I’ve never been a fan of pron work. Back in the day, students learned the symbols then spent hours in the lab listening to natives and covering themselves in saliva as they wrestled with their tongues.
I’ve always felt that it’s something students need to work on at home. I’ve done the symbols and transcription, motor skill activities, recorded pron, analysed pron, used Soundcloud, then all the other stuff like chunking, stress etc etc BUT when it comes to L1 interference I have a problem.
When I used to teach in a language school, I had groups of eager students and did pron sections of books. This went down well but rarely was suitable as about 60% of the class could do whichever sound it was. As for activities, I did drilling, eliciting, correcting, practice, games and also researched which countries had which problems (also on the CELTA) and highlighted them and gave tips.
With 1-2-1s and monolingual groups things are different. I find that students really don’t like being told their pron is bad and they REALLY don’t like t when you say it’s due to L1 interference. 1 local teacher even said I was being prejudice. Probably because he used ERRRR between every other word and that had been what I was discussing with a colleague.
Other private clients have just not wanted to work on their problems. I think for these reasons:
1) They don’t see pron as important.
2) They don’t think they have a problem as they sound the same as the other locals.
3) They take pron correction very personally. They wouldn’t get so upset if I said they added ED at the end of every irregular past tense verb.
4) If they admit they have a problem, they lose face.
5) They see it as an attack on their L1 and some countries, like France, really love their language.
For these reasons, I am very reluctant to go into too much pron work with clients or groups. I just raise their awareness, show them a video of the motor skills, give them some practice and then move on. Yes, they really need more and have to put in the effort but it’s probably not going to happen.
C’est la vie!!!