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Pronunciation Training

to accompany Jackson, C. N., & O’Brien, M. G. (2011). The interaction between prosody and meaning in second language speech production. Die Unterrichtspraxis, 44(1).

Click here for the experimental materials from the article in Die Unterrichtspraxis.

This training module focuses primarily on the important role of the pause as a cue to phrasing through a combination of listening and production tasks. The individual activities follow the steps set forth in Chun (2002, p. 202):

1. sensitization (listening exercises)
2. explanation
3. imitation (controlled speaking exercises)
4. practice activities (rehearsed speaking activities)
5. communicative activities (extemporaneous speaking activities)

The tasks rely on visualization techniques that provide learners with graphic representations of native speaking models.

The module focuses on three main types of ambiguous sentences in which speakers' use of cues leads to one of two possible interpretations for the sentences. The types of sentences include:

1. Prepositional phrase-attachment sentences
1a. [Der Polizist sieht] [den Mann mit dem Fernglas.]
“The policeman sees the man with the binoculars.”
1b. [Der Polizist sieht den Mann] [mit dem Fernglas.]
“The policeman sees the man with the binoculars.”

2. Coordination sentences
2a. [Sabine] [oder Markus und Stefan] werden zur Party kommen.
“Sabine or Markus and Stefan will come to the party.”
2b. [Sabine oder Markus] [und Stefan] werden zur Party kommen.
“Sabine or Markus and Stefan will come to the party.”

3. Ellipsis sentences
3a. [Sandra heiratet] [Martin nicht.]
“Sandra marries, Martin does not.”
3b. [Sandra heiratet Martin nicht.]
“Sandra is not marrying Martin.”