The importance of Phonetics in English teaching

Essay by stellaraUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, November 2004

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The world during all its History has made use of certain languages as a mean of communication between people of all countries and cultures. Living nowadays in a world were information travels almost at the speed of light, everybody is directly affected by occurrences all around the globe, therefore there is a great need of a language to serve as link between the nations.

Just like Latin was the language meant to gather people as the Roman Empire went on its row of conquests all over Europe and later, during the Enlightenment Period, it was French, at this moment English has this function.

However, as English has become more and more popular, people of all cultures learn and speak the language around the whole world. We should ask ourselves, then, how much English language is influenced by other languages and how much of this influence is acceptable.

Even being English the most spoken language in the world, its pronunciation is many times considered less important than grammar or written comprehension.

But it must be remembered that the four main abilities of a language -reading, writing, listening and speaking- have all the same importance. Or even, as history recalls: Register came only after oral communication.

Concerning the teaching of English in Brazil, it is very important to take some significant points in consideration:

- Basic notions of intonation should be taught to English learners: Brazilian students have great difficulties to get accustomed to the fact that in English, differently than in Portuguese, not every word has the same stress. If the students are taught intonation at the same time that they learn vocabulary or grammar, like it happens when they learn their mother language, it would be easier for them to learn to speak the language naturally. Of course, there are...