SKKN Improving the way to pronounce english vowel sounds of grade – 6 students



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Sáng kiến kinh nghiệm “SKKN Improving the way to pronounce english vowel sounds of grade – 6 students” triển khai gồm các biện pháp nổi bật sau:

2. Suggested solutions
Doing pronunciation exercises
a. Distinguishing sound exercises
b. Find the odd sounds
c. Matching exercises

Mô tả sản phẩm


1- Justification of the research 

We all know that during the time of studying English, there are many pronunciation errors that secondary students of English tend to make such as word and sentence stress, intonation, length of vowel sounds, ending sounds and linking sounds, etc. To help better English pronunciation for students of English at secondary school, it’s is essential to do a search on most typical pronunciation problems of Vietnamese students, which is, in this research, errors with vowel sounds.

Secondly, for secondary students, who have to learn English as their main subject, and then take exams in which English is one of the compulsory subjects. It’s extremely significant to realize their pronunciation errors. They cannot self-correct their English pronunciation so they are not confident enough to communicate in English. It’s obvious that there are some students noticing their pronunciation errors when their pronunciation erroneously, others, on the other hand, don’t recognize their problem with pronunciation English words.

Last but not least, although there are common errors made by learners, not at all teachers pay attention to them. The above conclusion partly from personal observation supports this research. It is possibly because some sounds are not pronounced so clearly as other sounds in an utterance so they are less noticed by both learners and teachers. Added to this, there have not been many studies on these particular pronunciation errors so far at high level. Only studies about general speaking and pronunciation errors were carried out, which appears to have failed to emphasize the main pronunciation problem of Vietnamese students of English.

I believe that a study on English pronunciation errors will help students become well aware of their pronunciation problems to which they might not have paid any attention before. It’s also the help for some teachers in teaching pronunciation at schools if the study can suggest some solutions to help students practice pronunciation individually and in group. From the reasons mentioned above, I have decided to carry out this study entitled “Improving the way to pronounce English vowel sounds of grade-6 students”. 

  1. Aim and objectives of the research 

English phonetics is important as it lays basis for effective oral communication. As far as I know, students of English at primary schools are not taught phonetics(and students at secondary schools who learn new curriculum are taught some sounds) and mostly taught by nonnative- English teachers.

Classes in Viet Nam are big so it is not suitable for teachers and students to practice pronunciation.

For those reasons, I decided to do a study on pronunciation errors made by students in grade 6 at secondary schools to analyze the errors, their causes and the suggest some solutions based on my own experiences in teaching English to help students improve their pronunciation as well as to present to teachers of English a realistic picture of pronunciation errors made by their students so that they can find the suitable and effective methods to teach this subject with their students.

  1. Scope of the research 

The study focuses on English errors made by students in grade 6, I do not have an ambition to cover all the students’ problems with English pronunciation. Only the pronunciation errors with some typical vowels made by the students in grade 6 are investigated.

  1. Method of the research 

4.1 Subjects of the research 

This school year, there are 110 students from three classes- 6A, 6B and 6C at Thi Tran Trieu Son secondary school but I choose 50 students participating in this study. They are about the same age; both genders and they come from many villages in Trieu Son district.

4.2 Data collection instruments of the research 

Information in the study is collected in a natural way. In order to analyze the pronunciation errors that students in grade 6 make in their utterances, I have been observing in their lessons in class for many years and write down students’ errors. Then I analyze at home with the help of the attached CD and typescripts in the course book ” Pronunciation Made Simple” provided by an American teacher Ms. Mindy and many video clips  about pronunciation on YouTube.

4.3. Data analysis procedure of the research 

  Firstly, I took students’ errors, checked whether they knew how to pronounce the words or not, I also counted how many students selected each pronunciation.

Secondly, I compared students’ errors with the guide books, sample videos.

Thirdly, I asked my colleagues about how to pronounce the words in the survey and the errors that students made.




This first part will provide readers with the related theoretical background of the study by introducing some key concepts necessary for the best perception of this research as well as the review of previous studies related to the topic. Central concepts chosen to be clarified in this part are English pronunciation, Standard pronunciation, English pronunciation Errors Aspects of pronunciation such as the articulator and English sounds.

English pronunciation

Since the research have a strong desire to investigate the pronunciation errors in English, the definition of English pronunciation is especially important. Commonly speaking, pronunciation is simply put as “the way in which a language is spoken” [1] 

1- Standard English Pronunciation

“Standard English is the most preferable accent in any setting and to teach students. It is considered to be neutral, easier to remember and imitate as compared to regional accents and it is heard on radio and TV”[1] . Nowadays English has become the common mean of communication, it is no longer the own property of British people, a standard pronunciation in one place may not be as much standard in others. 

2- English sounds

There are 44 sounds in English. They are divided into two groups: 20 vowel sounds including 12 pure vowels, 8 diphthongs and 24 consonants sounds. It is too large for me to study all the sounds so in this study, I just focuses on pure vowels.

  • Pure vowel sounds

Vowels are “sounds in the production of which there is no obstruction to the flow of air as it passed the larynx to the lips”[1]. Vowels are divided into two groups: pure vowels(monothongs) and dipthongs.

In the study, only the pure vowel sounds focused on. Monothongs are pure vowel sounds and when we pronounce them, the organs of speech remain during the process of pronunciation.

According to Kelly, monothongs are classified based on four criteria:


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