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Supporting Language Learners
through Phonetics Tutorials
The case of German Phonetics at the Centre for
Foreign Language Studies, Durham University
AUCL 2017
Alex Burdumy
∂
∂
Core questions
• How can very specific problems of a sub-group of
learners be addressed?
• How are listening and pronunciation skills acquired?
• How interrelated are the four language learning
areas?
• How are listening and pronunciation skills usually
dealt with in classes, how in common course
books?
• Do we need to teach more “phonetics” or is it too
specific for the typical language class?
∂
Basic assumption
My thesis: Problems with phonetic system of a
language carry over from listening
comprehension to all other aspects of the
language.
Anecdotal evidence: High frequency that
learners with an L1/„Asian“ background
struggle when learning German as L2;
contrast to „European“ peers.
∂
German Phonetics Booster Class
• My vision: If a student is struggling with an aspect in
a language (but willing to learn), you support him!
• But:
• Time constraints in regular class
• Teaching materials don’t exist
• Too specific for many learners
 Research into the phonological differences between
German on the one side and Chinese and Japanese on
the other side.
∂
Research/literature backing up
my thesis
“Der Erwerb bzw. die Vermittlung einer (..) Aussprache
gehört zu jedem kommunikativ orientierten
Fremdsprachenunterricht, denn ohne die Fertigkeiten und
Fähigkeiten, Klangmerkmale der Fremdsprache adäquat
wahrzunehmen und zu produzieren ist mündliche
Kommunikation nicht möglich. Die Aussprache umfasst dabei
nicht nur Vokale und Konsonanten sondern auch
übergreifende Merkmale wie Wort- und
Wortgruppenakzentuierung, Rhythmus, Gliederung
(Pausierung) und Melodie.” (Hirschfeld & Stock, 2007: 1f)
∂
Research/literature backing up
my thesis
„artikulatorische Bewegungsmuster… sind
automatisiert“, „Schwierigkeiten setzen mit dem Hören
ein“, „muttersprachliches Lautsystem, das wie ein Filter
wirkt“, „die falsche auditive Wahrnehmung verhindert
dann eine korrekte Artikulation“ (Storch, 1999: 104)
The phonological system of the mother tongue acts as a
sieve through which all other languages are processed
and interpreted (compare Trubetzkoy, 1977:47).
∂
Optional German phonetics
tutorials
• Project in 2015/16, 5x1h sessions in language lab
sessions
• Incentivised
• Dossier
Exercise pattern:
Practice of
specific
phonemes
Contrastive
exercises using
German words
Rhythmic
exercises
One hour of
homework (self-
study)
assignments
∂
Typical struggles/challenges
Source: Wiktionary.org
∂
Phonological differences (from a
German teacher‘s perspective)
German Chinese Japanese
Vowels - #
phonemes
16-17 9 5
Consonants - #
phonemes
26 21 17
Consonant
differentiation
Voiced
consonants
Only unvoiced
consonants, but
aspiration is
added
✖
/r/ Three different
phonemes:
uvular fricative
[ʁ] and trill
consonants [r, ʀ]
✖ ✖
Pronounced as [l]
∂
Phonological differences (from a
German teacher‘s perspective)
German Chinese Japanese
Length of vowels
carries meaning
difference
✔ ✖
Tonal language
(“pitch“ carries
meaning)
✖
Consonant
clusters
✔ ✖ ✖
Very simple system of
usually consonant
followed by vowel
Final-obstruent
devoicing
✔ ✖ ✖
Final /d/
pronounced as [t]
✔ ✖ ✖
∂
Feedback and outcome?
• Student feedback very positive and encouraging
• Teaching very different, challenging at first, requires
a lot of preparation; very rewarding in understanding
the topic and the problems
• Students learn more about German phonology, but
not a lot about phonetics
• Sustainable model?
∂
Online tutorials as a solution?
• Widely accessible
• CALL technology can provide support for very
specific learning challenges that cannot be
addressed in the classroom
• More tailored to specific needs
• No replacement of the traditional classroom
setting, but an extension of it (virtual practice
room, not virtual classroom).
∂
„Challenges“
• Precise and exact production of minute
phonetic details
• Logical sequence that covers basics, but then
moves to a modular character
• Ability to record oneself
• Instant and reliable feedback (for example
through recording)
• Available resources
∂
Examples
∂
Examples
∂
Bigger picture
• Increase retention, especially in beginners
classes:
• Avoid disillusionment, struggles and frustration
among learners
• More predictable and comparable learning
outcomes
• Better language skills overall
• Use of technology in a sensible way
∂
Questions for discussion
Phonetics in the classroom – pushed to the side and
widely ignored. Should it be more prominent?
