Tips for learning pronunciation

problem-860227_1920It might seem that English pronunciation is difficult to handle. But there are habits that will make it easier for you to pronounce better. Here are a few tips I usually share in class with my students:

TIPS FOR LEARNING SPELLING AND PRONUNCIATION

  1. Keep your own pronunciation record. I always recommend dedicating a few pages on your notebooks to grouping words according to their pronunciation. This is particularly helpful with vowels and vocalic groups. When you learn a new word which has a “weird” pronunciation, write it down with other words that contain the same sound. It can be useful also when there is a word you always seem to be getting wrong.
  2. Learn the symbols of the IPA (international phonetic alphabet). The IPA is an essential tool for language learners. I wouldn’t say it’s necessary to learn to transcribe or even be familiar with every single sound, but you should be aware of some phonemes, as it will enable to pronounce any word at all by simply looking it up in the dictionary. The interactive phonetic chart below may be of some help to get started:

3. Learn to recognize word stress and sentence stress. Stress is the most important features of the English phonological system. Being aware that some syllables and words will not be heard because they are weak forms, while others will surely stand out because they are strong, will make it a little easier for you to start prediciting certain phrases because of their stress patterns. And you’ll finally get to understand the reason why “the English seem to eat up all the words”.

4. Be patient!

Words of Autumn

Last year some students in our school took part in the #asísedi campaign, a collaborative activity to learn and raise awareness on the right forms that exist in Galician to refer to everyday aspects of our life.

Students and teachers were invited to write  words in Galician  on an empty piece of a paper, which remained available and public over a period of time so anyone could stop by and share a word they knew.

The first semantic field we proposed was autumn and we asked people to simply write down or share on social networks what they associated this season with. Many words that were written on the board referred to melancholy, or popular festivities like “O magosto”, “Samaín” or “Tódolos Santos”. What ideas would have added?

After checking the correctness and suitability of the words, we posted the result:

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How many of these words do you know in English?

Test your knowledge of English words related to autumn with the quiz below:

https://quizlet.com/156646924/flashcards/embed

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It’s your turn!

Is there any word you would like to add to this glossary? Can you spot any untranslatable phrase or word? Feel free to share your comments and ideas.

Classroom language: instructions

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For extra practice on classroom language you can will find more on: classroom language for pair and group work.

For extra practice on QUIZLET- FLASHCARDS of classroom objects: https://quizlet.com/165315845/flashcards/embed

For extra practice on QUIZLET- FLASHCARDS to practice classroom language:

https://quizlet.com/165319285/flashcards/embed

And try doing the quizzes on www.esolcourse.com -for beginners.

Shakespeare lives

2016 commemorates the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, so it’s a wonderful opportunity to learn more about this poet and playwright, considered the greatest writer of English literature. The web and social media are posting links and events that will help you learn more about his life, and understand why he became so relevant. You can follow hashtags on twitter like #shakespeare, #shakespeare400thanniversary or #shakespearelives to get more information.

Shakespeare Lives on Film trailer from British Council Film on Vimeo.

Any time is a good time to discover the works of writers you’ve never read before, but given the quantity of information and ideas these days, now could be just the right moment to read something by Shakespeare. I suggest visiting these pages and links to start:

A complete list of his works.

A youtube playlist featuring trailers of film adapatations of his work.

Play this fun kahoot game to revise or learn some interesting facts about Shakespeare’s life.

And don’t miss all the interesting posts on BBC Learn English.

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