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all about phonology

Testing Listening
Testing Listening (by Kitao)
Testing Pronunciation
Testing Listening
Testing Pronunciation (by Augustin Simo)

Testing listening has several possibilities to be tested; one of them is Testing Phoneme Discrimination, which is when sounds are difficult to learn.


However, it could be a good example if the teacher gives the students some Pictures and listen to four words and decide which word is the object in the Picture.


An author called Ptok M .said that several tests have been developed to probe phoneme discrimination. He tested preschool children (5.1-6.3 years old) with a time lag between test 1 and test 2 of 1 month.


Correlational analysis was carried out using 60 minimal pairs consisting of real words and nonsense syllables. The choice of items took into consideration their frequency in the basic vocabulary as well as phoneme properties such as contrast and position.


We consider these suggests because every student is able to discriminate different sounds and these items can be used for diagnostic purpose to know what the problems with distinguishing between phonemes are.

About discriminating stress and intonation, is the ability to recognize stress.

A good example could be: Intonation Practice (by

A: Waiter! Waiter! There's a fly in my soup!

B: A fly in your soup? What's it doing there?

A: I have no idea.

B: Well, what do you want me to do about it?

A: I want you to come and get it out.

B: All right. Calm down. I'll be there in a few minutes.

Here the students have to decide whether the speaker is making a straightforward statement, a sarcastic statement, or a question.

Understanding sentences and dialogues, in the simplest form, this type of item consists of: example by TOEFL: Choosing the sentence closest in meaning to the one spoken on the tape.

Example: Statement on tape: "Brian hasn't heard from his mother since last month." Possible answers: (A) Brian's mother doesn't hear well. (B) Brian's mother hasn't been in touch. (C) Brian heard his mother's voice. (D) Brian and his mother are close.

We consider this kind of item appropriate for students because they can practice listening also using a television, a radio, the speech, etc. so students begin to understand the meaning of what are they listen and then students could do exercises  easier.


Testing Some Suprasegmental Features of English Speech


In this paper we could notice that listening skills in English are very important for us, but at the same time it is very hard to test the abilities of our students.


As Miss Vasquez said, “For me it is complicated to evaluate my students, because I have a big number of students in the classroom, so it is faster and easier for me to give them a writing test instead of  evaluate through an oral test”.


We disagree with Miss Vasquez’s opinion, because we do not have to look for our personal interests, we are teacher, we must share our knowledge with them, we should test and teach students not according to what is better for us, but what is better for them.


We think that a huge benefit of focusing students on how words are stressed, is the association with the word that it gives which is neccesary for the correct pronunciation of words. Students need to be related with words many times, in such a different ways, in order to use them and learn them in an appropriate way.



According to Emma Pathare, Teacher,  A common example of misunderstanding in English, is related with mistakes in word stress.


Stressing the wrong syllable in a word can make you be in troubles of misunderstanding,  for example, try saying the following words:


o O

O o




And now in a sentence:
"I carried the b'tell to the hottle."

If you reverse the stress patterns for the two words, you should be able pronunce this sentence in the correct form.

"I carried the bottle to the hotel."



You can help your students, explain them that eventhough that the words look similar they do not have the same word stress, for example:

O o

o O oo

O o o

o o o O o







        A useful thing we can do is to help students see connections with other word families, for example:

O o

o O oo

O o o

o o o O o










We believe that the abilities of pronunciation can take a long time to show improvements, but working on word stress can be fun and over time will help our students to be better understood and more confident speakers.






Is important that our students know that a good pronunciation demands lot of practice, they have to be able to use a correct emphasis, contrast and opposition, and  they have to do a big effort in order to achieve a better and more natural  pronunciation in English utterances.


Teachers can use different test material to evaluate  listening testing, for instance, an audio tape, and a video tape if the teacher has another purposes, but all those materials will depend on the main purpose that the school and the teacher pretend that the students reach.


Sometimes when the students reach the goal that the teacher wanted, it becomes very complicated for the teacher to evaluate them, beacuse their listening proficiency gets more advanced.