Dec 23, 2011

発音は、まあ、アクセントはなるべく正確に、でよくない?

昨日中3のレッスンで話題になったのが、発音のこと。
Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing
Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing 読み聞かせしたら、生徒から
「どうして先生は、opossumとかporcupineの発音をしっているのですか?」質問と。

「えー、だって子ども向けの動画みてたら、porcupineをおもちゃにして遊ぶシーンとかでてくるやん。その時になーんとなく耳に残って、また別のところ、絵本とかで文字を見て定着するんだよ。」と、真面目に答えたのに、なぜか爆笑してた。。。?porcupineを突いて遊ぶ先生の図、思い浮かべたのだろうか。。。 

そこから、発音のことに広がりました。
私はいつも生徒に話します。
「先生は、細かい発音、まったく区別できないよ。でも困ったことない。ネイティブになにか発音で注意すべき点はあるかと聞いても、?という顔をされ、ちゃんとコミュニケーションできてる、十分でしょ、と言われるんだよ。」

そしてbug, back, bagを例に、発音に過剰にこだわる必要はないことを説明しました。

Bring me my bag.  の bag が bug のように聞こえても、虫をつれてくる人はいないでしょ?
I hurt my back. の back が bag のようでも、それじゃあ、新しい鞄買わないとね、とはならない。
Go to the back で、虫や鞄のとこ目指す人もいない。

会話の時、話す相手は、話している内容からある程度の予測をたてて聞いているものです。だから文脈の中で英語を発音するのであれば、日本語的な音でも、その文脈にふさわしい音で、ネイティブの耳は聞き取るのですよ。
むしろ音より、アクセント、リズムを崩さないことほうが大切。

個々の発音にこだわっていては、英語ネイティブと対等に言い合える日なんて、永遠に来ない、そうじゃない?





4 comments:

Whiskers said...

Rightooo!

かつて発音をがんばった者として、本当にそう思う!

The other day we had several guest speakers and each of them gave short speeches to groups of students. Among them was this guy who interacted with students in the course of his speech. And he tried to correct students' pronunciations! I don't know why he did that. He's been living in Japan for 8 years, he said, and once taught English to children, which maybe gave him this habit. Anyway, it was ruuuuude. I didn't like it at all. You know, it embarrassed them. If it was in the pronunciation class, it's okay. Students are supposed to try hard, but it was the lecture, and if they felt humiliated, how can they concentrate on listening?

Well, it was another example that there were **** foreigners with a fake teacher's mask on.

Mrs.Malone_emmie said...

Yes, that's why I don't say learning English with native speakers is the best way. No matter how long native speakers live in Japan, they'd not be able to have a clue what words can inspire students to learn more or how easily they would kill their students' passion with comments nonchalantly uttered, unless they themselves become a learner of languages and realize the hardships of mastering other languages.

And also, sorry in advance that what I'm going to write from now could be extremely blunt, lacking knowledge of the real situations or you might be quite aware of already, but I'm afraid to say that many Jp teachers don't seem to be courageous enough to discuss frankly with native speakers what kind of teaching is beneficial for Jp students or what totally useless. They complain a lot behind the scene among Jp teachers, but I wonder if they're trying to talk native teachers into understanding their policy or ideas.

Speaking of pronunciation, you know, I'm terribly intimidated sometimes when I speak English among tadokist teachers. They pronounce En so beautifully that I can't help feeling dumb to be with them as an En teacher and clouding my intention of facilitating tadoku or other new approaches of learning En...

I'm now rather interested in finding how much you can be wrong or inadequate to have enjoyable communication or what technique or attitude would make up for the lack of appropriateness.

Whiskers said...

Bah. What are you talking about? Well, if you try to correct your pronunciation from time to time when you realize that something is wrong, that's enough. Be confident! And I must tell you, I totally understand how you feel, meaning how intimidated you are in front of other beautifully-speaking-English teachers.
You know, sometimes my daughter or friend ask me to read English or pronounce some English word, and after that they say, "Is that so?" That means that the pronunciation doesn't sound English enough. Duh. But what can I do for that??! Roll my tongue up or down or right or left?

...Sorry for talking nonsense.
As for that outrageous guest speaker, I didn't say anything, because he was a guest. To our co-working teachers...hmmm, first, I'm in no position to say things like that to them, second, if I had to tell them, I do.
My school is very different from any other school-very small with only about 100 students altogether, 4 Jpn teachers and 6 native En speaking teachers. Our principal interviews all the students twice a year and if there's any complaints, they can say it directly to him so that afterwards he can give feedback to each teacher. If any of us doesn't try to improve our classes, we'll namely risk our job, possibly get fired.
The supervising teacher of native speakers is a very reliable person and she has calisma to attract people including students. They go to her and talk about classes very frankly and she knows what's going on in other teachers' classes and whether it is a problem or she has to wait and see. And we have a Jpn supervisor, too. He talks quite straightforward, unlike ordinary Japanese people, and if there's any problems, he just calls in any of us and have a discussion. At the very early time of teaching there, once he suddenly came to my office and asked me bluntly, "Where is your EE dicitonary?" I had only one simple EE dictionary, so right after that I ordered a very thick one. Ha ha. I bet he heard some complaints from my students...

Well, writing here I came to realize that 'I' don't discuss native speakers' teaching method openly with them. I ask for advice from them, especially that supervising native speaker, though. And she asks me for advice.

When I was teaching at senior high schools, in the team-teaching classes I was always with ALTs, and discussed how the class went afterward. In those days, I guess I was feeling responsible for classes taught with an ALT.
Now, their classes are their classes, so I have no right to control them. However, if they mention something about their teaching and I find it wrong, probably I'd point it out to them.

Hmm. Come to think of it, maybe other Japanese teachers in general don't do that very often. They are very polite-good Japanese-and maybe afraid of native speakers. Hmnph! <- This 'Hmnph' is for those arrogant foreiners.

Soooorrry. I wrote a lot! It was really a free writing, and while I was writing, I found what I wanted to say. Thanks for the opportunity, emmie-san!

Mrs.Malone_emmie said...

Whiskers-san,

That's what I come to be fascinated with free writing as you wrote at the end of your comment.
Every time I look at a blank paper, I feel my mind is freaked out thinking I won't be able to writing anything at all. I'm saying in my mind that I'm too dumb to write meaningful things. But once you start to write anyway, ideas naturally bubble up and before you realize, you're writing certain amount of English. It doesn't matter it's worth writing or not, I'm simply happy that I'm able to fill the paper haha
Got to go, my partner is back...