Monday, 16 April 2018

Speaking and pronunciation

There's a lot to be said on this subject! So, after a gap of 3 years (gulp) here am I, conscious of my silence and eager to make up for it. Speaking and pronunciation is the weak point that many students struggle with. I know, it's scary! "People will not understand me, they will not even try to. They will laugh at me!" Well, if they laugh at you, they are not worth your time. Imagine how they would manage speaking your language. (They could not do it – and if the person laughing is a 'friend' from your own country, they are not helpful, and not a good friend.) If you can, that is if they are not a customer in your job, just move on. Remember, they are not worth your time! Two important phrases to remember are: 1. Could you please speak more slowly? 2. Could you please repeat that? (Or – could you please repeat what you said?) (Can you think of any other phrases that are useful?) Word stress. Syllabification Syllabification means dividing a word into syllables. For example – donkey has two syllables – don- key Rule 1. every syllable has one vowel sound. Rule 2 . the number of vowel sounds in a word equals the number of syllables. In English, the following general tendencies apply. Two syllable nouns and adjectives Stress on the first syllable - examples are apple, table, happy Oo Exceptions are: Hotel lagoon Words which can be used both as nouns and as verbs The noun has stress on the first syllable. Oo "You are the suspect!" The verb has a stress on the second syllable oO "I suspect you!" Compound nouns Fairly equally balanced but with a stronger stress on the first part. Examples are Hairbrush football Words with more than 2 syllables are another matter and generally differ between British English and American English. Examples: Caribbean Aluminium ooOo (British English) Caribbean Aluminum oOoo American English. The general tendency in British English is to stress the 3rd syllable, although there are many exceptions! Three syllable words: usually we stress the first syllable, but that depends on the last syllable. For example, words ending in 'er' or 'ly' stress the first syllable. For words ending in 'ial' the stress can vary – social, financial, differential. Words ending in 'cian' generally stress the second syllable – musician, physician A general rule piece of advice, is that when you come across a new word and put it into your vocabulary notebook, make a note of the pronunciation. This is where the IPA chart comes in handy! Exercises. Put these words above into the right box according to stress: one example for each box has been done for you. Oo oO Ooo oOo ooOo business afford Olympics information Wonderful Believe Computer Japan Breakfast Penicillin President The best thing to do is LISTEN as much as you can to native speakers, if you are in an English speaking country.

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