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Old 05-29-2010, 05:24 AM   #1
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Default Reading and Pronouncing Macedonian: an Interactive Tutorial

Please visit this webpage:

and download the tutorial.

The Project: General Description
The interactive tutorial on Macedonian phonology and orthography aims to present an authoritative and technologically enhanced means of alleviating the scarcity of pedagogical materials for Macedonian language instruction on the most basic phonological and orthographic level. Apart from Kristina Kramer's book and accompanying CD, Macedonian for Beginning and Intermediate Students, and Kim Gareiss' instructional materials based on the Macedonian film "Before the Rain," there are no other materials in English for teaching the language. Furthermore, Macedonian phonology and orthography, among the first tasks that confront a language learner, are not the foci of either of these two materials. The need is present for this type of instructional material, as the number of students interested in learning Macedonian is poorly reflected in the small number of institutions teaching it: University of Toronto, University of Chicago, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Arizona State University and its Critical Languages Summer Institute. There are many eager learners of Macedonian outside those institutions, some of whom have contacted me in search of materials to aid the learning of Macedonian, and I have not been able to find adequate materials for them. This tutorial will be downloadable from the web and available on CD; therefore, it will be accessible to anyone interested in using it for self-study as well as in the classroom.

The tutorial is meant for a broad audience, including beginning and intermediate students of Macedonian with no background in any other Slavic language, as well as students who have had experiences with the phonology of other Slavic languages. It is designed to draw on that knowledge by paralleling Macedonian phonological traits with those of Russian, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, and Bulgarian, presenting similarities and differences that may not be obvious even to advanced speakers of those languages. These features are addressed in notes to speakers and learners of those languages, explaining, for example the differences of the place of articulation of the dental "d" in Russian as opposed to Serbo-Croatian and Macedonian, of the palatals "kj" and "gj" in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian as opposed to Macedonian, or the orthographic differences between a Russian Cyrillic and a Macedonian Cyrillic capital "D."

The tutorial features a brief language history timeline, a brief description of Macedonian language stress patterns, numerous examples for illustrating different sounds and letters, pronunciation samples by native speakers of sounds, words, and entire texts, and various exercises. The presentation of letters and sounds in the tutorial is based on unvoiced/voiced consonant pairs, which are illustrated with minimal pairs. The orthography is addressed by representing all the sounds in print as well as in cursive. In the latter case, animations show the stroke of individual letters, as well as how they fit into words, and within the context of two texts: a Macedonian folk tale and the poem "Denovi" by the renown Macedonian poet Koco Racin (1908-1943). The inclusion of two authentic texts, authentic cultural graphics, and maps, which are incorporated throughout the tutorial and in the review exercises, gives students the opportunity to interact with elements of Macedonian culture.
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