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Thanathon Phosricha 1 Pronunciation Doctor

Introduction: Articulating a language through speaking and reading fluently and intelligently requires many aspects of language skills. The English language has many features of speech production that may cause the language learner to become discouraged because of its complexity of the language features. These aspects of various features are rule-governed and can be learned through practice and exposure to the language learning. I believe that my students can be influenced by my abilities and knowledge that can help correcting their pronunciation errors in speaking and reading. This assignment can help me as well as my participants (students) to find such difficulties in language of speech production. I can help them analyze their pronunciation through their speech samples. The pronunciation doctor paper can assist me as a potential teacher to have a first-hand experience and develop such abilities to initiate solid teaching provisions in an ESL/EFL professional teaching career.

Diagnostic Test Description: The speech samples of diagnostic test description are collected from four participants whose native languages are Korean (2), and (2) Chinese (Mandarin). The diagnostic speech tests are to assess their speech by looking at segmental, suprasegmental, and intelligibility aspects of English language. However, the tests are standardized because they can provide specific aspects of intonation, stress-timed, vowels, sentence intonation, and many other language features of both spoken language and written language in many formats. To achieve this, we used three varieties of diagnostic tests. First was an open speech sample where the participants were asked to tell a story, in their own words, based on four prearranged pictures. Second, the accent analysis sentences where the participants read eight sentences which focused on specific vowel sounds in English. And third, a choice between the Prator Diagnostic Passage and the My Exercise Program passage. All of these passages are provided and designed to produce segmental and suprasegmental features which include intonation, word stress, sentence stress, vowel and consonant sounds. Our group selected speech samples from non-native English speakers. The sample speech voice records are rated according to three categories: intelligibility, segmentals, and suprasegmentals.

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Participant #1: Background: Steven or Xien Liu is from Beijing, China and his native language is Mandarin. He started learning English in middle school. However, he seriously started learning the language when he served his mission in California (Chinese speaking mission). Later, he attended BYU Hawaii in 2010 and his major is TESOL. He wants to be an English teacher in Thailand because he plans to live in Thailand with his wife. He said he could see his English progress quite significant because he has been trying to talk and listen as much as he can in order to be proficient. He reads a lot of books and writes many kinds of academic writing. He said that his English ability has developed because of reading and listening. My ratings are: 8 for intelligibility, 7 for segmentals, and 7.5 for suprasegmentals.

Segmental Issues: Steven showed difficulty in differentiating /i/ and // vowels. Although his samples do not illustrate an identical pronunciation of /i/ and //, the difference was not very distinct either. In the accent analysis sentences, he read the words with the //sound in Tims sister swims a little bit. It keeps her fit, slim and trim with a vowel between /i/ and //, which I found very hard to describe because it is not identified in IPA. Another instance was when he said /luk/ instead of /lk/. This sample was found in his own natural speech (speaking) in first diagnostic sample (pictures). It also occurred in reading passage as well. For instance, in Accent analysis sentences Would you look for my cookbook? The word look, he pronounced it as /luk/ instead of /lk/ as in his normal speech. Articulating of a few consonant sounds seems to be minor interference in his both speaking and reading skills. For instance, initial, ending, and middle sounds of consonants: /ch/, /p/, /b/, // and /f/ are dropped. I assumed that he concentrated on how to continue reading given passages. I think because he worried about reading comprehension and speech accuracy, so his articulating skills are less likely to produce appropriate sounds. Frequently, ending consonant sounds are dropped.

