Pronunciation and Phonology in the EFL Classroom - 'Oh' Sound

 

Here we have a set of five words, which all share one sound: the ?oh? sound, as in ?go?, ?show?, ?dough?, ?note? and ?boat?. They?re five different spelling patterns to tell our students so they can identify when to make the ?oh? sound. We can have a simple letter ?o?, ?ow?, ?ough?, ?o? with the magic ?e? which turns our vowel into what we knew as long sounds and the ?oa? as in ?boat?. Now, for a non-native learner, perhaps they can handle something like this. They remember that these spelling combinations help to produce the ?oh? sound and they can go about their business looking at the words and memorizing this knowing that these spelling patterns will produce the sound ?oh?. Now that?s okay until we get to a situation where we can also have words like ?to?, ?cow? and also ?rough?. So the students has gone from knowing that these letters put together in these patterns will produce an ?oh? sound and now they?re confused by the fact that the same pattern can produce a different vowel sound here, it can produce a different vowel sound here and a different vowel sound here. Put this all together and we created a situation, which can become very confusing to our non-native learner. However, our international phonemic alphabet takes care of this problem by taking various spelling patterns and simplifying it into this symbol here.


Below you can read feedback from an ITTT graduate regarding one section of their online TEFL certification course. Each of our online courses is broken down into concise units that focus on specific areas of English language teaching. This convenient, highly structured design means that you can quickly get to grips with each section before moving onto the next.

This course explored the nature of evaluating students to see either their current abilities, or their progress with learning the language throughout and english course. I learnt about the different types of testing and the corresponding times that these tests should take place, as well as about the reputable English tests that exist and their purposes.This unit covered the five conditionals verb forms, as well as verbs utilized when reporting speech. This unit helped me to review all the verb forms in order to correctly create conditionals and reported speech. Once again I feel that these rules are extremely complex, appropriate for an copy editor, and not a student of English as a Second Language.