Home > The Treasure Hunt Club No. 84

The Treasure Hunt Club No. 84 (2012年08月10日)

カテゴリー: The Treasure Hunt Club
■ The Treasure Hunt Club No. 84
August 2012 Treasure Hunt
Pronunciation Resources and Firestorage
Marcel Van Amelsvoort
Kanagawa Prefectural Institute of Language and Culture

Many years ago, when I was in a graduate program for TESOL,
I had a course in phonology. One of the things the teacher
emphasized about teaching pronunciation was that
suprasegmental aspects of English were more important to
teach than segmental aspects. We were told to teach stress,
reduction, rhythm and intonation, and not to worry worry too
much about the individual sounds of the language. So that’s
what I have been doing for the past 15 years. But recent
research―done on communication between non-native speakers―
is apparently showing that individual sounds are more
important than everyone thought. A lot of communication
problems happen when non-native speakers get the individual
sounds wrong. So, with that in mind, I decided it might be a
good time to list up some online resources to help learners
with pronunciation.

First up is a site that lets you really see and hear the
sounds of American English (or Spanish or German) being made.
It is maintained by the University of Iowa and contains
videos and flash animations demonstrating all the sounds of

If you have an internet connection in class and want to
focus on British English, Adrian Underhill’s interactive
chart might be useful for you. It can be displayed in full-
screen mode. It is nice and clear.

Next is Phonetics Focus, a part of the Cambridge English
Online site. There are many activities for learning and
checking perception of sounds. There are also games, for
learners and resources (charts, flashcards) for teachers.
Apps for mobile learning are also introduced at the site.
The main site is great language learning resource and you
might want to check it out too.

Finally, I was recently introduced to a handy website called
Firestorage. If learners forget to bring their memory sticks
and don’t have webmail accounts, they can still save
projects using Firestorage for a few days online, until they
can access them later from their regular or home computer.