TEACHING RUSSIAN PHONETICS TO ARABIC AND CHINESE SPEAKERS: PROSPECTS OF USING PHONETIC VIRTUAL COURSEWARE
South Ural State University (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
About this paper:
Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:The research was carried out within the framework of the project “Development of a robotic dialogue system for learning Russian by various target groups and its subsequent use as a part of the current electronic support system for learning Russian and distance education in Russian” under the Agreement No. 09.Y70.25.0165 of December 7, 2016.
Teaching phonetics is an indispensable part of learning a foreign language. Phonetic difficulties in teaching phonetics are associated with two aspects - the receptive one (perception of speech) and the functional one (production of an oral utterance that corresponds to the phonetic norms of a language). When designing a phonetic course, it is necessary to take into account phonetic peculiarities of the native language and their manifestation in students’ speech. To illustrate the statement, we propose to consider the case of an Arabic-speaking group (50 students from Iraq, Algeria, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen), and Chinese-speaking group (50 students from China, cities: Heihe, Zhoushan, Xuchang) that studies Russian as a foreign language in the framework of a preparatory course to the university. The phenomena that affect Russian speech of Arab students are diglossia, the lack of hard-soft and emphatic-non-emphatic consonant pairs and long-short vowel pairs in Arabic, the presence of guttural consonants and phonological long-short consonant pairs in Arabic, etc. The phenomena that affect Russian speech of Chinese students are diglossia, the lack of breath-sonant consonant pairs in Chinese, the presence of aspiration, etc. The acquisition of Russian phonetics by Arabs and Chinese is interfered in the following cases: pronunciation of Arabic [b] in place of Russian [b] and [п]; separate pronunciation of double consonants in Russian words while they most often are not pronounced this way; insufficient quantitative reduction of vowels or too heavy reduction of vowels which may lead to their falling out, insert of vowels after consonants, replacing Russian vowels and consonants with sounds from native language, etc. Moreover, the important factors are the “sound-letter” and “phoneme-letter” correlations; interfering influence of another foreign language with the Latin script. The mentioned peculiarities of the native language and the specificity of their phonetic realization in Arab and Chinese students’ Russian speech are taken into account when designing the phonetic virtual courseware that aims at forming phonetic and graphic skills at the initial level of Russian-language learning. A fragment of the courseware will be described in the article.
Keywords: Russian as a foreign language, phonetics, Arabic speakers, Chinese speakers, phonetic virtual courseware.