ESL and IELTS Help 4 U

Say again, please?

Posted on: July 9, 2010

Pronunciation…

Here are two stories from my time teaching Thai students which may help you.

Saying the letter “r” is difficult for native Thai speakers.

However, every student I taught could say the word “tiger” correctly, no problem.

But when the “r” came at the beginning of the word, big problem.

So I had my students say the word “tiger” and then while they were still saying the “r” sound at the end, begin to say a word that starts with “r.”

A simple example: “tiger.r.r.red.

What happens is this.  When you get to the end of the word “tiger” your lips and tongue are in the correct place for the “r” sound. You can then just move this correct sound into another word that starts with “r.”

A second helpful tip is this. When you are trying to pronounce a word with several syllables, start out saying each syllable as if it is a separate word.

Let’s look at the word, relevant.  re…le…vant. Put a space between each sound until you can say each sound correctly.

Then slowly begin to shorten the space between each sound.  If you have a problem, slow down again.

In your native language, you are used to moving from one sound to another very quickly. In a new language, you have to practice moving from sound to sound sometimes before you go from word to word.

Practice is the key!

See full size image

Enjoy your English! Have fun! Laugh when you make a mistake! Happiness always makes learning easier.

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