Thanathon Phosricha 3 Steven often replaces // sounds instead of /s/ or /z/ sounds. I often hear those replacing sounds of /s/ or /z/ by // sounds. For instance, he says /a dnt... / instead of /a dznt... / when he talks with me. In the speech samples, he also articulates /dnt/ instead of /dznt/ as well. In fact, I notice that he actually can differentiate both two different sounds when he actually produces the word /dznt/ correctly. I assume that when he speaks any words which associate with /s/ or /z/ sounds, he might underestimate and unconsciously articulate the // sounds instead of /s/ or /z/ sounds. Other consonant sounds, /ch/, /p/, /b/, // and /f/ are dropped when he read the given passages of the diagnostic tests. I think that the dropped sounds are left off because the limitation ability of reading interference causes him to be anxiously engaged to the reading skills instead of natural speech or free speech.

Suprasegmental Issues: The noticeable error in Stevens speech samples was his difficulty in stress-timing and intonation. Since most of the speech samples were selected by using the diagnostic tests, most of them associated with reading skills from the passages. So these automatically presented a higher level of difficulty for non-native English speakers. The readers usually give much attention on pronouncing individual words and sounds and they often time read the passages word by word instead of reading as a whole sentence with stress-timing naturally. I noticed that this issue might be influenced from the native language since Mandarin is a syllable-timed language. Stevens speech samples showed a syllable-timed pattern instead of stress-timed pattern. Most of the words were stressed equally including function words. For example, instead of saying please BELIEVE that SWEET PEAS and BEANS are GOOD to EAT, he said is as PLEASE BELIEVE THAT SWEET PEAS AND BEANS ARE GOOD TO EAT. This pattern of speaking is distracting native speakers since sentence stress is an important feature in communication. Another issue in stress-timed pattern is word stress. He did not distinguish stress-timing of the word record. He stressed RECord and RECord for both noun and verb forms. So it could affect meaning when this type of words is stressed incorrectly. However, this issue might not affect directly to the meaning of the spoken sentence, but it can affect the level if intelligibility of the speaker.

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Intelligibility: The only concerns for Steven are replacing sounds of /s/ or /z/ by using // sounds instead, and his difficulty in stressed-timing and intonation. I think these are major issues that can affect the level of intelligibility because it reflects a higher level of all skills in articulating the language. Other issues are not the major issues for him because his speech can be understood by listeners.

Recommended Pedagogy: For Steven, I would recommend that he should focus on practicing stress-timing and intonation because these would benefit him as he stays in the United States, and as well as a potential teacher. So he needs to be a good language modal for the students. In this case, I would best recommend him to have an appointment with a speech coaching tutor or a linguist in term of correcting the intonation. Above all, I believe that over time he can pick up the correct intonation and stress-timing in daily communication while interacting with native speakers. Another is that word stress can be another lesson that I would teach him. I think that he needs to know how to stress RECord and reCORD differently because the different stressing carries different meaning.

Participant #2:

Background: Mr. Jeong is Yejins husband. He is from Korea. He came to BYU Hawaii in 2011. He just got out of EIL this semester, but he still has two EIL elective classes. He is now taking a pronunciation class. He has been learning English since elementary school, and uses it as a receptive skill. He plans to go back to Korea after his graduation. I noticed that when he gave his speech samples, it was in an early morning. He uses English every day to communicate with his classmates, co-workers and with professors in the university. When he goes home, of course he uses only Korean with his wife. My ratings are: 8 for intelligibility, 7 for segmentals, and 7.5 for suprasegmentals.

