**** 1

Report
Gary Kirkpatrick
Learning Advisor
Nihon Fukushi University
There is no royal road
to Learning
[1824 Emerson Journal (1961) II. 268]
a language!
[2010 Gary Kirkpatrick]
 Is
pronunciation important?
Yes
BUT
 Speaking
clearly is more than just
pronouncing every word correctly.
 Prosody - stress and intonation.
 Listen:
 Pronunciation?
 Good
 Understandable?
 So
so!
 Why?
 Because
there are more important
things than pronunciation!
 Don’t
tell your
English teacher!
 But it is true!

‘Stress, rhythm, intonation and
pausing have the strongest effect’
on native speakers when they listen
to non-native speaker’s English.

So you don’t have to say each word
perfectly to be understood.
 Speak
the Content Words clearly.
 Content words?????
 Words with the most important
information!
 You also need to stress them!
 This
kind of stress?
How to stress a word.
 A.
increase the volume
I LOVE Aya.
 B. change the pitch
I LOVE Aya.
 C. make it longer
I LOOOOOVE Aya.
Yada
What’s
with kono
this
oyaji!
old guy!
Content Words - stressed
Nouns
ex. Aya
 (most) principal verbs
ex. love
 Adjectives
ex. beautiful
 Adverbs
ex. forever

Help! This
old guy is
bugging me!
Function Words - Don’t stress
Determiners
ex. the, a, some
 Auxiliary verbs
ex. am, can, were
 Prepositions
ex. before, next to
 Conjunctions
ex. as, and, but
 Pronouns
ex. I, they, he, we
 Unless they are important!

I
love Aya more than Mr. Go.
 Listening:
Listen to the two
sentences.
Hmmmm
 A.
 B.
 What
B
do you think?
Now listen again and read:

A. When I got/ /up I had a sore throat
and I thought/
/I must have/ /slept
on my back and snored/ /all night.

B. When I got up/ /I had a sore throat/ /
and I thought/ /I must have slept on my
back/ /and snored all night.
Timing!
 Timing?
 How
fast or slow you speak.
 We
use pauses/ /like stress/
show//what is important.
I/
/love Aya.
/to
 Listening
test.
 A.
(No pauses.)
 Okay? No? Listen again!
 B. (Pauses.)
 Much
better!
 Where
to pause?
 Stress and pauses - found
at ‘syntactic constituent
boundaries’
 Pause at the end of an important
piece of information.
Once again.
Please stand up/
/, turn to the
left/
/, and smile /
/at the
person on your left.

Let’s practice: Please repeat.
I PROMISE/ /to do my BEst/ /to
become a BETTER English speaker.
I WIIILL practice speaking English
using STRESS/ /and PAUSES/ /so I
will be BETTER understood. Sigh
I will ALWAYS lOVe Aya.
 How
 Here
can I practice?
are some great home pages you
can use to practice using English
and prosody.
www.englishcentral.com
https://smart.fm/
www.FACEBOOK.com
Also check out my
suggestions in the
brochure!
Let me ask you again.
Can you speak better English?
The answer is…
Yes, you can!
Yes, of course!
But it will take TIME,
EFFORT
and a REAL desire to
communicate WELL in English!
By Violentz
This is you!
Where there is a will,
there is a way.
Thank you.
Good luck!
References One:
Anderson-Hsieh, J., Johnson R., & Koehler, K.
(1992). The relationship between native
speaker judgments of non-native pronunciation
and deviance in segmentals, prosody, and
syllable structure. Language Learning, 42,
529-555.
Emerson, R.W. (1824) Journal (1961) II. Pg.268
Loon, J. (Winter 2002) Improving Pronunciation
of Adult ESL Students. TESL Canada Journal
Vol.20, No.1, 83-88.
 References
Two:
English Central
Smart.FM
FACEBOOK

Good afternoon everyone.

Today as you can see I will talk a
little about ways to improve your
English speaking ability.

But..

there is no royal road to learning a
language. It isn’t easy.

You need to study the grammar, remember
lots of vocabulary and then there is
the pronunciation and other prosodic
features to study.

I will talk a little more about prosody
today.

The ability to clearly pronounce words
IS important.

Yes, of course BUT speaking clearly is
more than pronouncing every word
correctly.

You have to also remember prosody.

Prosody is the pattern of stress and
intonation in a language.

Listen to this sentence.

