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    • Join Date: Sep 2007
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    #1

    Some Big Difficulties Learning English Pronunciation Are???


    What are some of the big difficulties with learning English pronunciation?

    How do you deal with them?

    elbe

    Last edited by elbe; 27-Aug-2008 at 21:52.

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      • British English
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      • Scotland
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    #2

    Re: What’s Biggest Difficulty Learning English Pronunciation?

    That question has many answers. The learner's first language will have a massive influence on this. I teach in Thailand and some of the things the Thais have difficulty with are the "l" sound at the end of a word. "Football" is said as "footbon" and Thai doesn't have the intial "V" so "Vodka" is "wodka". Contrast this with a German speaker. German has the "V" sound but not the "W". So they are polar opposites in this case.

    You need to research the phonics of the students you are teaching.


    • Join Date: Sep 2007
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    #3

    Re: What’s Biggest Difficulty Learning English Pronunciation?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamiep View Post
    That question has many answers. The learner's first language will have a massive influence on this. I teach in Thailand and some of the things the Thais have difficulty with are the "l" sound at the end of a word. "Football" is said as "footbon" and Thai doesn't have the intial "V" so "Vodka" is "wodka". Contrast this with a German speaker. German has the "V" sound but not the "W". So they are polar opposites in this case.

    You need to research the phonics of the students you are teaching.
    jamiep,

    I agree that the learner's 1st language, and researching the phonics, are very important factors.

    What might be some of the big difficulties with learning English pronunciation that are universal
    for learners from all non-English 1st languages?

    How do you deal with them?

    tyvm for your reply.

    elbe
    Last edited by elbe; 27-Aug-2008 at 21:53.

  1. Cristina de Felipe's Avatar
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      • Spanish
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      • Afghanistan
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      • Zimbabwe

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    #4

    Re: Some Big Difficulties Learning English Pronunciation Are???

    I think what Jamie meant is that there are no sounds exclusively used in English that natives of all languages have problems with, so there's no such thing as "universal difficulties" when it comes to pronunciation.

    Besides, even if English vowels and intonation can be quite tricky, there are so many local varieties of English where vowels are also pronounced differently and with a different intonation that one student from one specific country might have difficulty with a specific vowel/intonation depending on where his teacher of English comes from. If your teacher is from Scotland or Texas they just won't sound the same.

    So you'll have to take one "difficulty" at a time and deal with it depending on your students' native language and his language skills.

    Just one example, Spanish speaking students tend to add an e before any word starting with s. But that sound does exist in Spanish, even if it's in the middle of words, never at the beginning, so if you ask them to pay attention to the fact that they can and actually do say inspiration (the word in Spanish is almost the same), they'll be able to pronounce "in spite" instead of in(e)spite without that unnecessary vocal sound. But speakers of other languages do not have this specific problem.

    Since all sounds in English do not exist in all other languages each case will need to be dealt differently and individually. Another example: in Spanish v and b are pronounced just the same and there's nothing that sounds like an English v, so they'll need to learn it from scratch.

    So each case needs to be approached differently keeping in mind the students' native language, as knowing which sounds are the same or similar in their native language will help them a lot.

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