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Introducing Voice-Setting Phonology by Sarn Rich
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Bowen, T. and J. Marks 1992. The Pronunciation Book. Student-Centred Activities for Pronunciation Work. Longman.

Brown, A. (ed.) 1991. Teaching English Pronunciation: A Book of Readings. Routledge.

Brown, A. (ed.) 1992. Approaches to Pronunciation Teaching. MacMillan.

Dalton, C. and 13. SeidLhofer 1994. Pronunciation. Oxford University Press.

Gilbert, J. B. 1993. Clear Speech: Pronunciation and Listening Comprehension in American

English: Teachers Resource Book. Cambridge University Press.

Greenall, S. 1990. Flying Colours. Heinemann.

Honikman, B. 1964. Articulatory Settings. in In Honour of Daniel Jones. London: Longmans, Green.

Jenner, B. 1992. The English Voice. in Brown (1992)

Jones, R. H. and S. Evans 1995. Teaching Pronunciation Through Voice Quality. ELT Journal 49/3:244-251

Kenworthy, J. 1987. Teaching English Pronunciation. Longman.

Laroy, C. Pronunciation. Oxford University Press. in Dalton and Seidlhofer (1994)

MacCarthy, P. 1978. The Teaching of Pronunciation. Cambridge University Press.

Nolasco, R. and L. Arthur 1987. Conversation. Oxford University Press.

O'Connor, J. D. 1973. Phonetics. Penguin.

Roach, P. 1991. English Phonetics and Phonology: A practical Course. Cambridge University Press.

Taylor, L. 1993. Pronunciation in Action. Prentice Hall.

Thornbury, S. 1993. Having a Good Jaw. Voice-Setting Phonology. ELT Journal 47/2:126-131

Wessels, C. 1987. Drama. Oxford University Press.


Specific suggestions for teaching voice-setting phonology

First impressions

1.* Joanne Kenworthy suggests offering learners a questionnaire. This could start learners thinking about how their own language is sometimes mispronounced by non
-L1-speakers, and why, and move onto general thoughts about pronunciation of L2 and other languages (1987).
2.* Another way to begin is with a recording of speakers of various different languages. Learners identify them and then discuss distinguishing features (Thornbury 1993:129).
3. This could accompany a discussion of intercultural differences in body language and gestures (Nolasco and Arthur 1987:64-65).


All the following activities are accompanied or followed by learners noting specific differences between L1 and L2 voice-settings.

4. * In pairs learners read out brief autobiographies in their own language but in an English accent (Taylor 1993:20-21).
5. Learners listen to contrasting recordings of L1 and L2 speakers performing the same task each in their own language.
6. Learners listen to recordings of L2, and other language speakers, 'recorded from a distance or with overlaid foreground noise, so that only suprasegmental features are audible' (Thornbury 1993:129-130). (In Prague I lived next door to a family the general pattern of whose conversation I could hear through the very thin wall between us. Specific sounds were inaudible, but I think that as I learnt Czech, this daily experience helped me develop a feel for the rhythms of the language.)
7. * Learners are presented with a list of 'bilingual minimal pairs' i.e. pairs of very similar sounding words of L1 and L2. The teacher (who must be able to read both languages) reads out one of each pair at a time, and learners identify the language (Bowen and Marks 1992:21).
8. * Learners watch a video extract with the sound turned down, and identify the language spoken (L1 or L2) (Thornbury 1993:129).


9.* Learners 'shadow read' a recorded dialogue or text, i.e. repeatedly read aloud while listening until they can maintain the same rhythm, intonation, stress and pronunciation as the original (Nolasco and Arthur 1987:30).
10.* Learners watch a brief film extract dubbed from L2 into L1 and dub it back into the original, lip-synching and using correct accents (Thornbury 1993:130).
ii. Learners deliver nonsense speeches composed of words they regard as typical of L2 (Laroy in Dalton and Seidlhofer 1994). (In a similar way Charlie Chaplin in 'The Great Dictator' repeatedly uses nonsense phrases like 'cheese and crackers' to imitate a German accent.)
12. Drawing on drama training, Charlyn Wessels suggests beginning with relaxation and posture and breathing exercises, 'face-loosening' (widening, screwing up and stretching the face) and imitating the shape of an L2 speaker's mouth video recorded in close up, followed by rhythmic chants and choral poetry reading (1987:62-74).

Direct teaching

13.* 'Taper and concave the tongue, draw it as a whole back into the mouth so that the pointed tip presses against the edge of the alveolar ridge; close the jaws, don't clench
them; still the lips; swallow to relax; now limber up, repeat /t,d,n,l/ (Honikman 1964:285 in Dalton and Seidlhofer 1994: 140)
14. * 'The teacher may.. .demonstrate that it is perfectly possible to speak English with a pen-cap - or other light-weight object placed lightly (not gripped) between the lips. Students may then be encouraged to do the same, and should be reminded that it is usual in colloquial English to use no greater degree of openness than the thickness of a cigarette or pen-cap' (Jenner 1992:43 in ibid:140).


15. A learner says a given phrase in the manner of a particular feeling, which the other learners then identify (Taylor 1993:15-16).
16. Pairs act out dialogues, following identical scripts ways. Other learners decide what the situation is
the characters (Nolasco and Arthur 1987:70-72).
17. Jones and Evans (1995) discuss these same ideas, but elaborate on them, encouraging learners to isolate features of L2 voice-setting associated with the identified feelings or situations, to compare them with L1, and to draw hypotheses from their findings.
18. * Learners watch video clips with the sound turned down, using paralinguistic clues (facial expressions, gestures...) to decide who the characters are, their relationship. and what they are communicating (Nolasco and Arthur 1987:58-61).
but interpreting them in different and identify the relationship between

*Activities exploited or adapted in the following lesson plan.

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