HOMONYMY IN ENGLISH COURSE BOOKS

H. Vancova

Trnava University (SLOVAKIA)
Pronunciation is an often-overlooked component in teaching English to foreign learners. Although pedagogical documentation defines the objectives of pronunciation training, previous research has revealed that some teachers lack the confidence to teach it, or solely rely on textbook pronunciation exercises. Furthermore, comprehensible pronunciation as a goal of pronunciation training presents an alternative to accent-free pronunciation, which can be viewed as virtually unachievable. However, in communication, the learners are expected to recognise a wide range of native and non-native accents and speak comprehensibly and consistently using features typical for one accent.

Relatively little attention in English coursebooks for foreign learners is paid to the relation between pronunciation, orthography and meaning, which can contribute to learners’ proficiency in English. This relation needs to be addressed because of a group of homonymous word pairs, which are identical in their form (either written or spoken) but differ in meaning. Using these words is typical of advanced English learners; therefore, their introduction to learners comes at later stages of English learning.

The presented paper aims to explore the presentation of homonyms in English textbooks across different levels of learners’ proficiency. The qualitative analysis of course books present when and what types of task introduce these words to learners and the vocabulary items selected for learners. The analysis will present the findings along with recommendations for their use in pronunciation training.

The paper presents partial results of the project KEGA 001TTU-4/2019 Higher education of non-native teachers of foreign languages in national and international contexts: needs of non-native teachers of foreign languages in international research context.