Pronunciation Tips

I’m just about to finish a great course on phonetics and phonology and, being a teacher myself, I know I leave my term armed with lots of very helpful hints for my students.

One thing that helped me explaining things to student was the fact that, in English, we tend to stress the most important words in a sentence. So something like “Do you want to go to the movies?” when spoken naturally and fluently might be difficult for students to understand because they will try to understand every single word they hear, but I was able to tell some of them already that they only need to focus on the most important and prominent sounds, like “go” and “movies”, and then they will understand the idea behind the sentence.

Another thing is that students commonly have trouble speaking the word “world” correctly, the tip I got was to have them say “were old” and then slowly trying to speak them closer together. This has been helping a lot in getting students to understand this sound is constructed and how to do it themselves.

Also, we exchanged ideas on how to ask students to break down a word and focus on speaking each syllable at a time or each chunk at a time, to make it easier for them to figure out all the sounds that belong to a word and only after that go into practicing the complete word. In addition, it was great learning little things that might go unnoticed like the stress between adj+noun and compound nouns.

These tips can work as a great way to teach students more quickly and efficiently about pronunciation and I have already been using them, I hope I can learn new ones in the future.

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