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  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner
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      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
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      • China
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      • China

    • Join Date: Aug 2019
    • Posts: 8
    #11

    Re: do kids in English-speaking countries learn phonetic alphabet system in school?

    Quote Originally Posted by J&K Tutoring View Post
    but I do think learning phonics is very important for ESL students- especially native Chinese speakers.
    Many thanks for your comments, J&K Tutoring:). I agree with you, English is not our native tongue, so we must use some system to help us pronounce the words correctly. Those failing to learn it well when they first started to learn English tend to fall behind further and further later on until they feel frustrated enough to give up. A good command of phonetic spelling helps not only with pronunciation of words, but with memorizing them too. Remembering a word will be much easier if one knows not only how it's spelled but also how it's pronounced.

    Quote Originally Posted by J&K Tutoring View Post
    I believe the problem stems from the fact that the first teachers a child encounters- the ones that teach the basics upon which all subsequent learning builds- are the lowest-paid, least and poorest-educated of all the teachers, and that teachers get better as the student progresses to higher levels/grades.
    Yeah, that's true, most kids learning English in China don't have access to English-speaking natives or even good Chinese teachers teaching them when they first started to learn, that's possibly part of the reason many young students hate English right from the beginning, to them English is only about memorizing words letter by letter, listening to teachers explaining grammar they can never understand (mostly because the language of Chinese doesn't have many grammar rules) and analyzing long sentences they can never make head or tail of. English is such an agony for them that from time to time you see complaints poping up on internet places here and there like "I don't plan to have a job requiring english, why do I have to learn it in school" or "AI will soon replace human translators, why do I still have to learn English".

    Quote Originally Posted by J&K Tutoring View Post
    No rules are going to help with groups like comb/bomb/tomb or, (even worse) tongue/vague/argue/segue. But it is very important for students to learn that all those bewildering thousands of English words are made from only 26 letters and there is strong logic in the construction of the vast majority of them.
    Yes, I think it's very important, so that the kids won't see words as random combinations of meaningless letters. Instead of learning the right way from the start many young students were taught, particularly in rural areas where good English teachers are in short supply, to memorize English words with the help of Chinese characters with similar pronunciation, for example, pest equals to 拍死它。

  2. VIP Member
    Retired English Teacher
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      • British English
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      • Europe
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    #12

    Re: do kids in English-speaking countries learn phonetic alphabet system in school?

    Quote Originally Posted by J&K Tutoring View Post
    ... it is very important for students to learn that all those bewildering thousands of English words are made from only 26 letters and there is strong logic in the construction of the vast majority of them. This is especially important for native Chinese speakers, as the relationship between a 'thing', the word we say, and the word we write is totally different between Chinese and English.
    That is so true. It is also something I completely failed to get across to my learners in the nine months I worked in China.

    I tried working with them on such patterns as bat/mat/sat, bad/mad/sad, bet/met. It seemed to make no difference. Even after I had pointed out the underlying system, they would insist that they had no idea how to pronounce, for example, set when they met it for the first time.

  3. Junior Member
    English Teacher
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      • English
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      • United States
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      • United States

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    #13

    Re: do kids in English-speaking countries learn phonetic alphabet system in school?

    Hi everyone,

    I would like to say that, here in America, school children learn a phonetic system, but it is a system used only in America, and it is quite different than IPA.

  4. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    English Teacher
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      • UK
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    #14

    Re: do kids in English-speaking countries learn phonetic alphabet system in school?

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    That's not surprising. Here's an example from this site:
    They look very weird now.

  5. Newbie
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      • China
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    • Join Date: Aug 2019
    • Posts: 8
    #15

    Re: do kids in English-speaking countries learn phonetic alphabet system in school?

    Quote Originally Posted by NinjaTurtle View Post
    Hi everyone,

    I would like to say that, here in America, school children learn a phonetic system, but it is a system used only in America, and it is quite different than IPA.
    Thank you very much for the information, do you know if it is used throughout the country, or only in some places of America? And is it a new development or it has existed for a long time?

    And forgive me for so many questions:), what's it like? maybe one of the respelling systems? here below is a snap shot of a webpage on phonetic respelling from Wikipedia.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Albert Song; 30-Aug-2019 at 15:34. Reason: picture wasn't showing

  6. Moderator
    Interested in Language
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    #16

    Re: do kids in English-speaking countries learn phonetic alphabet system in school?

    Quote Originally Posted by Albert Song View Post
    Thank you very much for the information, do you know if it is used throughout the country, or only in some places of America?
    Education in the United States is managed mostly at the state and municipal level. There are few national standards. Reading may be taught quite differently in two adjacent school districts.
    I am not a teacher.

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