29 December 2018

MELTA Journal English Teacher Article: Implementing a Pronunciation Component into a Course Syllabus

The article that is the follow-up to the MELTA 2018 workshop on teaching pronunciation is now up at the MELTA English Teacher site.

The link to the ET journal online is:


The link to the article in PDF form is:


You can click through and display the PDF in your browser. And you can also download it, here:


09 October 2018

Materials (presentation files, papers as doc., etc.) from MICELT 2018 and MELTA 2018

I created a public folder at Google Drive that contains the presentations, papers, and related materials for the recent MICELT 2018 and MELTA 2018 files. You can read them as PDF online or download them.

The folder is found here:


05 August 2018


Content of the MELTA workshop to be delivered this month (August 2018) in video form at YouTube.

13 July 2018

Wikipedia and Wiktionary as LL Resources

One possible resource for students' word study and language practice is Wikipedia and its related Wiktionary. However, the situation at Wikipedia is complicated. Beginning-level students (and their teachers) might have difficulty in navigating its text-heavy pages and multiple hyperlinks. There are actually at least four different resources at Wikipedia that might be useful. But the teacher will have to take great pains to make sure the students find and understand them. 

First, Wikipedia has various bilingual dictionaries that can be accessed from the top page of the Wiktionary site. For example, one can link to a Japanese Wiktionary (JW). The JW can be used as both E-J and J-J dictionaries. The J-J function can also serves as a minimal J-E one, since it will give a very short English translation for a searched Japanese word. 

Below in the figure is a screenshot of the result of using the JW's E-J function for the verb 'negotiate'. It includes an etymology, phonetic transcription of both US and UK pronunciations transcribed into both IPA and SAMPA (no special characters), a sound file, inflected forms of the verb, Japanese translations of the core meanings, example sentences in both Japanese and English, and finally important lexical derivations. However, the JW didn't give English definitions or collocations for 'negotiate'.

For English definitions, there is the English Wiktionary (EW). For example, the EW gave five definitions for 'negotiate', including one that is now obsolete. There is also the Simple English Wiktionary. However, it limits definitions to a list of key synonyms and synonymous phrases.

Finally, there is the Simple English Wikipedia. It has a lot of content useful for language learning and practice put into more basic English than the regular Wikipedia. 

A list of links to Wikpedia and Wiktionary:

1.  Top page of Wiktionary

2.  Top page of the Japanese Wiktionary

3.  Top page of the Simple English Wiktionary

4.  Top Page of Simple English Wikipedia


13 June 2018

Some problem consonants and consonant contrasts of English

We can identify 'problem sounds' by three main ways:  (1) differences across English and the L1 of the learners (contrastive analysis), (2) the actual pronunciation errors L2 learners produce (in general or based on language background), and (3) 'marked' sounds of spoken English that learners of various backgrounds might find difficult (for example, they are late in native acquisition processes, or they are rare sounds among most world languages or at least some major languages). 

Here is a set of problem consonant sounds and contrasts that I have compiled with all three above in mind. 

16 March 2018