“A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.” George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones
Sunday, 9 April 2017
Plenary session by Jane Setter
Where angels fear to tread: intonation in English language teaching
Intonation is one of the earliest acquired aspects of speech; the crymelodies of infants are influenced by the intonation of their mothers, and very small toddlers are able to use intonation to indicate turntaking patterns in play conversations before they can form words. It plays a vital role in successful communication in English, as it does in other languages. If this is true, why is intonation neglected in English language pronunciation teaching, and how can it be taught effectively? This presentation takes the audience into the seldom-navigated region of intonation in English language teaching, focusing on the role of three main elements: tonality, tonicity and tone. Drawing on material from a number of different sources, we explore the role of intonation in English, and look at which elements are teachable, which are learnable, what resources are available to the teacher and the learner, and how intonation might be approached in the English language classroom and as a self-access learning activity. Expect a multimedia, audience participation experience.