The Importance of Computer-supported Instruction in Preservice Teachers’ Ability to Recognize Phones and Prosodic Elements


Society For İnformation Technology and Teacher Education SITE2016, Savannah, United States Of America, 21 - 25 March 2016, pp.25-26

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Savannah
  • Country: United States Of America
  • Page Numbers: pp.25-26


Phonetics is a branch of grammar which analyzes the phones of a language in terms of their creation, articulation features, conjoining in the words, missions and various changes (Korkmaz; 1992, p.128). It is necessary to have a level of knowledge about the structure and nature of the phones which create the speech in order to learn or teach the structure and nature of that language better (Üçok, 2007, p.14). It is also required to know the creation area of the phones and their features as well as such prosodic elements as stress, tone, duration and breaks which create the speech in order to have a clean speaking skill because speech is a language skill which is created through phonetic collocation. First of all, teacher candidates need to learn prosodic elements and phones which create speech in order to convey these elements to primary school and secondary school students correctly. In this regard, “Phonetics” courses have been included in Turkish Language Teaching Undergraduate Program by the Council of Higher Education in Turkey and this has been a target for the teacher candidates to learn these language elements correctly.

Researches which are carried out in Turkey and other countries regarding phonetics, which are the important elements of correct and effective communication, and prosodic elements, which show the psychological aspect of the language, put forward that these elements should be delivered through computer-supported instructions (McNerney & Mendelsohn, 1992; Derwing & Munro, 1997; Derwing et al., 1998; Chun, 1998; Derwing & Rossiter, 2003; Hincks, 2003; Hardison, 2005; Açık, 2008; Levis, 2008; Demenko et al., 2009; Tanner & Landon, 2009; Coşkun, 2009; Özbay & Çetin 2013, Tüm, 2014). Computer-supported instruction is a method “in which computers are used as an environment where the instruction is carried out, strengthening the learning process and student motivation and from which the student can derive benefit in accordance with his/her learning speed” (Uşun, 2004, p.42). According to another definition, it is the delivery of instructional content or activities through computers. Computer-supported instruction environments, which enable us to use visual and audial elements much more effectively and to bring forth abstract and complicated contexts much more effectively compared to traditional methods, have important roles for the achievement of the student (Akçay et al., 2005, p.104). In the researches which are carried out regarding the contribution of computers into instruction and education, it has been observed that computer-supported instruction increases the success of the students in the ratio of 10-18 % compared to traditional methods (Ergin, 1995, p.131).

Visual feedback of the phones and prosodic elements puts forward the effectiveness of visualization instruments, which are not used in the schools commonly, in the field of learning a language (Bonneau et al., 2004). Visual teaching of the semantic distinguisher functions of phonetic features and prosodic elements will enable the language learners or language teachers to learn these elements permanently. However; phonetic analysis programs which are used in experimental phonetics having been developed in Turkey since the beginning of 2000s are used in grammatical studies rather than educational functions. As a result of this; when the phonetics courses are delivered through traditional methods, teacher candidates cannot learn the phones and prosodic elements correctly and permanently. This problem occurring in learning environments makes computer-supported instruction compulsory in order to bring forth phones and prosodic elements in Turkish to the target group.

Aim of this study is to determine the positions of Turkish language teacher candidates regarding their knowledge of the phones and prosodic elements in Turkish; and to prepare computer-supported instruction materials which enable visualization and feedbacks in order to bring forth the functions of these units. Method of this study is “descriptive” method which aims at analyzing the cases and facts under natural circumstances. Survey model which is used in the study aims at “describing a current fact as it is available”. Working group of the study is composed of 60 voluntary teacher candidates studying at 3rd and 4th Grades in Turkish Language Teaching Department in a state university who studied phonetics courses in the previous periods. Data of the study were obtained in two phases. In the first phase, “Acquaintance Form of Phones and Prosodic Elements” with open-ended, multiple-choice and true-false questions which was prepared by the researcher by taking the opinions of assessment and evaluation experts was applied to the research group. Among these questions in this form, correct answers were scored as 1 while false answers were scored as 0. While assessing the data, percentage and frequency values were used. In the second phase, visual materials were prepared by using “Praat 6008” phonetic analysis program in order to enable the students to have a knowledge especially about consonant-vowel phonetic features and such prosodic elements as word and sentence stress, tone, intonation, break and duration within the context.

In accordance with the research results, it has been determined that teacher candidates have an insufficient level of knowledge about the functions of phonetics and prosodic elements. When the effect of instruction through visual feedback and visualization of abstract contexts of the permanent learning is taken into consideration, it is thought that computer-supported instruction in phonetics courses will be effective on the development of these skills.