Pronunciation in slow and fast speech

ln different contexts we change the speed at which we speak.

We are likely to speak more slowly, for example, when we are talking to a large audience, or when we are talking about an unfamiliar or difficult topic .

We are likely to speak more quickly, for example, in conversation, when we are talking to friends or relatives, or when we are talking about routine or familiar topics.

Let’s look at some of the changes in pronunciation that take place in fast speech when compared with slow, careful speech. These include linking sounds, leaving out sounds and changing sounds.

Speech is broken up into units, often with a pause between them. Within these speech units, words are linked together smoothly.  In fast speech in particular, these units may be quite long and the words spoken quickly. Compare the units (marked with // below) in these examples of slow and fast speech:

Slow speech: A nurse is explaining how to make a sling:
// this goes under the arm// and then over the shoulder// all the time// make sure you support the arm// talk to the patient// and find out what position// is most comfortable for them//

Fast speech: Three friends are in a Chinese restaurant:
A: // is anyone having a starter or not// or are we going straight to the main course//
B: // I’m going to go straight to the main course//
C: //yeah//
B: // but I might have an extra portion of something// you never know//
A: // do they do nice sweets here//
C: //I think it’s just lychees//
A // what’s lychees//
B: // they’re the funny little white ones// aren’t they//
C: // that’s right// I’m not terribly keen on them//

Notice how the words are run together:

// or are we going straight to the main course//
// but I might have an extra portion of something//

Because words within units are run together, it can sometimes be difficult to understand them. However, one or more word in each unit is emphasised and may be said more clearly than others. It is important to focus on these, as they usually carry the most important information in the unit.

Listen to these speech units from the restaurant conversation again and notice how the words with
syllables in large capital letters are emphasised:
//I’m going to go STRAIGHT to the MAIN course//
//I think it’s just lyCHEES//
//they’re the FUNny little WHITE ones//
// that’s RIGHT//

Here are some long speech units taken from fast speech. Listen to each and repeat.

example: What are you doing tomorrow at about half past twelve?
1. I didn’t know whether they were leaving or not.
2. She said she’d never seen anything like it before.
3. They don’t seem to be getting on too well.
4. As long as you don’t mind us coming in late.
5. We should be able to get there in a couple of hours.

First, listen to an extract from a business meeting. Then repeat six single speech units taken from the discussion. If possible, repeat them without looking at the units written out below. Try to run the words in the unit smoothly together.

(Speaker C = Canada)
A: So why did you go for Jensens// to supply the machines//
B: Well at the time// I thought they were the best available//
c: And we’ve done business with them before//
A: But that was years ago//
B: Yes// but the management hasn’t changed at all!/
c: And they’ve still got a pretty good reputation//
A: But you now feel that the product isn’t up to scratch//
B: No// they’ve been pretty poor// to be honest//
A: So you think// we ought to be looking for a different supplier//
B: Yes// I do// And for compensation from Jensens//
c: Shall I contact the lawyers about it//
A: Yes, please// We’ll leave that to you//

1  // so why did you go for Jensens//
2  // and we’ve done business with them before//
3  // and they’ve still got a pretty good reputation//
4  // that the product isn’t up to scratch//
5  // they’ve been pretty poor//
6  // shall I contact the lawyers about it//

Listen to these speech units taken from the same conversation. Identify the one word, or sometimes two words, that are emphasised in these units.
EXAMPLE // to supply the machines//
1 // but that was years ago//
2 // but the management hasn’t changed at all//
3 // to be honest//
4 // we ought to be looking for a different supplier//
5 // we’ll leave that to you//

 

key
1 // but that was years ago//
2 // but the management hasn’t changed at all!/
3 // to be honest//
4 // we ought to be looking for a different supplier//
5 // we’ll leave that to you//

Intonation

Accents: Varieties of English

Although we commonly talk about ‘English pronunciation’, obviously not all speakers of English pronounce it in the same way. Even between countries where English is the first language of the majority of the population there are considerable differences, and we can distinguish between the pronunciation of ‘British English’, ‘American English’, ‘Australian English’, ‘South African English’, and so on.

