Is English #intonation "really" teachable in ELT ... that is all learners included regardless age, educational background and nationality?
It is not about Dan Brown's Angels and Demons, and yet for some people, pronunciation can be a demon ... if they feel they cannot be understood or have lack of confidence to communicate in the target language ... does this makes sense?
So very much looking forward to the last Opening Plenary of IATELF Glasgow 2017, given by Jane Setter as seen on website:
Where angels fear to tread: intonation in English language teaching
After reading that the plenary was going to take
"the audience into the seldom-navigated region of intonation in English language teaching, focusing on the role of three main elements: tonality, tonicity and tone. Drawing on material from a number of different sources, we explore the role of intonation in English, and look at which elements are teachable, which are learnable, what resources are available to the teacher and the learner, and how intonation might be approached in the English language classroom and as a self-access learning activity. Expect a multimedia, audience participation experience."
... to be honest I was a little unsure what to expect.
At the beginning of day 4, we had quite a lot of good theory and technical topics, examples of fine research and the unexpected a song from My Fair Lady
Wouldn't it be lovely?
.... ahhh and by the way if one sticks to the end, the presenter also finished her dissertation with audience singing.
Who would have thought that such a theoretical subject could be so much good fun!
So, all in all, can pronunciation and its different elements be taught?
The answer is Yes.
Do NNSs (non-native speakers) need to practise? Indeed.
One of language main reasons of being is the ability to communicate with others.
What about our Cultural Sensibility?
Ms. Setter drew our attention to be aware of the need to be cultural sensitive as speakers of English elsewhere may use intonation for different purposes.
"In conversations with NSs (native speakers), it is necessary for ALL interlocutors to move a little towards the others (Jenkins, 2015)