Teachers’ Tips: PRONUNCIATION

Producing sound and actually being able to say a word perfectly is a real challenge for most non-native speakers. It is understandable that some syllables and sounds don’t exist in our native tongue and that’s completely normal. However, when it comes to speaking English, we should, or must be able to enunciate the words and phrases clearly to sound like a native speaker (or at least neutral) and most especially, to be understood.

It goes without saying that practice, practice, practice is the key to success, but going an extra mile would induce more positive results. These are some exercises you can add:

“Try to record your voice then compare with your dictionary.”
-Teacher Ana

The most tried and true source of information regarding this matter would be a dictionary. Check out the right pronunciation of the word and compare it with yours. Repeat until you sound quite parallel.

“Try tongue twisters to stretch your tongue”
-Teacher Alejandro

Getting used to babbling tongue twisters such as those above are a great way to get your tongue used to different positions that are required to produce certain sounds such as the most dreaded “r” sound. Furthermore, it also accustoms the oral muscles to speed used in transitioning from one sound to another as in from “L” to “R” in the word “already”.

r and l

/r/ and /l/ sound, 11 of 19 slides. Slide Share. 16 March 2015. Web. 13 June 2017. <www.slideshare.net>.

“Watch English movies and imitate”
-Teacher Geralyn

Watching movies (and or series) gives us clue on how to actually utter the words, intonation, and stress. Some common expressions are being spoken in movies and it could help a lot to try to mimic the way native speakers converse.

http-mashable.comwp-contentgalleryhow-i-met-your-mothertumblr_mmqcypookx1qd9vmjo2_500

Gif from the series How I Met Your Mother. People’s Choice. 28 March 2014. Web. 13 June 2017. <peopleschoice.com>

“Sing English songs especially songs with blending.”
-Teacher Ana

People love music whether or not they can sing or not. Singing English songs can help you practice blending and pronunciation. Plus, you can sing in karaoke to practice!

“Don’t be afraid to ask about the right pronunciation.”
-Teacher Areya

ipa

The IPA Symbols. IPA Paradise. Web. 11 June 2017. <ipa-paradise.weebly.com>

Last, but not the least, don’t be afraid to ask! Asking for the right pronunciation is better than wondering and being hesitant to speak of the word.

Bonus: Familiarize yourself with the International Phonetic Alphabet or the IPA symbols. This comes in handy!

 

**featured image: Pronunciation. Fluent U. Web. 11 June 2017. <http://www.fluentu.com&gt;.

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Teachers’ Tips: WRITING

Writing is like a double-edged sword – it could be both advantageous and disadvantageous at the same time. Unlike speaking, writing could be reviewed and edited as long as you have enough time. However, talking about the latter, published work is irreversible be it printed or digital.

That’s why it is crucial to be detail-oriented in writing. The process wouldn’t be an overnight success – it is a combination of different factors and habits that leads to development of this skill. Here are five tips from our teachers that would help you along the way:

“Picture the flow of your piece.”
– Teacher Rolando

To make a clear map of your piece, it would help to be specific with your topic, determine the scope of your essay and discern the purpose of writing your piece. Start with tailoring the three important parts: introduction, body, and conclusion.

“Study basic grammar rules first before complex grammar rules/ structures.”
Teacher Jesheamor

Grammar, as Merriam-Webster dictionary suggests, is “the set of rules that explain how words are used in a language”.  Sure, there a lot of rules and exceptions in studying a language, that is the point why it is important to start with the basics alongside with simple sentences to complex ones. Familiarize yourself with the figures of speech, subject verb agreement, clauses and phrases, punctuation rules and many more. Check out http://www.grammarbook.com for helpful and comprehensible explanations.

“List down 5-10 new words everyday.”
-Teacher Geralyn

There are may words that could describe a single event and as soon as you expand your vocabulary, the more specific and clearer your sentences would be. Writing 5-10 words everyday is a good start when developing your skill. Review the words you have learned in class and try to use them in a sentence till you master their usage.

“Read different kinds of articles.”
-Teacher Rolando

Writing style is the product of your own imagination plus all those you have read. Developing one’s personal writing style involves taking into account the voice of other writers. Reading different kinds of articles can also help you be familiarized with sentence structures, vocabulary, and word usage.

“Keep a journal.”
– Teacher Areya

The daily writing practice serves as a whetstone to enhance writing skills. Few months or years upon writing consistently, you could go back to the earlier dates and “evaluate” how much you have improved. Start by writing about your day and try to be as descriptive as you can. Remember: Practice, practice, practice.

Bonus:

“Join writing contest.”
– Teacher Ana

Joining writing contest or any other contests for that matter is not only about winning. Of course, winning would be the best thing after putting your masterpiece out there, but there are other ways that joining a contest is beneficial. It is a good way to test your ideas, challenge yourself, and show your talent.

Have you heard of the Photo Essay Contest? Monol International Education Institute encourages students to participate in the said competition held per batch.
Challenge yourself!

**featured image from https://www.careermetis.com/increase-writing-efficiency/