Across these varieties of English, there may be differences in how vowels and consonants are pronounced,how words are stressed, and in intonation. For example, listen and notice differences between standard British English (Br) and American English (US) pronunciation in these sentences (you will hear British English first):

audio 1


chap01_01

 

Within Britain and the US there are also many regional accents. For example, listen and notice important differences in pronunciation in these sentences, said first by a speaker of ‘BBC English’ and  then by a speaker from the city of Birmingham in England (you will hear BBC English first):

audio 2

chap01_02

audio 3

Here is a text read aloud first by a British English speaker and then an American English speaker. Listen as many times as you need and note differences in pronunciation that you observe, focusing on the underlined words. A few are done for you.

chap01_03

You will hear four more people talking about what they enjoy doing in their spare time. They are from northern England, Scotland , Wales and Northern Ireland.

script audio 3

Speaker 1

I don’t get a lot of time to myself these days, but if I have a couple of hours to spare then I go down to the tennis club. I’ve just joined a tennis club near me and we’ve moved to a new house and er the tennis courts are right outside the back of my garden, so I just literally walk down and go through the gate and spend a couple of hours knocking balls about.

Speaker 2 (United States )

When I’ve got some free time urn I like to read. Usually I avoid the latest fiction and look for novels or novelists that I’ve always known about and wanted to read. But occasionally I just stroll through a bookshop and sometimes it’s just the cover of a book that makes me grab it and take it home.

Speaker 3 (Canada)

When I’ve got spare time I like to go to the lake. It’s about a twenty minute drive and when I get there I go water skiing. I just love water skiing when the weather’s good. And afterward if I’ve got enough energy, I pick Saskatoon berries on the lane behind the cabin. And later on in the week I make some pies.

Speaker 4 (Australia)

My favourite thing to do on a sunny day is to go to the beach. It takes about an hour from my house. I have to get the train and a bus, but it’s worth it. Lots of my friends live near the beach, so it’s always the perfect way to catch up and enjoy the sunshine.

Speaker 5 (South Africa)

One of my favourite things to do when I’ve got a bit of spare time is to go fishing with my friends. Er we get a bit of tackle together, the fishing rods, pile it all into the back of a four-by-four and we head up into the mountains. There’s some wonderful streams up there, well stocked with trout, and carp, and bream. We normally take a bit of a picnic up, you know, some bread rolls, and some ham and cheese, and it’s just a nice day out.

 audio 4

script audio 4

chap01_04

audio 5

You will hear four more people talking about what they enjoy doing in their spare time. They are from northern England , Scotland , Wales and Northern Ireland .

script audio 5

1 (northern England)
When I get a day off, I like to go up into the Yorkshire Dales. These are sort of hills, er about twenty miles from where I live. And I’ll er walk through the day. I’ll set off while it’s still dark and walk for about eight hours. And at the end of that finish up in a village somewhere and have a nice meal.
Here are some of the differences you may have noticed between this accent and BBC English:
– the vowel in ‘I’, ‘like’, ‘nice’ (/aɪ/ in BBC English) is more ‘open’, beginning with a
sound close to /ɑː/ (as in ‘car’ )
– the vowel in ‘walk’ (/ɔː/ in BBC English) is said almost as two vowels /ɔː/ + /ə/
– the ‘r’ sound in ‘for about’ is said with a slight tap of the tongue behind the top teeth

2 (Scotland)
I live in the country and I’m I’m quite lucky because where I live is sort of on the top of um a range of low, flat hills. So it’s quite windy. On good days, I like to take my children out and we go and fly kites. The children have got little kites, because obviously if it’s too windy and with a big kite it would be really too, too much for them, they couldn’t control it. Um but they they thoroughly enjoy being out just just in the fresh air.
Here are some of the differences you may have noticed between this accent and BBC English:
– ‘r’ is pronounced where it would not be in BBC English ( in ‘sort’, ‘for then’, ‘air’ ) and said with a flap of the tongue
– the vowel in ‘like’, ‘fly’, ‘kite’, ete. (/aɪ/ in BBC English) begins with a sound close to ‘ee’ (/i:/)
– the vowel in ‘low’, ‘so’, ‘go’ (/əʊ/ in BBC English) is pronounced more like a simple
vowel, close to /ɔː/

3 (Wales)
In my spare time I really like visiting gardens. Usually, the gardens of big houses. And at every time of the year there’s something different to see. The spring, of course, is the best time, when everything’s coming into bud, and then later in the summer into full flower. It’s really wonderful. And even when it’s raining, you can still get great pleasure visiting gardens.
Here are some of the differences you may have noticed between this accent and BBC English:
– the vowel in ‘year’ (/ɪe/ in BBC English) is pronounced with more rounded lips
– the vowel in ‘gardens’ (/ɑː/ in BBC English) is more ‘open’, beginning with a sound
close to /æ/ (as in ‘cat’ )
– the /r/ in ‘raining’ and ‘really’ is said with a flap of the tongue

