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  • 1.  Connected Speech

    Posted 12 days ago
    Among the greater challenges of teaching English pronunciation to Non-native learners is that of 'connected speech'. It's important to get the right mix of written and spoken English - preferably authentic - to bring home this diparity between the two forms.
    How is this best done, and at what stage? What sources do you prefer to use? Is there any benefit of using metalanguage to explain such concepts as 'assimilation', 'elision', 'intrusion', etc?



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    Harisimran Sandhu
    Freelance ELT Professional
    India
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  • 2.  RE: Connected Speech

    Posted 11 days ago
    One of the disadvantages to being an ESL teacher in a primarily English speaking country is not knowing the terminology used by ELLs for learning English.

    What is "connected speech?"

    Thanks!

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    Allison Widmann, MSW, MPP, Certified TESOL
    ESL Teacher
    Language and Literacy, LLC
    United States
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  • 3.  RE: Connected Speech

    Posted 11 days ago
    Hi Alison,
    "Connected speech is spoken language in a continuous sequence, as in normal conversation. It is also called connected discourse. There is often a significant difference between the way words are pronounced in isolation and the way they are pronounced in the context of connected speech."
    If students are not exposed to these differences, they can have huge problems in understanding real discourse.
    Hope this helps!
    Hari


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    Harisimran Sandhu
    Freelance ELT Professional
    India
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  • 4.  RE: Connected Speech

    Posted 11 days ago
    Dear Hari and All:

    I'm sure that members of TESOL's Speech, Pronunciation, and Listening Interest Section (SPLIS) would be able to provide a detailed response to your question on connected speech.  But no, I don't think we need to use metalanguage such as "assimilation," "elision," and "intrusion," with most learners.  For example, instead of using the term "assimilation," I say that the sounds "influence each other."  Learners seem to understand the concept just fine, especially when multiple examples are provided.

    Also, I'd like to remind members about the wonderful book on activities for teaching connected speech which is published by TESOL Press, New Ways in Teaching Connected Speech, edited by James Dean Brown, and containing activities submitted by teachers like you!

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    Nikki Ashcraft
    Past Chair, Membership Professional Council
    University of Missouri
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  • 5.  RE: Connected Speech

    Posted 11 days ago
    Thanks Nikki,
    With my experience purely in teaching non-native learners, I find this to be among the greatest challenges - transiting from the 'comfort' of the written word to the 'jungle' of real speech.
    I find some of the works by Mark Hancock quite useful as a teacher - they help clarify so much about connected speech
    I agree, one needs to use any metalanguage with caution - why burden Ss with additional terminology unless you absolutely must.
    I must check out the work you've recommended!
    Cheers,
    Hari

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    Harisimran Sandhu
    Freelance ELT Professional
    India
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