THE USE OF THE IPA SYMBOLS VIEWED BY PRE-SERVICE TEACHERS OF ENGLISH

H. Vancova

Trnava University (SLOVAKIA)
The symbols of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) were introduced to foreign language teaching in the 19th century to demonstrate pronunciation to learners. With technological advancement, various devices nowadays readily present models of spoken language in and outside of classrooms; however, transcription of words in the IPA symbols is still used as a relevant technique developing pronunciation in addition to the development of productive and receptive communication skills.

Using self-assessment (or self-evaluation) as a learning strategy allows learners to reflect on their progress in learning, address the issues that require attention, and actively plan further actions in learning. Pre-service teachers can benefit from self-assessment of their ability as a part of the preparation for assessing others.

The paper aims to present the qualitative data collected from 101 pre-service teachers of English participating in an English phonetics and phonology course, who trained reading and transcribing in the IPA symbols during one semester. The data were collected from a phoneme- and stress-discrimination task followed by writing a brief self-evaluation by the participants. The collected self-evaluation reports were compared to participants’ actual performance in the transcription task. The results indicate learners’ inconsistent use of phonetic symbols from various transcription systems, incorrect use of symbols for sounds assigned to them, and disregard of word stress in transcription. The paper explores implication for the use of the IPA and self-evaluation for the professional development of pre-service teachers of English.

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.