Teaching English As A Foreign Language

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When teaching a foreign language, a teacher usually encounters many problems and difficulties, but when we find ourselves in the position of teaching English as a second or a foreign language, one of the most problematic skills we must face is speaking. Teaching speaking can become a very complex task and sets out many dilemmas like whether to teach or not to teach pronunciation to English learners. First of all, we should take into account that pronunciation is a fundamental aspect in an effective oral production of English and it is essential for an effective communication, which is the final goal while teaching and learning a language. As Peter Watkins writes in Learning to teach English, “…poor pronunciation can impede communication very quickly” (50). Thus, the dilemma seems to be very clear; the question is not whether to teach pronunciation, but rather how to teach it. English is one of the most difficult languages to pronounce as its pronunciation involves extremely difficult and bizarre rules, including not only the production of words, but stress, rhythm or intonation among other characteristics, which are hard to acquire for a non-native speaker. This is one of the factors that has created polemic regarding its teaching among the experts. Yet, as Watkins puts it, “(l)earners should aim to become easily intelligible and to speak with a reasonably natural rhythm so that no undue burden is placed on the person they are speaking (Watkins, 50), and for achieving
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