4 (Northern Ireland)
Usually, ’cause em I’m working during the week er and sometimes on a Saturday as well the
only day off that I have would be a Sunday. Er and on Sunday we like to get up early, make a big breakfast and if the weather’s good er I take my kids for a long walk in the country. Em we go off er with our little fishing rods and sometimes er go down to the local stream and with a net and try and er catch a few tiddlers or something like that.
(Note: A tiddler is a very small fish.)
Here are some of the differences you may have noticed between this accent and BBC English:
– the vowel in ‘usually’ and ‘during’ (/u:/ in BBC English) is pronounced rather like the
vowel in ‘good’ (/ʊ/)
– the vowel in ‘off’ (/ɔ/ in BBC English) is pronounced with more rounded lips
– the vowel in ‘stream’ (/i:/ in BBC English) is pronounced almost as two vowels /i:/ + /ə/

Marco in NYC

I am publishing some videos that could be helpful to practice your English pronunciation. You can watch the short clip about Marco in NYC and then practice some of the lines from the script. Have fun!

The first episodes are:
Episode 1: Customs
Episode 2: Baggage Claim
Episode 3: The Poetry Competition
Episode 4: The Rake’s Cafe
Episode 5: What to Say


Episode 6: Poetry
Episode 7: Marco and Ruby
Episode 8: A Letter to Ruby
Episode 9: A Real Friend
Episode 10: A Misunderstanding
Episode 11: An Invitation to a Party

Connected or Linked Speech

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Connected or Linked Speech

In this video, I will illustrate the term ‘linking’ which refers to the joining together of words.  In order to have a smooth, connected delivery, it is necessary to emphasize certain aspects of the joining of words.  For example, there is the tendency in naturally-spoken English to attach the final consonant of one word to the first syllable of the next, especially if the second word begins with a vowel.  Listen to this example:

What Is
Linked Speech

Reading slowly you can hear that the ‘t’ of ‘what’ is actually the beginning of the word ‘is’ and the final voiced ‘s’ of ‘is’ seems to be the beginning of the word ‘it’.

Native English speakers generally speak by linking words and almost never break the individual words apart unless they slow down. These spoken connections can be represented in phonetic transcriptions. So the first consideration of connected speech is the linking between words.

There are other occurrences of linking that happen in normal spoken English language. Sometimes when two words are joined together, we interpolate and extra sound.  Look at the next example and listen:

You Are
semivowels

The sounds that are produced between the words are called semivowels or ‘glides’ and they are indicated in the phonetic transcription with a smaller letter that is slightly raised from the base line and extra spaces between the words.  Note that the linking line, which indicates the sound to and from the glide, is placed directly before and after the smaller and slightly raised letter.

When the ending of one word blends into the sound of the beginning of the following word, assimilation takes place. In other words when certain words are joined together in natural speech, we add a new sound as a combination of the two original sounds. Final ‘t’s and ‘d’s when followed by words like ‘you’ or ‘your’ take on a different character or sound.  Look at the next example:

Can't You
Assimilation

The next ‘linking’ sound that we will see is also a form of assimilation. It occurs in the presence of consonant sounds called ‘plosives’. This group includes the sounds of t, d, k, ɡ, b and p. In order to produce these sounds the mouth goes through three phases; firstly catching the air, holding the air causing pressure to build up, and releasing or exploding as the closure is opened. When two consecutive words end and begin with a similar ‘plosive’ consonant, the first consonant is not exploded but held for an instant. Sometimes the first sound actually is substituted for another. In cases like these, the first consonant is transcribed in brackets. For example:

Good Time
Assimilation

The last linking sound we will consider is actually the same as the previous assimilation. But in this case the consonants are long, like ‘l’, ‘s’ and ‘n’. So  we can see them transcribed with a dash instead of brackets. The transcription occurs when the last sound of the first word and the first sound of the second word are the same.  See the example:

One Night
Assimilation

Of course there are many other examples of linked speech. For example, assimilation happens with words that end in ‘ng’ when followed with  words that begin with a vowel. Sometimes, sounds disappear. Final ‘s’s, often disappear in normal speech when followed by an initial consonant of the same family like ‘s’ or sh’. There are considerations for the ‘r’ sound which can also be analysed. But the main linking sounds which may help you speak more naturally have been introduced.