Does lack of phonetic understanding cause deficiencies
in other areas of language learning? Or is it just
natural that some students need to put more work in
than others?
One size fits all, or highly specific? Should language
learning cater to very specific subgroups of learners?
Do online tutorials for particular aspects of language
learning (not just for phonetics) have a future?
∂
Bibliography
Albrecht, I. (1998). Analyse phonetischer Schwierigkeiten und Konsequenzen für die Unterrichtspraxis (am Beispiel japanischer Deutschlerner). Zeitschrift “Deutsch Als Fremdsprache,” 35, 31–
36.
Bose, I. (1999). Rhythmus im Unterricht Deutsch als Fremdsprache. Einige Überlegungen zu aktuellen Tendenzen in Phonetiklehrwerken. Zeitschrift “Deutsch Als Fremdsprache,” 4, 225–228.
Dieling, H., & Hirschfeld, U. (2000). Phonetik lehren und lernen. Fernstudieneinheit 21. Berlin: Langenscheidt.
Eupedia, European Languages & Linguistics. http://www.eupedia.com/linguistics/
Fischer, A. (2007). Deutsche Aussprache – Lernen mit Rhythmus. Zeitschrift Für Interkulturellen Fremdsprachenunterricht, 12(2).
Gehrmann, S. (2000). Lerntheoretische Defizite der Zweitsprachenerwerbsforschung am Beispiel der Phonetik. Info DaF. Informationen Deutsch Als Fremdsprache, 27(4), 337–351.
Graffmann, H., & Timoxenco-Moura, R. (1995). Aussprache lehren - eine Herausforderung. Ein Stein des Anstoßes oder ein Stein zum Anstoßen? Zeitschrift “Deutsch Als Fremdsprache,” 4,
238–243.
Hirschfeld, U. (2011). Aspekte des Aussprachetrainings mit japanischen Deutschlernenden ( DaFnE ) (No. 42) (Vol. 3). Retrieved from
https://dokkyo.repo.nii.ac.jp/?action=repository_uri&item_id=105&file_id=22&file_no=1
Hirschfeld, U., & Reinke, K. (2008). Phonetik in Deutsch als Fremdsprache: Theorie und Praxis – Einführung in das Themenheft. Zeitschrift Für Interkulturellen Fremdsprachenunterricht, 13(1),
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Hirschfeld, U., Reinke, K., & Stock, E. (2007). Phonothek Intensiv. Aussprachetraining. Berlin: Langenscheidt.
Hirschfeld, U. (2006). Aspekte des Aussprachetrainings mit japanischen Deutschlernenden ( DaFnE ), (September 2007).
Huneke, H., & Steinig, W. (2002). Sprachdidaktik. Eine Einführung. Berlin: Schmidt.
Hunold, C. (2009). Untersuchungen zu segmentalen und suprasegmentalen Ausspracheabweichungen chinesischer Deutschlernender. Frankfurt a.M.: Peter Lang.
Lazaro, N., & Reinders, H. (2007). Innovation in Self-Access : Three Case Studies. Computer-Assisted Language Learning - Electronic Journal, 8(2), 1–15.
Leahy, C. (2006). Introducing ICT to teachers of an institution-wide language programme: Principal considerations. JALT CALL Journal, 2(3), 3–14.
Leahy, C. (2004). Researching language learning processes in open CALL settings for advanced learners. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 17(3–4), 289–313. Retrieved from
http://llr.ntu.ac.uk/rpd/researchpublications.php?pubid=6c175772-4937-484b-8b6e-0b861ba2c4ee
Liu, T. (2015). Ich verstehe nur Chinesisch! Kontrastierung der chinesischen und deutschen Phonetik/Phonologie als Basis für die Entwicklung von Lehr- und Lernmaterialien für
Deutschlernende chinesischer Muttersprache. Humbold-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin. Retrieved from http://edoc.hu-berlin.de/dissertationen/liu-tong-2015-07-14/PDF/liu.pdf
Miller, C. (2004). Phonetik im Unterricht Deutsch als Fremdsprache in Spanien. Porta Linguarum, 2.
