WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF READING ALOUD IN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE? IS IT A WASTE OF TIME?
Among many other benefits “reading aloud can help your pronunciation. Even if you already know how to pronounce the language pretty well, it is hard to fit your mouth and tongue around the foreign sounds. Reading aloud gives your vocal organs the exercise they need to speak without getting tired or stumbling. If you are still fuzzy on pronunciation, use texts with recordings on CD or MP3 files, and repeat after the native speakers. But following along in the book will give you added input over simply listening and repeating. Try to copy the intonation and rhythm as well. You will be using eyes, ears, vocal apparatus, and of course, brain — all at once!”
SOME APPS CAN HELP YOU DO THIS WORK WHENEVER YOU DON´T HAVE THE RECORDING: READINGS ON YOUR TEXTBOOKS, GETTING READY FOR ORAL PRESENTATIONS, ETC….
- DO YOU KNOW ANY OF THESE WEBSITES OR APPS ?
- WHAT ARE THEY GOOD FOR?
- CAN YOU RECOMMEND ANY SIMILAR APPS?
You can paste the text.(SUITABLE FOR IOS &ANDROID)
TIPS TO IMPROVE PRONUNCIATION WHEN YOU´RE READING ALOUD
(BY my colleague JAVIER SANTOS ASENSI)
Step 1: Find CONTENT WORDS in the fragment you have chosen and make sure you know how to pronounce them.
- Even if meaning is different for different speakers, there are certain word categories that are usually more meaningful and therefore commonly stressed. They are often called content words: nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, negative words, pronouns (demonstrative, possessive –mine, yours…, reflexive –myself, yourself…, reciprocal –each other, one another , interrogative –who, what…), question words (where, how often, etc), intensifiers (too, much, quite, etc.) and modifiers ( numerals, cardinals, etc.)
- Pay special attention to those words you are very familiar with. Are you positive you have not made a habit of mispronouncing them? Check their pronunciation in your print or online dictionary or CD Rom
- First locate the stressed syllable (long words usually have a secondary stress as well)
- Then make sure you use weak vowels / Ə / and / I / in unstressed syllables
- Is there any consonant or vowel sound that you have problems pronouncing?
Step 2: Check the pronunciation of GRAMMAR WORDS (also called function words)
- Most times grammar words are not stressed. These include articles, determiners (the, some, each), auxiliary and modal verbs (do, have, be, may, will, etc.), one-syllable prepositions and conjunctions (to, from, of, and, but, etc.) If they have a weak pronunciation form, use it instead of the strong form you might be familiar with (check the pronunciation of these words in your reference chart)
Step 3: Are there any words you can contract?
- Remember that contraction is a feature of spoken language. You do not usually contract words in more formal written texts. If you are reading aloud you should try to contract whenever possible even if you do not see the contraction
- Revise the most common contractions: in the reference chart your teacher will provide you with.
Step 4: Connect unstressed words to meaningful stressed ones in a logical way
- First connect words into phrases (noun or prepositional phrases, etc.) in a logical way to avoid reading word to word and stressing every single word. These connected groups of words are often called thought groups
- Then try and connect phrases into short sentences
- Contracted forms as well as Word linking (connecting words ending in a consonant with the next word starting in a vowel or else words ending and beginning with vowels) will help us do it. In British English final “r” will be pronounced if the following word starts with a vowel (linking “r”).
- As a result the number of words in spelling and pronunciation will be absolutely different.
Step 5: Make sure you respect punctuation marks: pauses and intonation
- Periods (full stops) , commas, colons, semi-colons, parenthesis and the kind are realized as pauses in oral speech. These pauses will allow the listener to follow our utterance and ourselves to breathe. Moreover, if you run over the sentence limit, your utterance will make no sense at all for listeners, for they mark the end of an idea, a piece of explanation or clarification, an example, etc.
- Question and exclamation marks are realized as intonation patterns. Avoid flat intonation patterns, otherwise it will be difficult to make out your speech intention
RECORDING YOURSELF WOULD BE THE FINAL STEP AND PLAYBACK…. BUT WE´LL TALK ABOUT THIS IN ANOTHER POST…..
LISTEN TO PABLO IGLESIAS SPEAKING IN ENGLISH LAST WEEK. WHAT DO YOU THINK HIS PROBLEM IS?
LOOK AT THIS CHART.
THESE ARE THE SOUNDS OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. AS YOU CAN SEE, THE CHART IS DIVIDED INTO THREE PARTS: VOWELS,DIPHTHONGS AND CONSONANTS.
LET´S CONCENTRATE ON THE REVISION OF ENGLISH VOWELS.
CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW OR THE PICTURE ABOVE TO USE AN INTERACTIVE VERSION OF THE CHART:
YOU CAN ALSO WATCH THIS VIDEO:
IF THE LINK DOESN´T WORK, TYPE IN “IPA VOWELS” ON YOU TUBE AND YOU´LL BE ABLE TO WATCH THE VIDEO. OK?
THIS IS ALSO A USEFUL LINK TO LISTEN TO THE VOWELS BELOW:
NOWADAYS THERE ARE MANY APPS YOU CAN DOWNLOAD TO PRACTISE PRONUNCIATION:
- SOUND FOUNDATIONS (there is a free version)
- ENGLISH FILE PRONUNCIATION (you have to pay to download)
FOR INTERMEDIATE STUDENTS AND ABOVE, YOU CAN ALSO VISIT THIS WEBSITE:
IF YOU HAD TO DESCRIBE A PHOTO ON YOUR MOBILE IN DETAIL, WHAT KIND OF LANGUAGE WOULD YOU NEED?
