number four is the phonological structure of the syllables.#p#分页标题#e#
Kenworthy (1978: 19) suggests that intonation which means “the listener gets certain information from the pitch of the voice and the speaker sends information using pitch variation” plays a vital role in pronunciation since intentions can be expressed by intonation and furthermore intelligibility can be affected.
Pronunciation Teaching and Learning语音教学
Pronunciation, as one of the nature of English, has been widely studied by a host of researchers and scholars as well as educators. Pronunciation teaching and learning will be discussed from five aspects in the following paragraphs.
Should Pronunciation be taught?应发音教？
As Kelly (1969) points out, pronunciation can be seen as the ‘Cinderella’ part of EFL teaching. It is true that pronunciation plays a crucial role in whatever EFL or ESL teaching whereas it is often neglected by linguistic researchers and scholars, and whether pronunciation should be taught in class have become a controversial issue in the circle of English teachers around the world. According to Jones (1997), pronunciation is teachable and is influential to the learning of other skills of English. Besides, Kelly (2000) maintains that the reason why pronunciation should be taught in the classroom is that most of pronunciation mistakes made by learners may have a negative impact on communication, and it seems that only if the mistakes are corrected can the learner communicate with others successfully; thus it is necessary to teach pronunciation in the classroom so as to help the learner avoid some pronunciation mistakes and then reach a better communication. Similarly, Beebe (1984) insists that not only what people communicate but also how well people communicate are influenced by pronunciation, and therefore it is essential for learners to learn English pronunciation in class. Some English teachers who are used to adopting direct teaching approach also seem to be in favor of teaching pronunciation in class (Celce-Murcia et al., 1991).
On the contrary, Krashen (1982) argues that “pronunciation is an acquired skill and that focused instruction is at best and at worst detrimental, and also the factors affecting second language pronunciation are chiefly acquisition variables which cannot be affected by focused practice and the teaching of formal rules” (cited in Jones, 1997). Moreover, some teachers who adopt the cognitive approach and traditional grammar-translation methods as well as communicative approach when teaching English could not pay much attention to pronunciation, even some of them seem to against the argument that pronunciation should be taught and they think the teaching and learning of any other areas of English would be more important than that of pronunciation (Celce-Murcia et al., 1991).
Different people hold different views of pronunciation teaching issues and they all have their own reasons. There is no doubt that the learning of pronunciation would positively affect the other parts of English learning. It could be better if pronunciation is taught combining with other skills of English in class rather than being taught solely(Brown, 1992).#p#分页标题#e#
The Importance of Pronunciation Teaching and Learning语音教学和学习的重要性
According to Dalton and Seidlhofer (1994), pronunciation can be generally defined as the production of important sound in two senses. On the one hand, sound is important results from it functions as the code of one particular language, and therefore people may differentiate between English and other languages and pronunciation can be regarded as the production of sounds of speech; on the other hand, sound is important since it is applied as the way to reach meaning in the context of use (ibid.). As Derwing and Munro (2005) points out, it is beneficial for people to have better pronunciation as it may be of great help to communication especially intelligibility. It is true that people who have good pronunciation is more easier understood when communicating than people who have worse performance on pronunciation. Besides, what we cannot deny that some pronunciation errors may result in jokes even misunderstanding. For example, if one pronounces “snack” as “snake”, then could you imagine how horrible it would be. What is more, teaching and learning pronunciation is significant because pronunciation can be linked with other areas of English skills such as listening, speaking and spelling of vocabulary, i.e. teaching and learning pronunciation may exert good influence on improving listening and speaking as well as spelling of vocabulary. “It is widely recognized that a crucial component in developing effective second language pronunciation is, in fact, the development of particular listening skills. In many textbooks ostensibly dedicated to improving ESL pronunciation, a substantial number of exercises are devoted to making sure that the student, as listener, can first recognize the types of sound distinctions that are phonemic in English” (Yule et al., 2012: 765). Furthermore, as Gilbert (2008) states, there is a connection between listening comprehension and pronunciation learning. She also insists that listening comprehension can be severely affected by different respects of pronunciation, and “pronunciation work should concentrate on the way English uses certain sound distinctions, rhythm and pitch to alert listeners to significant grammar and discourse features that are used to keep listeners on track with speakers. Practice with these aspects of pronunciation can help listening as well as intelligibility” (Gilbert, 2008: 109). According to Zhao and Campbell (1995), having good pronunciation may result in better communication, and more importantly, it is able to make people become more confident when communicating and thus speaking ability may be gradually improved. In terms of the relationship between pronunciation and vocabulary, a number of researchers and scholars present their views. According to Kelly (2000), people need to use 44 different English sounds when speaking English whereas there are only 26 English letters. That is to say, it could be said that “there is not a one-to-one correspondence between spelling and pronunciation in English” (Kelly, 2000: 122). It is true that people may mispronounce and misspell words result from the lack of the correspondence between English pronunciation system and English spelling system. As Kay (1930) states, errors in pronunciation may be influential to spelling. With the help of corpus, Li (2006) also demonstrates that more than half of spelling mistakes are related to inaccurate pronunciation. Generally speaking, students are more likely to make spelling mistakes due to unstressed vowels and silent letters as well as double letters (Mitton, 1996). #p#分页标题#e#
As it can be seen that English pronunciation does have close connection with vocabulary and speaking as well as listening. As a result, pronunciation teaching should not be ignored, and it is necessary for English learners to pay attention to pronunciation part for the sake of achieving better results on other parts of English learning.