Thanathon Phosricha 5 Segmental Issues: He showed difficulty of producing // sounds so he replaced // sounds instead. In addition to this issue, he seemed to have a hard time of articulating // sounds so also dropped the // when he pronounced the word early in My Exercise Program pronunciation diagnostic test. So he said /ali/ instead of /li/. He also showed difficulty of pronouncing consonant issues such as replacing sounds of /s/ or /z/ by using // sounds instead. He articulated /dnt/ instead of /dznt/ as well as physically / fiikli/ instead of /fizikli/ in My Exercise Program pronunciation diagnostic test. I do not think that he cannot produce /s/ or /z/ sounds because he pronounced /kssaz/ and other words with /s/ or /z/ sounds correctly. He might unconsciously pronounce /fiikli/ instead of /fizikli/ because he focused on reading ability instead of his natural speaking skill in conversations. One of the noticeable errors in his samples was his difficulty of producing the phoneme /w/. He said / mn / for woman, / lgd/ for language, and /kstn/ for question. He did not produce the phoneme /w/ which is a common error among Korean speakers. Another error he made was the reduction of important phonemes in words. He said /wn/ for went, and /svn/ for seventy. He took out the phoneme /t/ in his utterances. Other minor issues, he dropped ending sounds of a few words such as /s/, /ch/, /k/, /t/, /v/, /p/, and /b/ sounds these mistakes are normal and very general among non-native English speakers, especially, the non-native English speakers of Asian languages. First, I think the main influence is from his first language. Second, he dropped the ending sounds maybe because he did not pay attention to his own pronunciation accuracy due to the reading itself.

Suprasegmental Issues: He did not show noticeable error of stress-timing pattern frequently. One of the reasons that I noticed was that many non-native speakers whose first languages are syllable-timing may have a hard time to adapt to another language intonation ability. In this case, English is another language that contains the stress-timing features. So many non-native English speakers might worry about any other features such as reading and speaking comprehension, accuracy and other features rather than stress-timing and

Thanathon Phosricha 6 intonation themselves. So intonation and stress-timing features are less likely to pick up, and as becoming native-like characteristics. In contrast, his intonation and sentence stress were very good because he showed that he showed through his natural speaking as well as in his reading in My Exercise Program. His intonation and sentence stress dropped occasionally. I assumed that he dropped the tones because of the reading ability. So I really impressed that he done such a good job even with the reading. One of the reasons that I could guess is that he is taking an EIL pronunciation class in this semester so he probably bewares of his own speech. Another issue in stress-timed pattern is word stress. He did not distinguish stress-timing of the word record. He stressed RECord and RECord for both noun and verb forms. So in this case, he might know only whether record is verb or noun by noticing to infinitive or in the verbal position is treated as a verb. When it is in other positions, it is treated as a noun.

Intelligibility: I think that his speech samples were every good and did not have major problems that would affect his intelligibility. The minor errors in the samples did not cause any reason to understand him. Recommended Pedagogy: One thing that I would work on Mr. Jeongs pronunciation is to practice not to replace sounds of /s/ or /z/ by using // sounds. So I will remind him that not to produce /fiikli/ instead of /fizikli/, and not to say /dnt/ instead of /dznt/ as well. I think through practicing and consciously reminding can help him increase level of intelligibility.

Participant #3: Background: Jimin is from Korea. He has been in BYU Hawaii more than a year. He started learning English in elementary school. He plans to go back to Korea after his graduation, but he is not sure whether or not he might stay in the Unites States. However, now he is in the United States, so using his priority language is English that he has to use it in classes as well as communicative language throughout the school years. My ratings are: 9 for intelligibility, 8 for segmentals, and 8 for suprasegmentals.

Thanathon Phosricha 7 Segmental Issues: Jimin Lee showed some difficulty in // or // sounds so he said /kfi/ instead of /kfi/ or /kfi/ in the first sample of Picture telling on page 14 Improve Your Pronunciation. An error that could present some problems in the future was the difficulty of enunciating the phoneme /w/ like/ lgd/ for language, and /kstn/ for question. The same errors were evident in another Korean speakers speech sample. This proves to be a common mistake for Korean speakers and would be something he can work on.

Suprasegmental Issues: Jimin Lee showed an excellent use of intonation and the correct sentence stress. Although he had a few errors in word stress like when he said OFfered instead of ofFERED, it was minimal and did not affect his overall intelligibility. His proficiency in the English language could be due to the fact that hes been in the United States for a while. One feature that can be improved on is the aspects of connected speech. This can help him acquire an accent closer to a native speaker. However, this would not be necessary if he plans to go home to Korea.

