The Effectiveness Of Using Songs To Teach Pronunciation In Libyan Secondary Schools

2510 words - 11 pages

The effectiveness of using songs to teach pronunciation in Libyan secondary school English as a foreign language classroom
Amal saleh sase 0147321287, paper student)

Chapter 1
In the most ways than not, the teaching of English is always a polemic. In a way, emphasis is put on accuracy (rules) than fluency (smoothness of speech) and vice versa. However, to possess a full command of the language, one has to be proficient in both areas (Watkins, 2005, p. 83,84), even though it is not an easy task. This means, communication is as important as grammar. One of the most important aspects of the language is pronunciation. However, pronunciation ...view middle of the document...

However, English pronunciation is difficult because of its irregular pronunciation, spelling and interference from the learner's first language. English phonetics is idiosyncratic because language, includes various characters that are unusual from a universal point of view (wells, n.d). These characteristics consist of a large and elaborate vowel system with dental fricatives ad voiced sibilants as well as arbitrary stress placement that are problematic for non native speakers. Besides, L2 or LF learners may find it difficult to guess the pronunciation of English words because of its irregularities in spelling; for example, the letter c can be pronounced as /c/ as in center, /k/ as in cat, or /t/ as in the chair. Regarding vowels, irregularities are more intricate, since a cluster of letters may represent more than one sound . For an instance, age alone has eight possible pronunciations (Kelly, 2000, p. 125and126) .What makes it more complicated is that the learner’s first language (henceforth L1) interferes with production of English sounds as claimed by Laroy (1995, p. 10),''… gradually we become attuned to our mother tongue and tend to hear everything under its influence '' In addition, some English sounds do not exist in learners'L1. Hence it is hard to train the articulatory organs to produce unfamiliar sounds which result in learners' tendency to pronounce English words with the influence of L1 sound.

In relation to this problem, songs have been used as a teaching aid in pronunciation teaching. Songs have been used to focus on sounds, words and connected speech (Ebong & Sabbadini, 2006). Using this method, students are trained to listen and pay attention to how a native speaker pronounces words without realizing the learning process that is taking place. In fact, a song that contains repetitive lyrics (e.g. chorus) is a form of disguising a repetition drill in a very effective way (Klauer, n.d.). Consequently, since learners tend to have affective issues, their fear of sounding "too English" or different from their peers could be reduced as well. This is because they can freely attempt to sound like native speakers by the thought of merely imitating the singers. According to Schoepp (2001), "songs are one method for achieving a weak affective filter and promoting language learning." Hence, songs function as an indirect way of assisting pronunciation learning without ignoring learners' affective issues.

In relation to this, songs are used as a teaching aid because of its advantages. In the age of cutting-edge technology, songs are accessible to almost all teachers (Rogers, 2000). This means that teachers do not have to go the extra mile to prepare an effective teaching material. Moreover, Rogers also stated that Permission to use songs is not necessary since the purpose is educational and no profit is made out of it. Hence, issues like plagiarism do not arise. Other than that songs are memorable because of its...

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