I hope you have found this video helpful.

 

Why Phonetics?

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A successful English course should, in particular, help learners speak English, accurately and fluently. Most English courses try to spread the language learning into four skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking which is ok if you have many years to dedicate to learning the language. However, if the student can demonstrate a good grasp of the speaking skill, that student will usually have good results with the other skills.

Therefore, the most important concept for the language learner and the teacher is that the student must speak English and communicate throughout the lesson. In order for the teacher to help the student make progress, he or she must provide opportunities for the student to speak. In turn, the teacher must also speak clearly and listen attentively to what the student says.

Ok, that said, what does phonetics have to do with speaking English effectively?

The term “language” has many different meanings. Listen to this:

The systematic creation and usage of symbols and sounds is an essential manifestation of language.  Each of these factors, the symbol or alphabet, and the correspondent sound is regulated through social conventions differing from language to language.

Many languages use sounds which try to correspond to their alphabet. For example in the Italian language, spelling and pronunciation go hand in hand. Consider the words:


They all contain the letter A, which is always pronounced in the same way.

Now consider some English words:


They also contain the letter A, as far as spelling is concerned – but what about the pronunciation? Mark, make, man, machine. There are a total of four As, but they’re all pronounced differently.

The International Phonetic Association – IPA for short– has created a series of symbols – the phonetic alphabet – which we can use to indicate precisely the pronunciation of these words.


Each symbol represents one and only one sound. An A with two dots after it is a long AH sound, as in our first word, mark. The vowel sound of make is actually a double vowel or diphthong – make – and is represented by a composite symbol: make. Man contains a vowel sound that we transcribe with a sort of curlicue symbol: man. And finally, the A in the word machine is pronounced as a very weak, indistinct sound represented by an upside-down E: machine

Another problem for learners is that many letters in the spelling of English words are not pronounced at all.


Consider our word make . The E at the end is silent, so it does not appear in the transcription.

Something similar happens in the word mark – though this may come as a surprise if you’re from Scotland, Ireland, the U.S. or Canada! The R in this word is not pronounced at all in the conventional pronunciation that is reflected in usual British transcriptions: mark…


Consider these words: the noun sea, as in the Mediterranean Sea; the verb to see, and the name of the letter C, or a musical note, as in middle C. These words are pronounced exactly alike; therefore they have the same phonetic transcription, even though the spelling is quite different.

Some more examples are the verb to be, the honey-making insect, bee, and the second letter of the alphabet, also a musical note, B. Likewise tea that you drink, a tee that a golfer uses, and the letter used in spelling these words, T.

As you can “see”, the phonetic symbol for the vowel sound in all of these words is an I followed by two dots.

Some letters found in the spelling of words become superfluous in the phonetic transcription.


For example, the letter X as in fax is really a combination of the two sounds K and S: fax

The letter Q, followed by U, as in queen is transcribed into phonetics by K and W: queen

A hard C, as in car, is transcribed with a K: car… But a soft C, as in cent, is represented by an S: cent


Some combinations of letters in the spelling – such as PH, SH and CH – actually represent a single sound. For example, the PH of phase has the sound of an F phase… And, by the way, notice how the S in this word is transcribed!

Some words are represented by symbols that do not correspond to normal letters of the alphabet. The initial  sound of the word sheep, for example, is represented by a sort of stretched-out S: sheep

For CH as in cheap we find a combination symbol that begins with a T: cheap

Now let’s examine a complete transcription of one of our first example words, machine:


Only the initial M and the final N are normal letters of the alphabet. The three phonetic symbols in the middle may still look a bit strange to you, but the sounds they represent are perfectly familiar: machine…

I hope that I have been able to demonstrate how a phonetic transcription can be used to indicate precisely the pronunciation of English words, and also to show you some of the ways that the transcription can differ from the actual spelling of the word.

Always bear in mind, however, that the transcriptions we use reflect just one variety of English – which most likely does not correspond one hundred percent to the way any of us actually speak.
WhyPhonetics
So… why do we use it? Because the phonetic alphabet provides teachers and students with a single, common point of reference that we can all use for the complicated business of teaching –and learning – English.

