Correction of pronunciation mistakes

No matter how pronunciation is taught students will make mistakes in pronunciation of sounds, stress, intonation. In the junior stage it is the teacher who corrects students mistakes, because students ability to hear is not developed yet, besides, they need good examples to follow. The teacher explains the mistake to the students and shows what should be done to avoid it. At the intermediate and senior stages errors may be corrected both by the teacher and the students themselves. The main ways of correcting errors are:

The teacher explains, paying attention to the proper position of the organs of speech for producing the sound;

The teacher pronounces in the right way and the students imitate;

The teacher demonstrates using hand and arm movements;

Students listen to the tape-recordings and imitate the speaker.


Questions and topics for discussion

  1. Why is teaching pronunciation important?
  2. Describe the main pronunciation problems
  3. What does the content of teaching pronunciation include?
  4. What are the main steps in teaching pronunciation?
  5. What exercises can be used by teachers for developing pronunciation habits?
  6. What are the main ways of correcting errors in pronunciation?
  7. Examine one of the lessons in the standard textbook and show how students are taught correct pronunciation


Phraseological units are defined as non-motivated word groups that cannot be freely made up in speech but are reproduced in speech as ready-made units.

This definition proceeds from the assumption that the essential features of phraseological units are stability of lexical components and lack of motivation (idiomaticity).

E.g.: red tape bureaucratic method is semantically non-motivated, that is its meaning cannot be deduced from meanings of its components. It exists as a ready-made linguistic unit which does not allow any variability of its lexical components.

Stability of phraseological unit implies that it exists as a ready-made linguistic unit which does not allow any variability of its lexical components and grammatical structure.

Reproducibility is regular use of phraseological units in speech as single unchangeable collocations.

Idiomaticity is the quality of phraseological units when the meaning of the whole is not deducible from the sum of meanings of the parts.


One of the existing classifications of phraseological units was done by V.V.Vinogradov. Taking into account mainly the degree of idiomaticity he classified phraseological units in 3 groups:

1. Phraseological fusions.

2. Phraseological unities.

3. Phraseological combinations.


Phraseological fusions are completely non-motivated word groups in which the meanings of the components have no connection with meaning of the whole group. Idiomaticity is combined with complete stability of lexical components and grammatical structure of the fusion.

E.g.: heavy father 

red tape

all ales and skittles

a battle of the books


Phraseological unities are partially non-motivated as their meaning can usually be deduced through metaphoric meaning of the whole phraseological unit. Phraseological unities are as a rule marked by a high degree of stability of lexical components.

E.g.: to show ones teeth

to wash ones dirty linen in public


Phrseological combinations are motivated but they are made up of words possessing specific lexical valency which accounts for a certain degree of stability in such word groups. In phraseological combinations variability of member words is strictly limited.

E.g.: to bear a grudge ( ) may be changed into to bear malice but not into to bear a fancy or to bear a liking.

We can name them standardized phrases.

E.g.: to give help, to win a victory, to make a mistake


They may express:

1) attributive relations: acute pain, cold reason, black sheep

2) object relations: to declare war, to take measures

3) subject-predicative relations: extremes meet, time flies

4) adverbial relations: to freeze hard, to snow heavily, to rain fast.

Here also belong some comparisons: as blue as the sky, as black as a crow, as busy as a bee etc.


We also distinguish phraseological expressions proverbs, sayings and aphoristic familiar quotations.

E.g.: Birds of a feather flock together.

Still water runs deep.

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark (W. Shakespeare).

Fools rush in where angels fear to tread (A. Pope).



Another classification of phraseological units was suggested by N.Amosova. Proceeding from the assumption that individual meaning polysemantic words can be observed in certain context and may be viewed as depending on those contexts, it is argued that phraseological units are also to be defined through specific types of contexts. Free word groups make up variable contexts while the essential feature of phraseological units is a non-variable or fixed context.

Fixed context is context characterized by a specific and unchanging sequence of definite lexical components and peculiar semantic relationship between them.

Units of fixed context are subdivided into

1) phrasemes

2) idioms.


  1. Arrange the following units into two lexical and two terminological sets. I Give them corresponding names.
  2. Classification of phraseological units and their structural types.
  3. Derivational analysis and basic units of derivational system.
  4. Free Word-Groups Versus Phraseological Units Versus Words
  5. Lesson 10 Branches, Services and Units of the US Armed Forces
  6. Objectively and subjectively conditioned transformations of lexical units in the process of translation.
  7. State which of the italicized units are phraseologisms and which are free word-combinations. Give proof of your answer.
  8. The classification of phraseological units based on the semantic principle.
  10. Violation of Phraseological Units and its Rendering
  11. Ways of rendering the meaning of nationally biased units of lexicon.

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