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Pedagogical approaches

Knight, R.-A., Setter, J. and Whitworth, N. (2021) Pedagogical approaches. In: Knight, R.-A. and Setter, J. (eds.) The Cambridge Handbook of Phonetics. Cambridge Handbooks in Language and Linguistics. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 503-526. ISBN 9781108644198

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1017/9781108644198


Phonetics has a reputation for being difficult to learn (Knight & Whitworth,2014, p. 11). This may be because, in linguistics degrees, it is one of themore technical subjects, involving not only the ability to perceive, describe and produce a range of aspects of speech, but also the application of computer software and knowledge and understanding about acoustics.Both the performance and the technical elements of phonetics training can be challenging for students; having to identify and produce sounds and intonation patterns in a viva-voce examis intimidating for some, and many do not associate the study of language with an understanding of the acoustic properties normally taught in science degrees. There is also the issue of having to learn a range of symbols, diacritics and different types of notation for transcription, which can seem daunting. The approach to teaching phonetics, then, may vary in different contexts, with the instructor needing to understand the student – both as an individual and as part of a group – and adapt and develop materials and methods in order to make the teaching accessible, the learning successful, and the topic seem relevant and useful in terms of real-world applications.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Language and Applied Linguistics
ID Code:98593
Publisher:Cambridge University Press

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