Teaching the pronunciation of vowels on Zoom

Tiittanen, M. (2022) Teaching the Pronunciation of Vowels on Zoom. TESL Ontario Contact Magazine, 48 (3) 15-20.

The author presents suggestions for teaching vowels using synchronous video. He includes information about the advantages of doing this, e.g., the ESL teacher being able to magnify their mouth, tongue, lips and jaw. A benefit for the ESL learner is that they can see their own mouths on-screen as they attempt the same sounds and compare them with the teacher’s model.

Tiittanen provides a brief reference list to support his suggestions for teaching a number of vowels. In addition to describing teaching methods he also includes helpful videos to illustrate this in action and gives the reader a link to his Pronunciation Channel on YouTube. This enables ESL learners to view the videos to practise as often as they want.

In addition to valuable information about how to teach using Zoom or other synchronous video, Tiittanen discusses the safety concerns that were a key aspect of teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as issues of classroom noise and personal space and distance that are still relevant for pronunciation teachers as the pandemic recedes.

Retrievable from:


The Needs Analysis, Design, Development, and Evaluation of the ‘English Pronunciation Guide: An ESL Teachers’ Guide to Pronunciation Teaching Using Online Resources’

Cox, J.L. ; Henrichsen, L.E. ;Tanner, M.W.; McMurry, B.L.(2019) The Needs Analysis, Design, Development, and Evaluation of the English
Pronunciation Guide: An ESL Teachers’ Guide to Pronunciation Teaching
Using Online Resources. TESL-EJ,  22(4), 1–24.

Although ESL students and instructors agree that teaching pronunciation is an important part of language learning the authors of this article contend that relatively little time and attention is given to pronunciation in the ESL classroom. They further contend that instructors do not receive sufficient preparation in pronunciation instruction and consequently do not feel confident in teaching pronunciation. To address this perceived gap program coordinators and ESL instructors at Brigham Young University developed the English Pronunciation Guide: The ESL Teachers’ Guide to Pronunciation Instruction. This article describes the background to their work and the process of developing the guide from initial needs analysis to evaluation.

The online guide consists of an annotated index to selected pronunciation-instruction videos and other resources that are available online. The guide aims to provide ESL instructors who have had little or no preparation in pronunciation instruction to quickly and easily find resources that they can use to develop their competence and confidence.

Retrievable from: http://tesl-ej.org/pdf/ej88/int.pdf



Technology and the Four Skills

Blake, R. (2016). Technology and the four skills. Language Learning & Technology, 20(2), 129-142.

The report looks at technology-mediated task-based language learning’s ability to integrate the four skills while recognizing that evaluation of language proficiency has not reached the same level of complexity and  continues to evaluate the four skills in isolation.

The author provides examples of asynchronous and synchronous tools that provide opportunities to move between skills while working on tasks. One example of this is an app that transcribes learners’ speech into the second language; whenever there is an error in the written transcription, the learner knows their pronunciation has deviated from the norm and can analyze the transcription and correct the original utterance so that it transcribes correctly. The author emphasizes the importance of planning activities such as these, including pre-activities, making sure all students know what is expected of them, providing instructions for any digital tools required and balancing conflicting needs where necessary. He also presents some of the concerns about how computers and computer screens affect communications and urges readers to be aware of possible miscommunication that may occur.

Retrievable from: https://www.lltjournal.org/collection/col_10125_45833