Why pronunciation is important ?

sam   Friday, June 13, 2003, 22:21 GMT
Do you know that most misunderstandings in spoken communication in English come from inappropriate vocabulary and register and bad pronunciation?

It is possible to make dozens of grammatical errors and still make yourself clearly understood, but getting the stress wrong in a word can either make it completely incomprehensible or even sound like another word.

The classic case is with the word ‘comfortable’. I remember being bamboozled once when I thought a learner had just said to me, "I’ve come for a table." He thought he was saying, "I’m comfortable." He stressed all three syllables and I heard three words; ‘come’ ‘for’ ‘table’.

There are lots of funny anecdotes concerning learners’ mispronunciations – most of them lewd, may I add (a mild one come from a French learner who announced that he had had "breast and butter" for breakfast!).

The pronunciation of sounds and word stress are vitally important. First of all you need to point this out to your students, especially if they are going to be using spoken English, and secondly perhaps you need to change your approach to teaching pronunciation .

Continue working on pronunciation but make sure your learners know why. This doesn’t have to be in separate lessons. In fact, every time you teach new language, be it individual words or chunks, help your learners to be able to say it naturally using stress, weak forms and intonation.

Grammar is important but it is not the be-all and end-all of the English language.

SagaSon   Saturday, June 14, 2003, 02:46 GMT

what a blasphemous site ... Portuguese language has 80% sounds of this webpage ... I hate when my language is offended by ignorants that do not study Portuguese pronunciation.