Danica M. Jerotijević Tišma, Jelena R. Danilović Jeremić


This paper aims at comparing two different approaches to teaching the
fundamentals of broad phonemic transcription - the old-fashioned, teacher-centred method involving repetition and drill exercises, and a more recent, relatively under-researched, learner-oriented method proposed by Adrian Underhill (2005). The idea behind the latter is to make pronunciation, hence the IPA symbols, empirical and physical, i.e. visible or, better yet, touchable. To determine whether the aforementioned teaching approaches are dissimilar in terms of effectiveness, we conducted an empirical study with two groups of Serbian EFL learners. One group was subjected to traditional teaching practices whereas the other was exposed to Underhill’s phonemic training program. Furthermore, we distributed a questionnaire to both groups of participants to gain an insight into the learners’ attitudes toward the applied methods. The data indicate that the Underhill method has contributed to improved results with regard to learning success and memory enhancement. Taking into consideration the universal application of the IPA symbols, the paper underscores the relevance of this innovative method for teaching phonemic transcription, not only of English, but any
other world language.


phonemic transcription, IPA, teaching methods, Adrian Underhill, EFL

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