RELC 53rd International Conference

RELC 53rd International Conference

Teaching English prosody to Japanese learners: "Three principles" approach to prosody instruction

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Kazuhito Yamato

March 13, 2018
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  1. Teaching English prosody to Japanese learners: "Three principles" approach to

    prosody instruction Kazuhito Yamato (Kobe University) Takamichi Isoda (Ritsumeikan University) RELC 53rd International Conference 13/03/2018 ɹ10:30ʙ11:00
  2. Acknowledgment •  This study is supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant

    Number 17K047778 •  This slide (pdf) is available at: https://speakerdeck.com/otamyuzak
  3. Introduction

  4. 1. Introduction 1.1 Needs for prosody teaching •  Japanese EFL

    learners have problems on prosodic features: –  sentence stress –  intonation –  nucleus placement (Nanjo, 2010; Saito & Ueda, 2011; Saito, 2017; Matsusaka, 1986)
  5. 1. Introduction 1.1 Needs for prosody teaching •  In Japanese

    context… –  surveys reveal that reading aloud and pronunciation teaching are the major teaching practices –  Ts: less confident and not enough training (Shibata et al., 2008;)
  6. 1. Introduction 1.1 Needs for prosody teaching •  In Japanese

    context… – teaching items: more on segmentals than suprasegmentals – Isolated items: stress, rhythm, intonation based on phonetic descriptions
  7. 1. Introduction 1.2 Current situation •  Research on Pronunciation Instruction

    (Derwing & Munro, 2015; Lee, Jang & Plonsky, 2014) •  Teaching methods & practical ideas/tasks for teaching pronunciation/prosody –  Prosody pyramid (Gilbert, 2014) –  Pronunciation myth (Grant, 2014) –  textbooks, materials (Grant, 2016; Marks & Bowen, 2014; Jones, 2016)
  8. 1. Introduction 1.2 Current situation •  Approaches to pronunciation instruction

    (Grant et al., 2014) Traditional Approaches Current Approaches learner goals Perfect, naive-like pronunciation Comfortable intelligibility Speech features All segmentals (consonant and vowel sounds) Selected segmental and suprasegmentals (stress, rhythm, and intonation) based on need and context Practice formats Decontextualized drills controlled aural-oral drills as well as semi-communicative practice formats Language background of teachers Native-speaking teachers Native-speaking and proficient non-native speaking teachers Speaking models Native-speaker models Variety of models and standards depending on the listener, context, and purpose Curriculum choices Stand-alone courses isolated from the rest of the curriculum Stand-alone courses or integrated into other content or skill areas, often listening and speaking
  9. 1. Introduction •  Issues to be addressed on prosody instruction

    to Japanese EFL learners –  Teachers: hard to teach, not sure on what to teach –  Learners: complex descriptions, too much to remember •  Any way to resolve these? –  Needs to integrate prosodic elements and to present these elements in a simplified description
  10. 1. Introduction What do we need? – Concise rules of prosody

    – Elements shown in an organized fashion Our solution: Three principles approach – Minimum essentials of prosody – As a guide for teachers for developing activities utilizing a textbook in hand – As a checklist for students
  11. 1. Introduction Three principles: 1.  Strike a beat when there

    is a vowel. 2.  When there are more than one beat, differentiate strong and weak beats. 3.  When there are more than one strong beat, make one of them more salient than the others.
  12. 2 “Three principles” approach

  13. Principle 1

  14. ストライク strike su to ra i ku /straIk/ マクドナルド McDonald’s

  15. Principle 1 Strike a beat when there is a vowel.

  16. Principle 2

  17. When there are more than one beat… ◦ ◦ ◦

    • ◦ • banana  banana バナナ  /bənɑːnə/
  18. 1 8    Cats eat   fish. The cats eat  the

    fish. The cats are eating the fish. The cats will have eaten the fish. Stressed (red): Content words Unstressed (black): Function words Stresses beats are repeated with regular intervals.
  19. Principle 2 When there are more than one beat, differentiate

    strong and weak beats.
  20. Principle 3

  21. 2 1 ◦• ◦ • •     university   • ◦

    • ◦ • ◦ I went to school by bus. Primary stress (nucleus) tends to be placed on the last stressed (content) word. Primary stress has a greater pitch change.
  22. A: Where did you go by bus? • ◦ •

    ◦ • ◦ B: I went to school by bus. A: See you at ten to two. ◦ ◦ • ◦ B: Ten after two. Nucleus placed elsewhere reflects a speaker’s special intention.
  23. Principle 3 When there are more than one strong beat,

    make one of them more salient than the others.
  24. Utilizing the principles

  25. What do we need to do? – Develop activities for teaching

    prosody – Integrate prosody instruction into classes     ↓ – Develop activities based on a textbook in hand Is it possible to teach prosody with a reading textbook? Yes!