Reality of Teaching and Learning Pronunciation at Quynh Coi High School: Problems and Solutions

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1.1 Rationale of the study
Nowadays, with the rapid pace of integration and globalization, English becomes a golden key to open the door of many fields such as commerce, communication, science and technology throughout the world. Therefore, to meet the demand of the society, it is very necessary to teach English in schools at all levels. And the highest target is to get well in communication. If one wants to get successful in communication, he must be good at pronunciation: “a threshold level of pronunciation in English such that if a given non-native speaker's pronunciation falls below this level, he or she will not be able to communicate orally no matter how good his or her control of English grammar and vocabulary might be” (Celce-Murcia, 1987:5). In the field of language teaching, the role of pronunciation has varied widely from having virtually no role in the grammar-translation method to being the central focus in the audio-lingual method where emphasis is on the traditional notions of pronunciation, minimal pairs, drills and short conversations. The growing emphasis on communicative approaches for the teaching of English has placed higher demands for correct pronunciation. Despite this fact, at the upper-secondary school level in Vietnam, in language teaching and learning, compared with vocabulary, grammar and language skills, pronunciation has so far been paid less attention to. In the official textbooks used for teaching English at high school level, there are a few exercises for pronunciation practice. To make the matter worse, all important English exams at schools as well as the entrance exam to universities are always in written form so most teachers as well as students have little motivation to teach and to learn pronunciation. As a result, students are often shy and unconfident to speak in English. And that is the reason why the effectiveness of teaching pronunciation still remains one of the most widely problematic subjects in the field of language teaching. . Coping with this pressing fact, as a language teacher teaching English at Quynh Coi high school (QCHS), the author always thinks of some burning questions: in language teaching and learning, what is the present situation of teaching and learning pronunciation at high school level in QCHS? What are the problems teachers and students face in teaching and learning pronunciation? How to find suitable methods to teach pronunciation? What should teachers do to teach pronunciation effectively? How should teachers make students become interested in learning pronunciation? The answers to these questions will help language teachers improve their students’ pronunciation as well as help them make progress in effective communication. For the above reasons, the author decides to carry out the study entitled: “The reality of teaching and learning pronunciation at Quynh Coi high school: problems and solutions”. 1.2 Aims of the study

The main purpose of this study is to discover the reality of teaching and learning pronunciation at Quynh Coi high school, especially to find out problems that teachers and students often have in pronunciation lessons. The writer also hopes to make some feasible solutions that can help the English teachers overcome those problems and improve students’ pronunciation. 1.3 Research questions

The above aims of the study can be realized by answering the following research questions: (1) What is the present situation of teaching and learning pronunciation at QCHS? (2) Which problems do the teachers and students at QCHS face in pronunciation lessons? (3) What teaching techniques can be used to improve teaching pronunciation for students at QCHS? 1.4 Scope of the study

As a case study, this study focuses on the reality of teaching and learning two aspects of English pronunciation: stress and intonation for the 12th form students at Quynh Coi high school. The subjects of the study are 12th form students those are...
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