The German Accent in English: Teaching Correct Pronunciation
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Seminar paper from the year 2009 in the subject English – Pedagogy, Didactics, Literature Studies, grade: 1,3, University of Freiburg, language: English, abstract: An accent almost always makes the conversation partner come to any sort of prejudgement of the speaker. It might sound unpleasant, as in the case of German accents from the view of some English speakers, or can lead to misunderstandings. Therefore, it is important for learners of English as a second language to pay attention to their pronunciation from the beginning. I will analyse which contrasts between English and German exist and further look into the most common mistakes of learners and misperceptions that lead to a characteristic German accent. We can assume that there are mispronunciations with different degrees of ‘graveness’, depending on the probability to cause misunderstandings. So in the following, I will turn to the question why pronunciation should not be neglected in teaching and what corrections language teachers should give priority to in the teaching of phonology. The chapter on teaching mainly refers to the teaching of German students in secondary schools. The assumptions can however be transferred onto other teaching situations. I will show that the teaching of pronunciation will always have to be adapted to the learners’ individual language environment as this is bound to strongly influence their accent.