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  1. Newbie
    English Teacher
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      • United States
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      • China

    • Join Date: Jan 2020
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    #1

    Reading words...

    I am teaching in a public jr and sr high school in Beijing. A large part of my work is to help students prepare for their national examinations. Many of my students have trouble reading English outloud (one part of the exam is to be evaluated while reading a paragraph). One problem specifically is that they do not pay attention to the whole word. For example, the sentence may be "The boy had trouble remembering what to do." They will see the beginning of the word and only read "remember". 80% of the time, the problem is with word endings. About 20% of the time they miss the beginning of the word (usually a prefix) and only read the root. Any suggested strategies to deal with this?

  2. J&K Tutoring
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    #2

    Re: Reading words...

    I run into this all the time! If I had a nickle for every time I have said, 'You have to say all of the word!', then I... Well, anyway...

    I think/guess it has to do with a difference between Chinese and English. Chinese words typically do not end with consonant sounds, so students tend to leave off consonant endings. I suggest you teach your higher-grade students about word linking- how final consonants are joined with initial vowels in following words to make them more clear. I think also Chinese words do not have prefixes or suffixes- extra words are added if needed to make the modification. Best strategy I can think of is to hammer home how important these details are to success on this oral part of the exam. Some will 'get it' and work hard and succeed; others will not and blame you for their failure. "Twas ever thus."

    It seems teachers have the same problem all 'round the world: We find ourselves focusing more and more on helping students pass an exam and less and less on actually teaching something useful. Hang in there!
    Last edited by probus; 27-Jan-2020 at 17:31. Reason: Fix typo

  3. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #3

    Re: Reading words...

    In Laos, they start cutting letters before any suffix.

  4. Skrej's Avatar
    Key Member
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    #4

    Re: Reading words...

    My student demographic is predominately Hispanic, and dropped endings are also an extremely pervasive issue. I notice it the most when dealing with verbs, and trying to explain that dropping those tense markers ('s','ed', 'ing') not only affects pronunciation, but the entire verb tense...

    They generally pick up on the need to write out tense markers just fine, but then just ignore pronouncing it. I can do a lesson on the 'ed' pronunciation rules, and have the class pretty much nailing it as long as it's just a list of practice words. However, turn around and have them apply it by speaking past tense sentences out loud, and they're back to just ignoring the existence of that 'ed' like a street beggar.

    Sometimes it's an issue with physically forming the sound, so a short phonetic lesson about how to actually make the sound sometimes will help (this site is invaluable in that aspect), but more often than not it's just a matter of repetition, and verbal reminders. Repeat ad nauseam.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  5. J&K Tutoring
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    #5

    Re: Reading words...

    I second the site Skrej linked. FYI, I checked, and it is reachable in China.

  6. Newbie
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    #6

    Re: Reading words...

    Quote Originally Posted by J&K Tutoring View Post
    I second the site Skrej linked. FYI, I checked, and it is reachable in China.
    I cannot reach this site using Shanghai IP address now

  7. probus's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Reading words...

    Quote Originally Posted by Skrej View Post
    My student demographic is predominately Hispanic, and dropped endings are also an extremely pervasive issue.
    Here's an off-the-wall thought. If your Spanish is decent you could try teaching the point in Spanish but using the incorrect Spanish tense. I have not actually done this in practice, but I think it would bring home to them how very bad their English sounds.

  8. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #8

    Re: Reading words...

    Quote Originally Posted by myrtlerankind View Post
    I cannot reach this site using Shanghai IP address now
    Your IP is from New York.

  9. J&K Tutoring
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    #9

    Re: Reading words...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Your IP is from New York.
    Perhaps myrtlerankind was using a VPN when you checked? I can reach this site (and the link posted) with or without using a VPN, but it's much faster with it.

  10. Banned
    Other
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    #10

    Re: Reading words...

    Hey,
    I would suggest you to give kids some exciting pieces of stuff to read, like an article about sports cars or interesting stories depending on their age. Because the matter is satisfying, they will read it more deeply. And thus, through this practice, the kids will get a routine of reading each and every word deeply. You can try this out, and I am sure that your kids will be excellent in reading. I can say this undoubtedly because my kid was also facing the same issue, then I take him to attend a programme about English reading conducted by Evoke learning a few months before. There they practice the same method for kids, and now he is improved amazingly.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 03-Mar-2020 at 09:23. Reason: deleting unapproved link

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