Noske, K. (2012). Einflussfaktoren auf die Aussprache einer Zweit- / Fremdsprache. Eine Forschungsübersicht. Stockholm. Retrieved from
https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjH8bPn-
ajQAhXLCMAKHYspAgwQFggdMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.diva-
portal.org%2Fsmash%2Fget%2Fdiva2%3A532567%2FFULLTEXT01.pdf&usg=AFQjCNGEC0lXbd3QzN9_t8V0yrmOhJotBQ&sig2=
Panusova, M. (2008). Phonetik in DaF-Lehrwerken. Zeitschrift Für Interkulturellen Fremdsprachenunterricht, 13(1), 1–25. Retrieved from http://zif.spz.tu-darmstadt.de/jg-13-
1/beitrag/Feist1.htmnhttp://zif.spz.tu-darmstadt.de/jg-13-1/docs/Feist1.pdf
Phonetics Laboratory, Oxford University; http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/PHONOLOGY1.htm
Radford, A., Atkinson, M., Britain, D., Clahsen, H., & Spencer, A. (1999). Linguistics. An Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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Tanaka, R. (2005). Zur zielgerechten Übung der Fertigkeit Hören im Rahmen des japanischen Deutschunterrichts. Soka University Bulletin of the Department of Foreign Languages and
Studies, 15(3), 131–166. Retrieved from http://ci.nii.ac.jp/naid/110006608928/en
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Supporting Language Learners through Phonetics Tutorials

  • 1. Supporting Language Learners through Phonetics Tutorials The case of German Phonetics at the Centre for Foreign Language Studies, Durham University AUCL 2017 Alex Burdumy
  • 2.
  • 3. ∂ Core questions • How can very specific problems of a sub-group of learners be addressed? • How are listening and pronunciation skills acquired? • How interrelated are the four language learning areas? • How are listening and pronunciation skills usually dealt with in classes, how in common course books? • Do we need to teach more “phonetics” or is it too specific for the typical language class?
  • 4. ∂ Basic assumption My thesis: Problems with phonetic system of a language carry over from listening comprehension to all other aspects of the language. Anecdotal evidence: High frequency that learners with an L1/„Asian“ background struggle when learning German as L2; contrast to „European“ peers.
  • 5. ∂ German Phonetics Booster Class • My vision: If a student is struggling with an aspect in a language (but willing to learn), you support him! • But: • Time constraints in regular class • Teaching materials don’t exist • Too specific for many learners  Research into the phonological differences between German on the one side and Chinese and Japanese on the other side.
  • 6. ∂ Research/literature backing up my thesis “Der Erwerb bzw. die Vermittlung einer (..) Aussprache gehört zu jedem kommunikativ orientierten Fremdsprachenunterricht, denn ohne die Fertigkeiten und Fähigkeiten, Klangmerkmale der Fremdsprache adäquat wahrzunehmen und zu produzieren ist mündliche Kommunikation nicht möglich. Die Aussprache umfasst dabei nicht nur Vokale und Konsonanten sondern auch übergreifende Merkmale wie Wort- und Wortgruppenakzentuierung, Rhythmus, Gliederung (Pausierung) und Melodie.” (Hirschfeld & Stock, 2007: 1f)
  • 7. ∂ Research/literature backing up my thesis „artikulatorische Bewegungsmuster… sind automatisiert“, „Schwierigkeiten setzen mit dem Hören ein“, „muttersprachliches Lautsystem, das wie ein Filter wirkt“, „die falsche auditive Wahrnehmung verhindert dann eine korrekte Artikulation“ (Storch, 1999: 104) The phonological system of the mother tongue acts as a sieve through which all other languages are processed and interpreted (compare Trubetzkoy, 1977:47).
  • 8. ∂ Optional German phonetics tutorials • Project in 2015/16, 5x1h sessions in language lab sessions • Incentivised • Dossier Exercise pattern: Practice of specific phonemes Contrastive exercises using German words Rhythmic exercises One hour of homework (self- study) assignments
  • 10. ∂ Phonological differences (from a German teacher‘s perspective) German Chinese Japanese Vowels - # phonemes 16-17 9 5 Consonants - # phonemes 26 21 17 Consonant differentiation Voiced consonants Only unvoiced consonants, but aspiration is added ✖ /r/ Three different phonemes: uvular fricative [ʁ] and trill consonants [r, ʀ] ✖ ✖ Pronounced as [l]
  • 11. ∂ Phonological differences (from a German teacher‘s perspective) German Chinese Japanese Length of vowels carries meaning difference ✔ ✖ Tonal language (“pitch“ carries meaning) ✖ Consonant clusters ✔ ✖ ✖ Very simple system of usually consonant followed by vowel Final-obstruent devoicing ✔ ✖ ✖ Final /d/ pronounced as [t] ✔ ✖ ✖
  • 12. ∂ Feedback and outcome? • Student feedback very positive and encouraging • Teaching very different, challenging at first, requires a lot of preparation; very rewarding in understanding the topic and the problems • Students learn more about German phonology, but not a lot about phonetics • Sustainable model?
