Tuesday, May 6, 2008

One thing to do today to improve your English Pronunciation

The first thing we need to remember is to stay focused on the moment. Instead of thinking of how hard it will be to change our speech pattern forever just focus on the immediate change and how to incorporate it into your speech. There is a saying, by the yard it is hard, but inch by inch it's a cinch. The one thing you can do today is to think about your final voiced consonants. What is this? Many words are made of consonants-vowels-consonants or CVC such as hat, big, hit, cab. All of those words follow a C-V-C pattern. In English unlike many other languages we use voiced consonants at the end of words. Look at these sounds. The first column is voiceless sounds, the second column are sounds that are produced in the same place and manner but are voiced.

Voiceless ---------- Voiced
/p/ ------------------------- /b/
/t/ -------------------------- /d/
/s/ --------------------------- /z/
/k/--------------------------- /g/
/f/-------------------------- /v/
/θ/------------------------- /ð/

Devoicing of final consonants is a common feature of non-native speakers of English. On way to help them correct for this is to have them hold the vowel before the voiced consonant for 2 beats. Minimal pair contrasts.

Voiced endings ---------------------- Voiceless endings

Bead ------------------------ beat
robe ------------------------ rope
bathe ----------------------- bath
bag ------------------------- back
have ----------------------- half
Heed ------------------------ heat
tub ------------------------- taupe
breathe---------------------- breath
tag-------------------------- tack
save ------------------------ safe
Bid ------------------------- bit
nab ------------------------- nap
clothe ---------------------- cloth

So when you see a word that ends in a voiced consonant make the word longer.

1 comment:

nivel said...

Good work Keep posting, Thanks