Phonetic Symbols Overview (vowels)

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Video-Task 4

This presentation is the second part of an overview of the symbols that we use in our phonetic transcriptions. Last time we looked at the consonants. Today we will see the vowels. Let’s start with some numbers.

numbersPhonetics

one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten.

shortVowels01

These numbers contain quite a selection of vowel sounds. To begin with, look at one, six, seven and ten. These words contain short vowels. In seven and ten we find a perfectly normal short ‘e’ sound. In six there is a sort of miniature capital ‘I’ symbol representing the short sound ‘i’. But in one we find a totally unusual symbol, a sort of upside-down V, or a small capital A without the crossbar; another short vowel sound.

Now let’s look at two, three and four. The two dots to the right of the letter indicate that these are long vowels: two, three, four. And note that the final R in the word four does not appear in the transcription.

The remaining numbers are five, eight and nine. The vowel sounds here are called diphthongs, which means that the sound glides from one vowel to the other. These diphthongs are indicated by the double symbols A-plus-I for five and nine, and E-plus-I for eight:

In the numbers one, six, seven and ten we encountered three short vowel sounds. There are three more to go.  They are the sounds of words like: clock, stopthat, hatput, book.

My pronunciation may not correspond to every English-speaker’s pronunciation of these words – My American accent produces “clock” and “stop” rather than a more British sounding clock and stop, and the other words have a variety of pronunciations in various parts of the British Isles. So pay special attention to these when you study the phonetic alphabet.

There is actually one more short vowel, but it is in a class by itself. It is the weak neutral sound that we hear in the first syllable of the word machine – in the definite article: the machine – and in the indefinite article: a machine – and it is the only phonetic symbol that has a proper name: schwa. We find this sound at the end of words like writer, director, photographer. As usual, the final R is not heard, in our conventional pronunciation.

As we have seen, the numbers two, three and four all contain long vowels – the ones with the two dots after them. There are five long vowels all together. The other two are found in the words first and last: Once again you may have to make some adjustments for the different pronunciations according to the speaker’s accent:

In our numbers one to ten we met two diphthongs – the sound EI in eight and the sound AI in five and nine. Another diphthong that ends with the short ‘I’ symbol is found in the word join.

There are two diphthongs that end with a short U symbol. Sample words are how and so.

There are three diphthongs that end with the neutral symbol we sometimes call schwa. Key words for these are here, there and tour. As usual, there is no R sound at the end of these words.

Lastly, Triphthongs are simply diphthongs with a neutral schwa sound at the end. In our transcriptions we consider two principal triphthongs: the vowel sounds in flower and fire: Be careful not to pronounce a final R in these words:

There you are: We’ve finished the phonetics for the English words. Good luck with your phonetics study! Until next time – ciao!

Anthony Lombardi

Director
VirtuAule English Language System

Phonetic Symbols Overview (consonants)

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Video-Task 3

This presentation will give you an overview of the consonant symbols that are used in phonetic transcriptions.

Let’s analyze the English alphabet for these sounds, just to give you a general idea of what to expect when you begin to study the phonetic symbols.

All together, there are 24 symbols for the various consonant sounds of English.

phonetics

Sixteen of these correspond to letters of the normal alphabet: P, B – T, D – K, G – F, V – S, Zee or Zed – M, N – H, W, L and R.

phonetics

Note that the symbol K applies not only to words spelled with a K, such as key, but also to words that contain a hard C, such as car and key. The symbol G only refers to the hard G of get. The symbol zed – or if you prefer, zee – corresponds to the initial sound of zero, but also to the voiced S in phase: The symbol S is the unvoiced S of save, which is the same sound as the soft C in face: By the way, in case you are unfamiliar with the terms “voiced” and “unvoiced” – when we pronounce a voiced consonant we use our vocal cords, as in zero and phase. An unvoiced consonant is made without the vocal cords, as in save and face.

phonetics

The next four consonant symbols are all related to S and Z. These symbols may seem a bit strange, but the sounds are very straightforward. We begin with the sound that is spelled S-H in the word sheep, and C-H in the word quiche. The next symbol – a composite symbol — corresponds to the C-H of cheap, and the T-C-H of catch. These two symbols represent unvoiced consonants. The next two are the equivalent voiced consonants, the sound of the S in measure or the G in beige, and the sound of J un jump, or G in general.

phonetics

And now for the last four consonant symbols. The first is a normal J, but the sound is that of a Y in normal spelling: yellow, yesterday. Next, we have a sort of N with a tail on it. This represents the N-G sound of words like long and going. The last two symbols refer to the two different ways of pronouncing T-H: the unvoiced T-H of thanks, and nothing, and the voiced T-H of then and weather.

