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Communicative success may be enhanced when a student can pronounce and use new and unfamiliar words. Because English does not have a one-to-one mapping of orthography and phonology, competence can be developed through the intentional learning and application of rules and strategies.

The pronunciation of difficult words is facilitated through explicit training in using diacriticals and understanding pronunciation rules.

Students should become comfortable using symbol systems in various dictionaries to improve their independent ability to pronounce new words.

The following videotapes were made near the end of the second quarter of therapy when the student had reached most of her listening and articulation goals. She was working on developing a greater awareness of rate of speech and the need to increase the duration and frequency of pauses to offset her tendency to speak at a rapid rate that interfered, at times, with intelligibility. She still displays relatively frequent, though minor, pronunciation errors and a somewhat monotone voice.

This segment shows the student reading and recording.

In these segments, the instructor works with the student on the pronunciation of the words additional, information, punctuation, separate and pauses. This is done before the student listens back to her recorded paragraph.

Strategies Shown

  • Pronunciation rules "tion" = /shun/
  • Typing what the student says so she can see her pronunciation (e.g., additional as "a-ditch-a-nal")
  • Verbal modeling
  • Using capital letters to show the student which syllable in a word is stressed
  • Listening to the word presented via an online dictionary
  • Noting differences in the pronunciation of words based on part of speech (adjective, noun, verb)
  • Using context to determine meaning/part of speech and therefore pronunciation
  • Teaching alternate meanings of words (e.g. "separate")
  • Re-reading the original sentences to practice the correct pronunciation
  • Articulation/rule for pronouncing final "s" in the word pauses

In these segments the student is working to develop the feeling of a slower rate of speech by reading an article on a subject she is interested in. Again the instructor provided feedback about rate and then works with the student to correct punctuation of words that were said incorrectly.

Strategies Shown

  • Type pronunciation symbols to show inconsistencies in English between spelling and pronunciation. For example: Stewart should be /STEW-ert/ and resigned should be /ree-ZIEND/
  • Make connections to earlier training. For example: the "s" becomes /z/ in resigned and position just as it was in pauses. Often in English an "s" between two vowels = /z/ but "ss" =/s/
  • There's a change in pronunciation for different word forms: editor vs. editorial
  • Listening to the pronunciation in the online dictionary: editorial

These segments show:

  • Use of listening for sounds and syllables that are not easily determined by spelling
  • No rules govern why you use silent /h/ and pronounce "ei" as /ay/ in heir
  • Save and print the page of words and pronunciation symbols typed during the session so that the student can practice later on his/her own.