Goals of pronunciation teaching and learning发音教学和学习目标
Loads of researchers and scholars tend to focus on the ultimate goals of pronunciation teaching and learning, and what type of pronunciation model should be applied in ESL English class have been debated. In the past few years, some practitioners would like to set “Queen’s English” as their teaching goals no matter how well hey themselves perform on English pronunciation (Celce-Murcia et al., 2010).
On the contrary, Cook (1999) insists that establishing rather standard native-like pronunciation as the goal is so unrealistic that the majority of learners cannot achieve it. Kenworthy (1987) also claims that most people consider native-like pronunciation as the final goal few years ago whereas an increasing number of people have realized that the final goal is not appropriate in recent years. As a matter of fact, it cannot be said that regarding native-like pronunciation as learning goal is absolutely unacceptable. As Kenworthy (1987) points out, the teacher should not blow students’ self-confidence for setting lofty goals when learning pronunciation, even though there is no need to courage them to do this. What is more, Celce-Murcia et al. (2010) report that the minority of people who have regional accent would be looked down upon in some areas, and the discrimination may make those particular people feel upset. Accent have close connection with personal identity, and identity is also closely related to pronunciation (Stevick, 1978). Stevick (1978) even think that the teacher who neglect the relationship between identity and pronunciation may be more likely to waste time and energy to attain unrealistic goals.
Overall, there are two things need to be considered when establishing pronunciation learning goals. One is to think about the influence that inaccurate pronunciation may have on listeners and the other is to deliberate how much of mispronunciation the listener could tolerate.
With the consideration of the significance of intelligibility of pronunciation, it is worth talking about intelligibility separately here. Many researchers have discussed the definition and importance of intelligibility in the last decades. Bamgbose (1998) demonstrates that knowing what is intelligible and what is not seems to be critical for non-native speakers, particularly when they struggle to make themselves understood in front of the native speaker. It is true that different people may give different definition of the term intelligibility. Brown (1992: 3) indicates that “intelligibility means the success with which a speaker conveys his message to the listener”. Intelligibility is defined as “a complex of factors comprising recognizing an expression, knowing its meaning, and knowing what that meaning signifies in the sociocultural context’ (Bamgbose, 1998: 11). Intelligibility is also described as the same to understandability and defined as “being understood by a listener at a given time and a given situation” (Kenworthy, 1987: 13). It can be concluded that intelligibility is related to two words: ‘meaning’ and ‘context’. Moreover, Kenworthy (1987) provides two methods, which are actually more like two rules, to distinguish whether the speaker is intelligible, and rule number one is related to how many words said by the speaker that the listener can understand correctly may reflect how much the speaker is intelligible and rule number two refers to how much easier the listener can hear the key words in speech may illustrates the speaker is intelligible. Meanwhile, there is another relevant point worth mentioning here. As long as what information the listener receive matches with what the speaker have expressed then the speech can be seen as intelligible, even if the speaker pronounce a word as an alternative one (ibid.). Besides, Dalton and Seidlhofer (1994) point out that the speaker’s purpose and motivation may be influential to intelligibility. #p#分页标题#e#
Nevertheless, Smith and Nelson (1985) point out that the term intelligibility applied in pronunciation issues is not that accurate and supposed to be made more exact, and therefore there are comprehensibility and interpretability besides intelligibility. Strictly speaking, intelligibility refers to the listener could recognize the words said by the speaker; comprehensibility refers to a deeper level which means the listener could understand the meaning of what the speaker expresses; interpretability is related to what the speaker says enables the listener to understand the meaning beyond the words (ibid.). They also proposed that the majority of pronunciation problems learners have basically results from comprehensibility and interpretability instead of intelligibility. From my perspective, there is no essential difference between researchers’ different views of defining pronunciation intelligibly.
All in all, it is not true that only when the speaker makes totally accurate sounds and use the exact feature of aspects of pronunciation can he/she be intelligible. All an intelligible speaker is required to do is to make listeners understand what he/she actually wants to express in a certain situation when speaking with others. Furthermore, it seems that how to achieve intelligibility could be paid more attention to in further research.
Roles of Teacher and Learner教师与学习者的角色
There is no doubt that both the teacher and the learner ought to attach importance to English pronunciation. In terms of teaching and learning pronunciation, the teacher and the learner plays different roles.
