Last week’s blog concluded with the word ‘pronunciation’ and I realise we’ve done very little on this area in the thousands of words so far, so today I’ll try to rectify that situation. No matter how good your ‘grammar’ is or how many words, or groups of words, you know, if no one can tell what you’re saying, there’s a chance of a communication breakdown. Similarly, if you don’t recognise the sounds that a speaker is making, and we all know how many varieties of accent there are in Britain alone, then this impacts on your ability to listen.

Every language has its own unique sounds and individual way of using rhythm and intonation. When a speaker of another L1 (first language) speaks English, (and I use a little ‘e’ here to show I’m talking about the language not the nationality), you can usually tell, because they are often using the sounds and patterns from their own language.

Let me emphasize here that this is NOT a problem. The English language is a global phenomenon, not owned by any particular country or race, and of course at ETC we know this, but what if mispronunciation causes a misunderstanding or a breakdown in communication? Did he want four candles or fork handles?

Probably the most famous pronunciation sketch of all, and if you were watching it for the first time, hope you enjoyed it. As a teacher it is my responsibility to help the learner produce and understand English as best I can, so that’s the direction the blog will be taking over the summer. By for now. J Oh, and it’s England’s turn in the World Cup tonight, so no prizes for guessing what I’ll be doing tonight! (Traditionally known as future continuous!)