When I got/
/up I had a sore throat
and I thought/
/I must have/
/slept
on my back and snored/
/all night.

How is the pronunciation?

Good, right?

Is it easy to understand?

So so!

Why?

Some teachers say that pronunciation is
EVERYTHING!

But there are more important things
than pronunciation.

Don’t tell your English teacher! But it
is true!

A study in America asked native
speakers to listen to non-native
speakers speaking English.

The professors found that ‘Stress,
rhythm, intonation and pausing have the
strongest effect’ on native speakers
when they listen to non-native
speaker’s English.

So native English speakers don’t care
if you can’t say every word perfectly.

But you need to speak the content words
clearly.

What are content words?

These are the words that have the most
important information!

You have to stress these words too!

Not this kind of stress.

How do you stress a word?

To stress words you need to make them
sound louder than the other words.

There are three main ways to stress
words.

First, you can increase the volume.

I LOVE Aya.

Next, you can change the pitch.

Pitch is when you make a part of a word
sound louder.

I LOVE Aya.

Finally, you can make the word sound
longer.

I LOOOOOVE Aya.

So you need to stress the content words

the words with the most important
information.

These are some of the kinds of words
that carry important information; nouns,
most principal verbs, adjectives and
adverbs.

We don’t put stress on function words.

These are words like determiners,
auxiliary verbs, prepositions,
conjunctions and pronouns.

UNLESS they are important!

For example; I love Aya MORE than Mr.
Go.

The I is important in this case.

Now please listen to these two
sentences.

A. When I got / / up I had a sore
throat, and I thought /
/ I must have
/
/ slept on my back and snored /
/
all night.

B. When I got up /
/ I had a sore
throat, /
/ and I thought /
/ I
must have slept on my back /
/ and
snored all night.

What do you think?

Which one is more natural, A or B?

Yes, B. Why?

Now let’s try it together.

A. When I got/ /up I had a sore throat
and
I thought/ /I must have/ /slept on my
back and snored/ /all night.

B. When I got up/ /I had a sore
throat/ /and
I thought/ /I must have slept on my
back/ /and snored all night.

So what is different?

The timing!

Timing is how fast or slow you speak.

We use pauses/ /like stress/
what/ /is important.

I/
/love Aya.
/to show

Now let’s have a test!

Listen and follow the instructions you
hear.

A. Please stand up, turn to the left,
and smile at the person on your left.

How was it?

Difficult to follow?

Let’s listen to B.

B. Please stand up/
/, turn to the
left/
/, and smile /
/ at the
person on your left.

How was it this time?

Better?

The pauses make it easier to follow,
right?

But where to put the pause?

Pauses are usually found at ‘syntactic
constituent boundaries’.

That means we pause after an important
piece of information.

Once again please follow these
instructions.

So let’s practice one last time.

Please repeat after me.

And remember the stress and pauses.

First me than you.

I PROMISE/ /to do my Best/ / to
become a BETTER English speaker.

I WIIILL practice speaking English
using STRESS/ / and PAUSES / / so I
will be BETTER understood.

I will ALWAYS love Aya.

But how can you practice?

Let me introduce some great Internet
home pages where you can practice using
English and prosody.

These and the ones in your brochure are
sites I have recommended to my students
this year.

At English Central you can improve your
listening.

And practice repeating from a variety
of movies and other videos.

If you use a microphone you can record
your voice and the English Central
computer will check your pronunciation
and intonation and give you a score.

To get a good score you need to use
stress, pauses and timing not just
pronunciation.

Is it easy?

No, but if you want to improve your
English you have to try and try again.

At Smart.Fm you can build vocabulary.

This sight lets you choose goals and
helps you to study and review until you
know the words perfectly.

Finally, Facebook.

At this site you can enjoy using
English to get to know people from all
over the world.

You can also enjoy playing various
games in English.

Games like Cafe World and FARMVILLE.

You can have your own restaurant or be
farmer.

It is a fun way to use English! See you
there!

Let me ask you again.

Can you speak better English?

The answer is…

Yes, of course!

But it will take TIME, EFFORT and a
real DESIRE to speak better English!

It will not be easy but as I said there
is no royal road.

To learning a language!

If you keep trying you CAN and WILL
succeed!

Good luck and remember

Where there is a will,

there is a way.

Thank you.

Good luck with your studies!

I would like to thank these sources for
helping me with this presentation.

These too!

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