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Bricklaying with Mortar: Prosodic Orientation to English Language Teaching

Gurpal S. Rana
Lovely Professional University, Punjab

Special Issue, Volume 8, Number 2, 2016 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v8n2.10

Abstract

This paper explores the justification for a prosody based model of English language teaching which focus on enhancing “sophisticated communicative competence” of learners, while weighing in divergent ideas which might scuttle this pedagogical initiative. In the article four different dimensions are examined with the aim of exploring the neglect of prosodic focus in language teaching and learning: 1) Non native identity of the language teacher as a stumbling block, 2) Fallacy of assumption about automatic acquisition of prosodic attributes, 3) Misperception about prosody being a mere academic exercise, and 4) Defying “critical period hypothesis” underlying biological constraints in acquisition of language nuances.  The choice of title of brick-mortar analogy lays renewed focus on subtle characteristics of speech, which remain either largely ignored in curricula or undermined as a pedagogical tool.

Keywords: prosodic orientation, suprasegmentals, pragmatic fossilization, critical period hypothesis, communicative competence.

 

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