Intelligibility: I did not find any major problem in his speech that would affect his overall intelligibility except some difficulty in // or // sounds which can be fixed through explicitly teaching and practicing how to articulate those sound differences physically. Besides these issues, I chose not to address other minor problems in his diagnosis.

Recommended Pedagogy: I would work with Jimins pronunciation by practicing the phoneme /w/ that appears in the middle of words. Since these errors do not occur quite as frequently, I would focus on practicing the words that he has a hard time enunciating. I might use the words in dissimilar sentences and help him correct his errors by consciously making changes in his production of the phoneme as he comes across it. If Jimin chooses to stay in the United States, I might help him distinguish and use the aspects of connected speech. I would integrate the simplification of phonemes and help him use these features in his daily speech. I would use Elision and Other Features of Connected Speech of

Thanathon Phosricha 8 Lesson Five to help him identify how it occurs in his daily conversation. Since he likes watching American series, and American movies, I could use this as a tool for practice. I could write down sentences that have some examples of connected speech and practice verbalizing so that he can be more comfortable in using these features in his pronunciation.

Participant #4: Background: Qiao Lin is from China. She has been learning English since elementary school. She has been in the United States almost two years, and she attends BYU Hawaii, and studied English literatures. She did not mention her plan for after her graduation, but I assumed that she might go back to China or stay in United States for her graduate school. Generally, she is very good at reading and speaking skills. However, there are some minor difficulty issues that might affect her intelligibility. My ratings are: 9.5 for intelligibility, 9 for segmentals, and 9 for suprasegmentals.

Segmental Issues: When I first listened to her speech samples, I was impressed how she could maintain an appropriate level of accuracy and intelligibility of reading and speaking. However, after a minute, she showed some minor difficulties. For example, the word walk she said /wok/ instead of /wk/. I assumed that she unconsciously forgot to pay close attention to this vowel sound because she was reading the passage in the speech diagnosis. On the other hand, I did not hear the same mistake in her speech in picture describing compares to the reading passages. She did not show any other vowel difficulty in speech or reading. She sometimes dropped some ending consonant sounds: /ch/, /l/, and /d/. For example, she dropped /d/ at the end of /hjud/, and /l/ ending sound of until. The differences of /ch/ and /sh/ sounds are a very common problem, even sometimes, for native speakers if a person prolong the /ch/ sounds. So I think she did a good job as a non-native speaker for reading and articulating these speech samples.

Thanathon Phosricha 9 Suprasegmental Issues: Qiao Lins speech samples in intonation and sentence stress were very well stated because she showed a great performance in reading My Exercise Program. She siad I USE to LOVE to SLEEP LATE on WEEKENDS until I WATCHED my NEIGHBOR getting EXERCISE EVERY DAY, looking VERY physically FIT. And she read from Accent Analysis Sentences saying please BELIEVE that SWEET PEAS and BEANS are GOOD to EAT. However, sometime she missed-pronounced words and put wrong intonation in wrong places. I assumed that she made those mistakes because she was reading not speaking normally. Her conscious focuses are on reading comprehension, but not fluency in intonation and sentence stress.

Intelligibility: Qiao Lins intelligibility level is very high because she focused on intonation, stress timing, and sentence stress very nicely. I do not address any issue about her intelligibility. So I rated her intelligibility for 9.5 out of 10. The .5 deductions that I gave her. However, she did miss stresstimed of a few sentences because she put wrong intonation and stress in wrong places due to her reading skills.

Recommended Pedagogy: I would recommend Qiao Lin to keep practicing on sentence stress more than any other issues if she plans to stay in the United States for her graduate school. This issue can show how well she can communicate what she meant to. In fact, if she wants to continue her English literature as a study field. She has to show this intelligibility partly to compliment her as a solid ground of her profession. Another issue is that consonant ending sounds. I would teach her how to consciously focus on consonant ending sounds because this is another issue for overall productive skills like speaking or articulating the language.