The Best Way in Dealing with Difficult Pronunciation for English Beginners

Topics: Phoneme, International Phonetic Alphabet, Schwa Pages: 3 (759 words) Published: April 12, 2013
How to Overcome the Pronunciation Barrier: 9 Great Tips for Teaching Phonemics 1. 1
One Phoneme at a Time
While “improving pronunciation” as a goal might seem unattainable, helping your students improve their pronunciation one phoneme at a time is much more doable. Instead of taking up most of class time practicing pronunciation, practice a different phoneme every day, or every week. 2. 2

Practice the Schwa
The schwa sound [ə] is the neutral vowel sound that typically occurs in unstressed syllables, for example in words like choc(o)late, sep(a)rate, cam(e)ra, elab(o)rate, etc… There are languages that pronounce these syllables differently and students might be tempted to pronounce them as they do in their native tongue (this is usually the case with Spanish speakers, where the central o in “chocolate” is pronounced clearly). Teach students to be aware of the schwa sound and learn to identify it as it will be tremendously useful in improving their pronunciation. 3. 3

Same Spelling Different Sounds
Students should learn that the same consonant combination may have different sounds, for example the ch in chicken and character. The sound [k] in character, in fact, may be spelled with a k, ck, c, ch or que. The th combination is another example: it is pronounced [ð] in this, that, these, those; but it is pronounced [θ] in thin, thank, think, theory, for example. The gh combination is yet another example, as it pronounced as a g (ghost) or f (rough). Practice each of these combos and others one at a time. 4. 4

Same Sound, Different Spellings
Teach students to identify different ways to spell the same sound. Examples of these are the ai sound in mine, buy, pie, rye. Homophones are the perfect example of this: buy and by; pair and pear; cell and sell, etc… There are lots of games and activities you can do with your class with homophones. 5. 5

Explain the Magic -E rule
Show students how the addition of an -e at the end of a word changes its...
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