Esl and Phonetics

What do ESL teachers need to know about phonetics and phonology and why?

Phonetics is the study of the inventory and structure of the sounds of language where as phonology is defined as the component of a grammar made up of the elements and principles that determine how sounds pattern in a language.   Both concepts are important for ESL teachers to understand in order to have the highest success in the classroom.   An understanding of foreign languages and how they differ from each other and from English can also aide a teacher in understanding a student’s speech pattern.   What grammar rules do a specific language follow?   How does a language’s suprasegmental properties affect a student’s ability to learn English?  
First examine suprasegmental properties of sound: pitch, loudness, length and how these properties might affect a student’s learning of English.   Differences in pitch can signal differences in word meanings in a tone language and not all languages are tone languages.   For example, in Mandarin pronouncing “ma” with a falling pitch means “scold” whereas pronouncing it with a rising pitch means “hemp”.   In Mandarin, a tone language, pitch changes the meaning of a word.   In a non-tone language, such as English, pitch does not change the meaning of a word.   In English, intonation patterns are indicated by punctuation marks, both with rising intonation and falling intonation.   For example, rising intonation, or nonterminal contour, often signals incompleteness and are often found in lists and telephone numbers.   Stress is a term used to define the combination of effects of pitch, loudness, and length.   Languages have different effects of stress.   In the English language, stressed vowels are higher in pitch, longer, and louder than unstressed ones. In general, “tone languages do not change the pitch level or contour of tones to mark stress.” (O’Grady, p. 45)  
As an ESL teacher, knowing the differences in these suprasegmental properties can aide in...