Next time we will look at the vowel sounds. I hope you have enjoyed this little presentation. Thank you for listening.

Anthony Lombardi

Director
VirtuAule English Language System

Pronunciation and Phonetics

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Video-Task 2

Hello again. Welcome to another edition of a video task.

Today I’m going to talk about pronunciation, just in general. What’s so important about pronunciation. Well, pronunciation is a vital part of learning a language. It aides in the communication, certainly.

We can talk about two different kinds of mistakes really, there’s a kind of mistake that has to do with grammar, which you can see in the example of: My brother don’t speak French. OK, now, if you say, “My brother don’t speak French.” people will understand you. It’s a mistake, it’s a bad grammatical mistake because you should be saying “My brother doesn’t speak French.” but people will understand you because this is a non-impeding mistake.  It’s a mistake that people will understand.

Now, let’s hear a pronunciation mistake. “My brother has got a b—.” Well, I’m sorry but I just have to ask you to repeat that last word again. I did not understand. “Your brother has got a b—?” What?

No! ..a BOAT! Ah! Of course. A boat.

You see, this is an impeding error. This is a mistake that makes the communication breakdown.  And so we have to bring in other kinds of linguistic devices in order to understand each other. Well, communication is conveying messages and when you’re talking about spoken English, which is what I’m interested in, then the spoken English is through sounds.

Sounds are important. That’s the basic bottom line. Learn to hear the sounds, learn to make the sounds. So, you’ve convinced me. What do I need to do to improve my pronunciation? How do I study pronunciation? Well, like I said, you start with the sounds, the individual sounds. OK, the sounds can be represented in phonetics by the IPA, The International Phonetics Alphabet. These symbols should be learned. If you learn these symbols, they will come in handy for all the languages that you learn, not just English. They’re international.

You start with the phonetics. Then (and that’s an important THEN), you work your way to the words and the phrases and finally intonation. Intonation is also important. But it’s very, very, very difficult. Symbols, Words, Phrases, Intonation. There you go. That’s what you need to learn. That’s what will help your pronunciation, and the most important, the most important are the phrases because it’s the linking between the words that is so important.

Let me make you a practical example: “Don’t you like French?” What? Chew? What did he say? “Chew? Doen chew like French?” Here’s the spelling of this phrase.

Don’t you like French?

Now look at the phonetic symbols for the sounds of this phrase:

phonetics text

Don’t you…” becomes “Doenchew”. That’s linking and that’s the way people speak English. That’s the way people speak naturally.

Okay, so you can help yourself with having the words and the linking. Its almost useless to study phonetics just for the words. If you want to speak English you have to have words and linking.

Okay, thank you very much for listening, watching and reading my video task. Good-bye.

Anthony Lombardi

Director
VirtuAule English Language System

Listening and Reading

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Video-Task 1

I’m making this video as a project to help students of the English language to obtain competency in comprehension through listening. The video-task is quite simple, the learner should play the video while following the written text below the video player. After listening to the video and following the text once, the learner should listen to the video again after looking up any words that are not understood. You can listen to the video as many times as you like and you can repeat the lines from the video checking your pronunciation. Stronger learners can play the video directly and check the comprehension after the video has finished by looking at the text.

The concept behind the video-task is simple. You hear the sound of an English word or an English phrase and you can immediately check its spelling. Therefore, you have the sound memory of the word in the way that it is pronounced associated with this spelling. By practicing in this way, the learner associates sounds with spelling. By watching the video as well as listening and reading, you are multitasking. Multitasking is doing different things at the same time, for example walking and talking. Watching and listening and reading can be difficult together, but with practice, the results are very good. You will learn chunks of language with patterns and pronunciation in a synthetic way.

I remember when I first started watching television newscasts that broadcasted a scripted line that moved across the bottom of the screen. This was a new technology for the industry that allowed them to give the most important news items in a written form while the newscaster spoke about other items. I had a hard time trying to decide whether to follow the written word, or listen to the newscaster. I remember it was difficult for me, but with practice, I became used to listening to the speaker and following the text. It was difficult because the speaker told one story and the text told another – no association.

In this video-task, the written words and the sounds are associated. So it’s not as difficult. I have seen good results with this kind of exercise.

Thank you for listening and watching and reading me. I hope that this video-task has been interesting for you and I look forward to the next edition.

Anthony Lombardi

Director

VirtuAule English Language System

Resources for learning the English language