Linking Words and Developing Rythm

Topics: Consonant, English language, Vowel Pages: 46 (6542 words) Published: April 4, 2013
Linking words and developing rhythm for greater fluency

TITLE: Unit 03 Linking


Pronunciation in context9

Types of linking11


Thought groups and pausing26

When do I use contractions?31

Why should I use contractions?32

Voice work – consonants34
What is a consonant?34

Voiced and unvoiced consonants34

Final consonant sounds35

Final ‘s’ word endings37

Check your progress39


Suggested responses41




Having worked through Sections 1 and 2 of the module, you will now know there are many things to think about in English pronunciation. These include pronouncing individual sounds, pronouncing syllables, stressing the correct syllables in a word and stressing particular words in a sentence. In Section 2 we mainly concentrated on smaller parts of speech such as sounds, syllables and words.

What you’ll learn

In Section 3 you will learn about pronunciation by looking at larger chunks or parts of speech such as the sentence. This includes several important areas for effective English pronunciation including:

• linking

• rhythm

• thought groups

• pausing

NOTE: The tracks have been linked to the audio files. Simply click on the words Track XX and you will be able to listen to the sound.


English words ‘run together’ so that a sentence often sounds like one long word. Joining the sounds at the end of one word to the beginning of the next word is a common practice in English. It is called linking. This makes English speech sound smooth and fluent. It is important because it helps you to understand other people more easily and other people will understand you more easily.

Listen to the linking in the example below.

|[pic] |Track 45 |

Is(it(an(evening course?

When you link words together, you keep your voice going smoothly. Linking makes English speech sound fast and fluent. In some languages, speakers do not do this but take a short breath after each word.

|[pic] |Do you use linking when you speak in your first language? |

Let’s do a practice activity where we listen to linking in a natural English dialogue.

|[pic] |Activity 1 |

Read the following conversation between two colleagues who arrive at work on Monday morning. Can you predict what the missing questions will be?

Kate: Hi Evan.

Evan: Hi there, Kate

Kate: 1_____________________?

Evan: Yeah, thanks. It was great.

Kate: 2_____________________?

Evan: Oh nothing special. Played tennis on Saturday. Went to visit my brother and his family on Sunday. You know, the usual weekend thing.

|[pic] |Track 46 |

Now listen to the CD and fill in the missing words in Activity 1. Can you guess how many words were in each one?

Question 1 has _____ words.

Question 2 has _____ words.

Compare your answer with the Suggested Responses at the end of this section.

Did you catch all the words that were said? It might have been difficult to count all the words as some of the words joined other words and therefore became hard to identify while listening.

In Section 2 we looked at the changes that occur when speech becomes rapid and informal and how certain words are stressed or unstressed. This practice encourages linking as we can skip quickly over unstressed words by linking them to other...
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