Phonetics and Phonology


Today we had a seminar on phonetics and phonology. One of the aims was to differentiate between the terms, which can be found in my glossary. 

We also discussed:

Articulary phonetics – how and where speech sounds are articulated

Accoustic phonetics – waveforms/frequency/amplitude

Auditory phonetics – reception of speech sounds


We discussed why Phonetics and phonology was more important in literacy classes now due to an influx of ESOL learners. I’m still not sure where my opinion lies on ESOL learners in literacy classes. Your thoughts would be welcome. We did an activity called ‘learner friendly explanations to articulate consonant sounds’ from Kelly (2000). If only the title was learner friendly! Anyway, you can find it below.

2014-09-08 10.03.50

We also discussed morphology, syntax, pragmatics, phonemes and graphemes, definitions of all of these terms can again be found in my glossary.

We looked at stress in language too, at both word and sentence level.

Stress patterns in mutlisyllabic words

Today we also looked at stress patterns with words which have the same root. Our task was to identify the stressed syllable in the following list of words. The syllables are shown with spacing, and stressed syllables are in bold:

pho to

pho to graph

pho tog raph y

pho to graph ic

pho tog raph er

Sentence stress

We also thought about the number of ways we could change the meaning of one sentence, depending on where we put the stress.

I’d love a cup of black coffee. – maybe someone else has been offered one

I’d love a cup of black coffee.  – I really want on/sarcasm

I’d love a cup of black coffee. – as opposed to the pot you just gave me

I’d love a cup of black coffee. – you just made me a white coffee/please get it right…people always put milk in!

I’d love a cup of black coffee.


The full IPA chart can be found here, and a learner chart here, with sounds and example words. The only problem being, if you have an accent, beware of the example words!


I already knew about most of the above, but as always, it’s something that I need to add to my action plan to explore further in future.

We do a lot of stress work with ESOL, but apart from to possibly help with spelling, I’m not sure how it will affect my literacy group entirely. I think if a learner knows a root words, and is working on multisyllabic words, then an awareness of stress is important to help them decode. With sentence stress, I can see that might be useful when learners are reading aloud as intonation helps reading confidence. Am I missing something else though?

Action points

  • Research glottal stops etc
  • Thinking about a book called Learner English which focuses on errors that speakers of a particular language make, I want to try to research some characteristics of learners’ talk which I might come across.
  • Recap IPA chart


Kelly, G. (2000) How To Teach Pronunciation, Longman.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s