  • 13. ∂ Online tutorials as a solution? • Widely accessible • CALL technology can provide support for very specific learning challenges that cannot be addressed in the classroom • More tailored to specific needs • No replacement of the traditional classroom setting, but an extension of it (virtual practice room, not virtual classroom).
  • 14. ∂ „Challenges“ • Precise and exact production of minute phonetic details • Logical sequence that covers basics, but then moves to a modular character • Ability to record oneself • Instant and reliable feedback (for example through recording) • Available resources
  • 17. ∂ Bigger picture • Increase retention, especially in beginners classes: • Avoid disillusionment, struggles and frustration among learners • More predictable and comparable learning outcomes • Better language skills overall • Use of technology in a sensible way
  • 18. ∂ Questions for discussion Phonetics in the classroom – pushed to the side and widely ignored. Should it be more prominent? Does lack of phonetic understanding cause deficiencies in other areas of language learning? Or is it just natural that some students need to put more work in than others? One size fits all, or highly specific? Should language learning cater to very specific subgroups of learners? Do online tutorials for particular aspects of language learning (not just for phonetics) have a future?
  • 19. ∂ Bibliography Albrecht, I. (1998). Analyse phonetischer Schwierigkeiten und Konsequenzen für die Unterrichtspraxis (am Beispiel japanischer Deutschlerner). Zeitschrift “Deutsch Als Fremdsprache,” 35, 31– 36. Bose, I. (1999). Rhythmus im Unterricht Deutsch als Fremdsprache. Einige Überlegungen zu aktuellen Tendenzen in Phonetiklehrwerken. Zeitschrift “Deutsch Als Fremdsprache,” 4, 225–228. Dieling, H., & Hirschfeld, U. (2000). Phonetik lehren und lernen. Fernstudieneinheit 21. Berlin: Langenscheidt. Eupedia, European Languages & Linguistics. http://www.eupedia.com/linguistics/ Fischer, A. (2007). Deutsche Aussprache – Lernen mit Rhythmus. Zeitschrift Für Interkulturellen Fremdsprachenunterricht, 12(2). Gehrmann, S. (2000). Lerntheoretische Defizite der Zweitsprachenerwerbsforschung am Beispiel der Phonetik. Info DaF. Informationen Deutsch Als Fremdsprache, 27(4), 337–351. Graffmann, H., & Timoxenco-Moura, R. (1995). Aussprache lehren - eine Herausforderung. Ein Stein des Anstoßes oder ein Stein zum Anstoßen? Zeitschrift “Deutsch Als Fremdsprache,” 4, 238–243. Hirschfeld, U. (2011). Aspekte des Aussprachetrainings mit japanischen Deutschlernenden ( DaFnE ) (No. 42) (Vol. 3). Retrieved from https://dokkyo.repo.nii.ac.jp/?action=repository_uri&item_id=105&file_id=22&file_no=1 Hirschfeld, U., & Reinke, K. (2008). Phonetik in Deutsch als Fremdsprache: Theorie und Praxis – Einführung in das Themenheft. Zeitschrift Für Interkulturellen Fremdsprachenunterricht, 13(1), 1–25. Retrieved from http://zif.spz.tu-darmstadt.de/jg-13-1/beitrag/Feist1.htmnhttp://zif.spz.tu-darmstadt.de/jg-13-1/docs/Feist1.pdf Hirschfeld, U., Reinke, K., & Stock, E. (2007). Phonothek Intensiv. Aussprachetraining. Berlin: Langenscheidt. Hirschfeld, U. (2006). Aspekte des Aussprachetrainings mit japanischen Deutschlernenden ( DaFnE ), (September 2007). Huneke, H., & Steinig, W. (2002). Sprachdidaktik. Eine Einführung. Berlin: Schmidt. Hunold, C. (2009). Untersuchungen zu segmentalen und suprasegmentalen Ausspracheabweichungen chinesischer Deutschlernender. Frankfurt a.M.: Peter Lang. Lazaro, N., & Reinders, H. (2007). Innovation in Self-Access : Three Case Studies. Computer-Assisted Language Learning - Electronic Journal, 8(2), 1–15. Leahy, C. (2006). Introducing ICT to teachers of an institution-wide language programme: Principal considerations. JALT CALL Journal, 2(3), 3–14. Leahy, C. (2004). Researching language learning processes in open CALL settings for advanced learners. