Tomorrow at 9.30 am sharp, I unleash the full power of my FUNOLOGY training course on my group of 22 unsuspecting trainees. I say “unsuspecting” but, as they are all volunteers for the experience, I guess they imagine they will be working on Pronunciation techniques in some shape or form, but I wonder what they are really expecting.
I absolutely ADORE teaching pronunciation skills to my pupils. I love when they make slight errors, turning candles into condoms, for example, and I love building on these slight slip-ups to move forwards. I consider myself privileged to have been granted an hour of “Accompagnement Personnalisé” with a class of 1èreSTI2D (not generally know for their love of languages), which I am able to spend working hard on their pronunciation skills.
I believe it to be truly the basis of language learning. We spend too little time on Listening skills, which are the key to then reproducing the sounds correctly. For a lot of phonology work, if you don’t actually understand what you are saying, it doesn’t matter as it is the sounds that count and not the meaning.
If we consider this film, found on YouTube by accident this summer, I think it is possible to see the importance of playing with sounds. This toddler is actually working on phonology but in a fun way – so, Funology. She is experimenting with the sounds, imitating her dad’s voice, trying out her own, all in the direction of becoming a speaker. For the moment, she is at the listening and imitating stage. I believe strongly that in language learning, we skip this stage and move on too quickly, burdening our learners with the written word too early.
More along these lines are part of my FUNOLOGY course and if you would like to know more, you might like to check out my FUNOLOGY blog HERE.