What do Members of CATESOL TOP-IG Want from their Interest Group?
By Marsha Chan and Jaydene Elvin
In Spring 2019, 2018-19 TOP Co-coordinators Marsha Chan and Ellen Lange, along with Assistant Coordinator Jaydene Elvin, polled the Teaching of Pronunciation Interest Group. An online Google survey was announced via (the now-defunct) TOP-IG Google Groups, and TOP members were encouraged to participate. The survey was designed to gather information regarding how members would like to engage in TOP-IG platforms.
23 respondents submitted their opinions and comments between May 30 and June 6, 2019, with 19 respondents stating they were CATESOL members at the time of submission. The results were compiled and shared at the CATESOL Annual Conference in San Jose at the October 4 TOP Business Meeting, with this presentation as a visual aid.
Respondents were asked about the pronunciation topics that they would like to learn more about through the different TOP-IG platforms (e.g., conference sessions, rap sessions, social media sites, webinars, video clips, etc.) The top three answers were:
Half of the respondents were also interested in learning about:
- Resources for teaching pronunciation (73.9%)
- Teaching stress, rhythm and intonation (73.9%)
- Integrating pronunciation in speaking and listening classes (60.9%)
Other areas of interest included:
- Integrating pronunciation in a class on presentation skills (52.2%)
- Teaching connected speech (52.5%)
- Integrating technology in teaching pronunciation (52.2%)
Some respondents additionally wrote in that they would like to learn more about dealing with issues for specific language groups (e.g., Vietnamese) and textbook reviews.
- The influence of L1 on L2 pronunciation (39.1%)
- Bridging pronunciation research and teaching (39.1%)
- Consonants and vowels (21.7%)
At the 2019 Annual Conference, Ellen and Marsha focused the Board-sponsored TOP Workshop on one of the most desired two topics (Resources for teaching pronunciation), which members can access here: Resources beyond Textbooks for Teaching Pronunciation.
The TOP survey also asked members about which activities would suit their needs during the lunch rap at a regional or state conference. Based on the results, we learned that the majority of TOP members would like to hear a presentation about a specific topic (73.9%) or to participate in a Q&A session about pronunciation problems and possible solutions (65.2%). A smaller percentage of respondents stated that they would like to get to know other teachers of pronunciation (34.8%).
Finally, Social media is an important way for members to communicate and so we polled members on how they would like to use TOP social media. They responded:
Currently, TOP has two social media platforms: CATESOL’s portal, Memberleap, available to all CATESOL members, and Facebook. We are committed to posting announcements and invitations to upcoming pronunciation related events and encourage members to post any that they may come across as well. The Teaching of Pronunciation Interest Group is the most active online Interest Group in Memberleap (100 posts compared to many IGs with zero). Still, both members and leaders desire greater peer-to-peer participation. It seems that although participating in discussions about pronunciation learning and teaching is a good idea, members are reluctant to do the “participating” part. As of February 1, 2020, 163 CATESOL members have opted into Teaching of Pronunciation, so the Fall 2019 survey represents a small percentage of our IG. As TOP Coordinators, we will continue to search for ways to make engagement more attractive. We welcome your input. Send your comments, questions, and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Posting pronunciation events, suggesting pronunciation resources (69.6%)
- Receiving announcements on pronunciation events and resources (69.6%)
- Participating in discussions about pronunciation learning and teaching (47.8%)