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 17(3–4), 289–313. Retrieved from http://llr.ntu.ac.uk/rpd/researchpublications.php?pubid=6c175772-4937-484b-8b6e-0b861ba2c4ee Liu, T. (2015). Ich verstehe nur Chinesisch! Kontrastierung der chinesischen und deutschen Phonetik/Phonologie als Basis für die Entwicklung von Lehr- und Lernmaterialien für Deutschlernende chinesischer Muttersprache. Humbold-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin. Retrieved from http://edoc.hu-berlin.de/dissertationen/liu-tong-2015-07-14/PDF/liu.pdf Miller, C. (2004). Phonetik im Unterricht Deutsch als Fremdsprache in Spanien. Porta Linguarum, 2. Noske, K. (2012). Einflussfaktoren auf die Aussprache einer Zweit- / Fremdsprache. Eine Forschungsübersicht. Stockholm. Retrieved from https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjH8bPn- ajQAhXLCMAKHYspAgwQFggdMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.diva- portal.org%2Fsmash%2Fget%2Fdiva2%3A532567%2FFULLTEXT01.pdf&usg=AFQjCNGEC0lXbd3QzN9_t8V0yrmOhJotBQ&sig2= Panusova, M. (2008). Phonetik in DaF-Lehrwerken. Zeitschrift Für Interkulturellen Fremdsprachenunterricht, 13(1), 1–25. Retrieved from http://zif.spz.tu-darmstadt.de/jg-13- 1/beitrag/Feist1.htmnhttp://zif.spz.tu-darmstadt.de/jg-13-1/docs/Feist1.pdf Phonetics Laboratory, Oxford University; http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/PHONOLOGY1.htm Radford, A., Atkinson, M., Britain, D., Clahsen, H., & Spencer, A. (1999). Linguistics. An Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Richter, R. (2011). Ausspracheabweichungen chinesischer Deutschlerner und ihre kommunikative Relevanz. Zeitschrift Für Interkulturellen Fremdsprachenunterricht, 16(2). Richter, R. (2002). Zur Relevanz der Gesprochene-Sprache- Forschung für den DaF-Unterricht. Info DaF. Informationen Deutsch als Fremdsprache, 29(4), 306-316. Seedhouse, P. (1996). Needs Analysis as a Basis for Call Materials Design. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 9(1), 63–74. Smith, B. (2009). Task-based learning in the computer-mediated communicative ESL / EFL classroom. Computer-Assisted Language Learning - Electronic Journal, 11(1), 1–15. Solmecke, G. (1992). Ohne Hören kein Sprechen. Bedeutung und Entwicklung des Hörverstehens im Deutschunterricht. Fremdsprache Deutsch 7, 4-11 Storch, G. (1999). Deutsch als Fremdsprache, eine Didaktik : theoretische Grundlagen und praktische Unterrichtsgestaltung. München: Fink. Sulac, S. (2011). Ausspracheprobleme im Spracherwerb (DaF-Unterricht) bei gagausischen Deutschlernern. Studia Linguistica, (5), 453–456. http://doi.org/801.41:804.92 Tanaka, R. (2005). Zur zielgerechten Übung der Fertigkeit Hören im Rahmen des japanischen Deutschunterrichts. Soka University Bulletin of the Department of Foreign Languages and Studies, 15(3), 131–166. Retrieved from http://ci.nii.ac.jp/naid/110006608928/en Trubetzkoy, N. (1977). Grundzüge der Phonologie. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht WALS Info (The World Atlas of Language Structures Online). http://wals.info Zhao, J. (2005). Probleme chinesischer Deutschlerner im Schreiben – Analyse der Schreibaufgaben im TestDaF- Modellsatz. Info DaF. Informationen Deutsch Als Fremdsprache, 1(32), 14–27.

Hinweis der Redaktion

  1. This is the core problem: such specific problems cannot be addressed in the syllabus due to time constraints
  2. Description of tutorials, data gained; description of exercises used & problems
  3. sustainable model? in some institutions possible, at Durham especially timetable constraints Assessment results very positive – only one single fail, and not in the oral exam add some feedback from students
  4. Why online? - CALL technology can support specific language learning problems without forcing all students to spend the same time on it; key area for CALL technology can be peripheral langauge learning areas, problems & needs only some students have; future of blended learning/online learning is not the elimination of tradiational classes, but the extension of them with specific self-study exercises (custom-tailored); not „virtual classroom“ but „virtual homework/practice room“.
  5. Requirements: Exact, recording of oneself, focused on most important aspect first, then more detailled and obscure aspects; lots of practice; logical sequence and covering basics; compatibility; instand and reliable feedback.
  6. our solution is only an example; it is not the perfect solution, but rather an experiment; statistics and feedback still outstanding/to be collected easily made available for other modules as well; „infancy stage“
  7. bigger picture: increasing retention (especially at beginners levels), avoid disillusionment, struggles & frustration