Generally speaking, there are seven things need to be done by the teacher when during the process of pronunciation teaching and learning (Kenworthy, 1987). The first thing is helping learners hear, which means the teacher needs to assist the learner to understand sounds and examine that if the learner hears sounds on the basis of proper language categories; helping learners make sounds comes after since not all the sounds of English exist in the learner’s L1 and therefore the teacher is obliged to teach new sounds; and then providing feedback is essential as the learner basically cannot distinguish what is right and what is wrong and only if the teacher offer the learner feedback on his/her performance will he/she make progress; next thing that the teacher need to do is pointing out what is going on because the learner is more likely to overlook significant details such as being unable to decide when a particular word should be stressed or said differently, and thus the teacher ought to remind the learn to take notice of the potential of the sounds; establishing priorities becomes the following thing, which requires the teacher to assist the learner to make a decision of what should pay attention to and what do not need to focus on when learning pronunciation as a part of students may make no distinction between the major and the minor one such as some students may consider that native-like pronunciation is much more important than intelligibility; devising activities cannot be neglected here, and the teacher should select or design some activities or tasks which enable students to obtain more chances for practice and experimentation as well as exploration because this may be of great help to complicated pronunciation learning; the last thing is so-called assessing progress which can be regarded as one kind of feedback, and the feedback on students’ progress plays a vital role in keeping students’ motivation.(ibid.). It seems that these seven things the teacher needs to do when teaching pronunciation are sequenced and logical.#p#分页标题#e#
In terms of the learner’s role, it could be concluded as one word which is ‘respond’, and Yule et al (2012) claim that the most crucial part of learning pronunciation is improving self-monitoring ability. Kenworthy (1987) also insists that whether the students are able to make progress on pronunciation learning greatly depend on the degree of their motivation for learning. It is reasonable that the learner who does not have motivation and self-monitoring ability can hardly achieve learning goals even if the teacher puts much effort into teaching pronunciation.
As a result, both the teacher and the learner ought to play their own roles accordingly. There is no doubt that better achievements of pronunciation teaching and learning are related to the dedicated teacher as well as the learner who is motivated and with self-monitoring ability.
Factors that affect pronunciation learning 影响发音学习的因素
Kenworthy (1987) lists out six factors that may have influence on pronunciation learning, including the native language, the age factor, amount of exposure, phonetic ability, attitude and identity and motivation and concern for good pronunciation. As Kenworthy (1987) states, the more the differences between L1 and the target language, the more difficulties the learner may encounter when pronouncing. According to Kenworthy (1987), whether the learner could pronounce native-like L2 is greatly dependent on the age of starting learning a second language, i.e. the learner who is able to pronounce L2 like native speakers then they might start learning the second language when he/she is a child, and it is impossible for a learner who starts learning a second language when he/she is an adult to achieve native-like accent. Asher and Garcia (1969) also points out that children have advantage in reaching native-like pronunciation over adults. However, Snow and Hoefnagel-Hohle (1977) find out that in fact, adults could do better in pronunciation learning, especially discriminating sound, than children, and actually, teenager is able to do the best. In terms of amount of exposure, it could be said that if the learner who is living in an English-speaking country may be of great help to learning pronunciation. Similarly, Newton (2009) also takes account of the conditions for teaching and learning as one factor that affect pronunciation learning. Phontetic ability refers to some people are born to have good ears so as to have advantage in discriminating sounds over others (Kenworthy, 1987). With regard to attitude and identity, “factors such as a person’s sense of identity and feelings of group affiliation are strong determiners of the acquisition of accurate pronunciation of a foreign language” and “learners who show positive feelings towards the speakers of the new language tend to develop more accurate, native-like accents” (Kenworthy, 1987: 7). Lastly, it seems that some learners are more motivated than others and also pay more attention to the learning of pronunciation (ibid.). Apart from these six factors, Celce-Murcia et al. (2012) supplies that the learner’s speaking needs should be taken into consideration either. That is to say, different speaking needs may determine how the learner acquire pronunciation. Wennerstrom (1992) mentions that if the materials of teaching and learning pronunciation are related to the learner’s individual situations then the learner would have more motivation.#p#分页标题#e#
Methods and Strategies of Teaching Pronunciation方法和教学发音的策略
According to Kenworthy (1987), the reason why pronunciation is ignored is likely to be the teacher has no idea about how to teach pronunciation. Even though, there are some methods and strategies as well as techniques could be applied in pronunciation teaching.
The majority of English teachers would like to teach pronunciation without making teaching plan and they often teach pronunciation during correcting mistakes made by students in class; however, pronunciation teaching could be planned and should integrate with the teaching of grammar and vocabulary (Kenworthy, 1987).
First of all, the traditional pronunciation teaching method would be demonstrated. What we cannot deny is that the two procedures of traditional teaching method of pronunciation, imitation and discrimination drills, do make contribution to pronunciation teaching since students could be able to have automatic and routinized articulation through imitation and discrimination drills. There are three steps in drilling and imitation: model eliciting, choral repetition and individual repetition. Besides, taping students’ English may be of great help to pronunciation learning. What and how the student says could be taped during speaking practice, and then comparing the student’s speech with others’ and native-like pronunciation so as to focus on their own mistakes and then doing error correction.
In terms of teaching sounds, it could be said that using phonetic transcription