Section one: Background
All the way through teaching in a public
school, it has been revealed that teaching the correct pronunciation, aiming to
reach intelligibility, is an integral part of learning a foreign language.
Janet Goodwin, Judy Gilbert, Bowen, and Brinton are few of many genuine
educational researchers who insisted on the significance of teaching pronunciation
for non-native speakers. Gilbert (2008) states that, “… it is common for
students to feel uneasy when they hear themselves speak with the rhythm of a
second language (L2). They find that they “sound foreign” to themselves, and
this is troubling for them.” Thus, achieving intelligibility may help them sound
close to the Native American accent which eases communication as it allows
students to utter comprehensible sounds so they can be understood. This will
increase the students’ self-confidence specifically when interacting with
native speakers. According to Seidholfer (1995), “pronunciation is never and
end in itself but a means of negotiating meaning in discourse, embedded in
specific sociocultural and interpersonal contexts.” Despite of its importance,
several myths have been argued about teaching pronunciation at schools,
especially the public ones. Unfortunately, most teachers tend to focus on
teaching grammar and vocabulary, but they make a few attempt to teach
pronunciation as they consider that teaching regular reading courses is a
substitute for the native pronunciation courses. The thing that produces another
problems. To other teachers in public schools, pronunciation is important yet
boring and difficult because a formal pronunciation syllabus isn’t provided.
So, they regard teaching pronunciation as time consuming and less important
mainly that they have a full curriculum to finish within a limited time. Between these two attitudes, a new approach
to teaching pronunciation that uses the Communicative Language Teaching method,
in addition to the technological conducts and the various compiled activities is
to be examined for its success and validity. This new approach for
pronunciation will be tested by performing it on two groups: an experimental
group and a control group, each consisting of twenty students in Houmine
Al-Faouqa Public School.
Two: Statement of the Problem
Teaching English Language in a public school is
a challenging task because students must be able to use this language as a
means of communication. In order to communicate, the student should pronounce
clearly. Unluckily, the public books are not provided with a pronunciation syllabus
and teaching materials. So, the book and its workbook are not enough at all to
teach pronunciation. Yet, students are obliged to pronounce correctly when all
what they are learning about pronunciation is the basic vowel and the consonant
letters through dull repetitive methods. Even if they know how to speak, most
of the students are shy and reluctant to speak in English due to their weak
“Lebanese English” accent. They are mostly not understood and their English
accent doesn’t really sound like English. As a result, they lack
self-confidence for expecting others laughing at them when speaking.
Three: Purpose of the Study
As teaching students to imitate the American
accent might sound an unrealistic goal, this study targets at testing the
validity and efficiency of the new compiled guide for teaching comprehensible
pronunciation or intelligibility to forty students in grade six at Houmine
Al-Faouqa Public School. This new guide involves the use of different
activities and techniques that help students to improve their accent, providing
more self- confidence for students to express themselves and communicate
through their second language without any pressures.
Four: New Implementation
This study is examined through the mixed method
design that is, using both qualitative and quantitative methods.
Questionnaires, oral diagnostic tests and observations are to be used as a
means of collecting primary data.