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Language Education

Controversies, Observations and Proposals

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Danuta Stanulewicz, Karolina Janczukowicz and Małgorzata Rocławska-Daniluk

This collection of papers explores various issues in English language teaching in Poland, mainly at the secondary and tertiary levels. The topics include Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), English for Specific Purposes (ESP), and e-learning. The contributions also deal with teaching public speaking, pronunciation and writing. The contributors explore language education from the perspective of cognitive linguistics and propose solutions concerning English for Specific Purposes (Technical Writing in English and Maritime English) as well. The book also investigates teaching not only languages but also, inter alia, geography and linguistics, concentrating on the use of metaphors, prototypes and cognitive models.

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Towards a native speaker like pronunciation: Challenging aspects of English pronunciation for Polish learners and ways of dealing with them: The English vowels (Zbigniew Czaja)

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Towards a native speaker like pronunciation: Challenging aspects of English pronunciation for Polish learners and ways of dealing with them: The English vowels

Zbigniew Czaja

University of Gdańsk

Abstract: This chapter aims to sensitize Polish learners of English to the importance of good pronunciation for comfortable and effective communication. Primarily, the chapter focuses on the most common substitutions of English vowels with Polish quasi-equivalents marking the Polish accent, or potentially leading to confusion and/or misunderstandings. The chapter also seeks to present the mother tongue phonology and phonics1 – the Polish learner’s default system, and English spelling as the two greatest contributors to the problem in question. By making use of genuine Polish common vowel replacement-related mispronunciations and identifying their causes, it provides a number of teaching ideas to overcome these faults and thus to help upgrade intelligibility and accent. Finally, the chapter intends to suggest that all nationalities should follow suit and also “trim” their L1 vowel replacements, as well as minimizing the use of L1 sounds to speak English, which would reduce L1 accents and facilitate international communication in English as a Lingua Franca.

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