CLICK ON THIS PICTURE IF YOU WANT TO VISIT A WEBSITE WITH USEFUL LANFUAGE ON HOW TO DESCRIBE A PICTURE / PHOTO.
YOU CAN ALSO TRY TO SEE THIS DOCUMENT ON DESCRIBING PICTURES AND PHOTOS: DESCRIBING PICTURES
AND NOW GET READY TO DESCRIBE YOURS……
WHO IS YOUR TEACHER THIS YEAR? WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT ME? WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW?
NOW, LET´S TALK ABOUT ME! IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO INTERVIEW ME, WHAT QUESTIONS WOULD YOU ASK ME? WRITE SUITABLE, CORRECT QUESTIONS IN ENGLISH. WHY DON´T YOU CREATE YOUR OWN PODCAST WITH AUDIOBOOM or SOUNDCLOUD? WHAT IS “AUDIOBOOM“?
SO, TO GET YOUR “AUDIOBOOM PODCAST” POSTED YOU JUST HAVE TO
- DOWNLOAD THE APP (ON YOUR MOBILE, IPAD OR TABLET) IT´S AVAILABLE BOTH FOR IOS AND ANDROID
- RECORD YOUR PODCAST, SAVE IT AND …
- SHARE IT BY EMAILING IT TO ME SO THAT I CAN POST IT ON MY BLOG AND SHARE IT WITH ALL YOUR CLASSMATES.
WHY DON´T YOU HAVE A GO?
OBAMA´S ELECTION WAS SEEN BY MANY AS A HISTORIC MOMENT IN TIME AS HE WAS THE FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT ELECTED IN HISTORY. HOWEVER, UNEXPECTED TRUMP´S VICTORY WAS ONE OF THE MOST IMPROBABLE POLITICAL VICTORIES IN MODERN HISTORY, PLUNGING THE USA AND THE REST OF THE WORLD INTO AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE….
WHICH OTHER HISTORIC EVENTS IN YOUR LIFETIME DO YOU THINK WILL BE REMEMBERED BY FUTURE GENERATIONS? WHY?
- Where & when did that happen? What happened?
- How old were you? Where were you?
- What were you doing when you heard the news? Who were you with?
- How were you affected by the news? What did you do? How did you feel?
- Why do you think this event will be remembered by future generations?
POST YOUR PODCASTS AND YOUR PHOTOS.
THIS IS ONE EXAMPLE:
TEN people were killed and 15 wounded in a suspected terrorist attack in the main tourist hub of Turkey’s largest city Istanbul.
Carles Puigdemont was elected with 62 votes from Junts pel Sí and eight from the CUP in an unusually brief session.
Princess Cristina will be tried as accomplice in open court in January 2016 for tax fraud.
She could be jailed for up to 6.5 years.
THE PASSIVE IS VERY OFTEN USED IN THE NEWS
WHEN DO WE USE THE PASSIVE?
REMEMBER TO READ THE GRAMMAR ON PAGE 147 AND DO THE PRACTICE EXERCISES ABOUT THE PASSIVE FOR NEXT WEDNESDAY.
CAN YOU FIND ANY OTHER NEWS STORIES IN NEWSPAPERS WHERE THE PASSIVE IS USED?
DO YOU KNOW WHAT SEEING SOMEBODY OFF MEANS?
If you want to understand the real sense of Fallas, you should know what these terms mean:
La Mascletà – Incredibly noisy fireworks let off during the daytime to make as much noise as possible. The Mascletà held each day at 14:00 in the town hall square is impossible to describe in words – you have to experience it for yourself!
El Ninot – A small part of a Fallas sculpture – typically a human figure of breathtaking detail and craftsmanship.
La plantà – The installation or ‘planting’ of the Fallas sculptures around the city.
La cremà – The last evening of the festival when the monuments are set on fire.
La Verbena – street parties, paella cook offs and live music arranged by Falleros from the community of Falleros; normally you need to be invited but there are so many around the streets of Valencia that people wouldn’t notice if you joined in.
La Nit de Foc – a spectacular fireworks display on the Paseo de la Alameda
NOW, IF YOU´RE IN THE MOOD TO READ ABOUT “LAS FALLAS” IN ENGLISH, THIS IS A VERY INTERESTING LINK:
WHY DON´T YOU RECORD THE TEXT YOU DID IN CLASS USING WEVIDEO AS AN INVITATION FOR TOURISTS TO THE FESTIVAL?
WOULD YOU LIKE TO CREATE A POSTER WITH POSTER MY WALL?
ARE YOU ONE OF THE MANY VALENCIANS GOING AWAY FOR “LAS FALLAS” OR DO YOU JOIN IN THE CELEBRATIONS?
HAPPY FALLAS TO EVERYONE ANYWAY!!
LISTEN TO TWO DIFFERENT SAMPLES OF TWO VERY POPULAR SONGS WITH A SIMILAR TITLE.
CAN YOU REMEMBER THEIR TITLE? WHO ARE THEY BY?
WHAT´S THE DIFFERENCE IN MEANING BETWEEN THE TWO TITLES?
Post your grammar explanation and we´ll keep in touch!
MODAL VERB + (SIMPLE)
PRESENT DEDUCTION (CERTAINTY)
IT MUST HAVE BEEN LOVE
MODAL VERB + PERFECT INFINITIVE
HAVE + PAST PARTICIPLE
PAST DEDUCTION (CERTAINTY)
THIS KIND OF LANGUAGE IS VERY USEFUL BECAUSE WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT A PHOTO IN ORAL INTERVIEWS, YOU´RE SPECULATING ALL THE TIME….
WHAT LOGICAL DEDUCTIONS CAN YOU MAKE ON THE PHOTOS BELOW?