RHYMES AND POEMS-BASED TECHNIQUES IN DEVELOPING YOUNG LEARNERS' PHONETIC SKILLS
Phonetic skills are fundamental skills that are to be developed from the initial stage of foreign language learning. Awareness of speaking customs encourages children and boost their motivation. It is widely known that pronunciation should be acquired from an early age to prevent communicative difficulties adult learners may face. The aim of the research is to analyze the ways how rhymes and poems contribute to the efficiency of pronunciation skill-building and identify the most effective techniques. In this regard we focused on rhyme and poems-based techniques that increase young learners' involvement in the educational process. The article presents three stages and the results of the experimental study conducted in the group of 12 third-grade students. At the first stage the initial level of the pupils' phonetic skills was tested by offering them a set of phonetic tasks dealing with certain sounds which Russian speakers find difficult to pronounce. The second stage was devoted to developing the children's phonetic skills by employing techniques as spelling songs, drop-a-word songs, total physical response, rhyming with games which help them acquire proper pronunciation. To evaluate the children's progress they were provided with the tasks identical to those from the first stage. The outcomes of the experiment prove learners' progress in pronunciation, listening, and comprehension. Moreover, the study has shown that students improved their communicative competence that enables them to recognize speakers' moods and intentions. These techniques contribute to a more friendly educational environment and boost the children's creativity. The findings of the study could provide practical guidance to EFL teachers working with young learners.