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Teaching Reduction of Form Words to Primary School Learners
|1.1.||Communication and Communicative Competences||3|
|2.||Teaching English as a Foreign Language||8|
|2.1.||Neglecting Pronunciation in Teaching a Language||8|
|2.3.||Differences According to Age Groups||11|
|3.||Reduction of Speech Sounds in Form Words||18|
|4.||Teaching Reduction of Form Words to Primary School Learners||22|
|Appendix 1 Activities Class I||47|
|Appendix 2 Activities Class II||49|
Having researched the reduction of form words in the English language, the author of the present paper has come to certain conclusions.
With the English language having become a Lingua Franca the importance of the ability to communicate in this language has grown considerably. Speaking is treated as an integral part of communication. Consequently, to be a good communicator a person has to develop certain communicative competences, the linguistic competences in particular.
To know grammar well and to become proficient in vocabulary is not enough to be successful when communicating in the target language.
The author of the present paper is particularly interested in spoken communication and the phonological processes that, if not paid due attention to, interfere with understanding other peoples’ speech and making oneself understood.
Teaching pronunciation at English language classes is often neglected. Kelly admits that teaching pronunciation being neglected and being ‘reactive’ (Kelly,2000:13) are the two major problems that EFL teachers face. He also considers that EFL teachers are not always well read in the theoretical and methodological issues as concerns teaching pronunciation. (ibid.) Still, a person should understand the language and be understood when communicating. Hence, teaching connected speech processes is a significant aspect of teaching English. Learners should practise their perceptive and productive skills when dealing with connected speech processes in English, reduction of form words in particular.
After having conducted two classes with the young learners from a private school, the author of the present bachelor paper can conclude that the young learners conform to the description provided in Online 12 (see pages 14-18). They are curious, motivated to achieve when challenged, capable of critical and complex thinking, but still vulnerable and self-conscious, and often experience unpredictable mood swings which usually influence the work of the peers.
The results obtained (see Table 4.9) demonstrate that each learner works and learns at a different rate. Three learners (learners No.1, 5, 6) completed correctly less than 50% of the provided task, thus showing that they needed more time to practise the reduction of form words. The other three learners (learners No.2, 3, 4) did more than 50% of the task correctly, and one of the learners (learner No.4) coped with the task without making any mistakes. The learners understood the theoretical background on the reduction of form words and also practised quite hard. Still, it has to be admitted that 2 classes was not long enough time to develop the skill of using the acquired knowledge.
The author of the present paper has to add that the learners became interested in the subject after participating and seeing themselves how unstressed form words are pronounced in connected speech. The author observed that the class was intrigued by the new (for them) connected speech process. The learners enriched their knowledge of the reduction of articles, conjunctions, the contracted forms of auxiliaries, pronouns, auxiliaries and prepositions. They admitted that after having practised the reduction it was easier for them to distinguish the reduced forms when doing the tasks the second time.
The author of the present bachelor paper thinks that the young learners showed great improvement when doing the activity and the goal to analyze teaching reduction of form words to primary school learners is achieved. The hypothesis – teaching the reduction of form words to primary school learners increases their perceptive and productive skill in English – is proved.
The present bachelor paper gave an insight into teaching reduction of form words to primary school learners. Since the scope of the phonological processes is rather wide and since the young learners demonstrate their improvement in the field with a different rate, it is preferable to focus on deeper research on teaching reduction and also other phonological processes to primary school learners.
The author of the present paper has come to a conclusion that connected speech processes can be paid attention to at an early stage of language teaching/learning, thus making EFL learners more proficient listeners and speakers.
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