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The difficulty with pronouncing English vowels


English Pronunciation for Communication A Practical Course for Students of English By Wang Guizhen Faculty of English Language & Culture Guangdong University of ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The difficulty with pronouncing English vowels

English Pronunciation for CommunicationA
Practical Course for Students of EnglishByWang
GuizhenFaculty of English Language
CultureGuangdong University of Foreign Studies

Consonants of the English Language Chinese EFL
Learners Difficulties in the Learning Process
  • Why use phonemic symbols?
  • The alphabet which we use to write English has 26
    letters but (British) English has 44 sounds.
    Inevitably, English spelling is not a reliable
    guide to pronunciation because
  • Some letters have more than one sound
  • Sometimes letters are not pronounced at all
  • The same sound may be represented by different
  • Sometimes syllables indicated by the spelling are
  • pronounced at all
  • Questions
  • How do you pronounce gh in 'enough', 'through'
  • 'ghost'? (like f in fun, not pronounced, like
    g in got)
  • How many syllables are there in 'chocolate'?

  • Linguists classify the speech sounds
    used in a language into a number of abstract
    categories called phonemes. English, for example,
    has 44 phonemes, although the number varies
    according to the dialect of the speaker and the
    system of the classification. Phonemes are
    abstract categories which allow us to group
    together subsets of speech sounds. Even though no
    two speech sounds, or phones, are identical, all
    of the phones classified into one phoneme
    category are similar enough so that they convey
    the same meaning.

Description of the English consonants
  • English consonants can be classified according to
  • 1. the points of articulation
  • 2. the manners of articulation
  • 3. the state of the vocal cords

Points of articulation
  • 1.  bilabial (two lips)
  • 2.  labio-dental (top teeth/bottom lip)
  • 3.  dental (tongue tip/top teeth)
  • 4.  alveolar (tongue tip/tooth ridge)
  • 5.  post alveolar (tongue tip or mid/hard palate)
  • 6.  palatal (tongue mid/hard palate)
  • 7.  velar (tongue back/ soft palate)
  • 8. glottal

Manners of articulation
  • 1.  Stops (or plosives)
  • 2.  Fricatives
  • 3.  Affricates
  • 4.  Nasals
  • 5.  Lateral
  • 6. Approximants

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English Consonants
  • 1. Stops/Plosives - English has six bursts or
    explosive sounds produced by complete closure of
    the vocal tract followed by a rapid release of
    the closure - 'p', 't', 'k', 'b', 'd', 'g'.
  • 2. Fricatives - English has nine fricatives -
    weak or strong friction noises produced when the
    articulators are close enough together to cause
    turbulence in the airflow.
  • 3. Affricates - English has two affricates -
    plosives released with frication - "church" and
  • 4. Nasals - English has three nasals in which the
    airflow is blocked completely at some point in
    the oral tract, but in which the lowering of the
    velum allows a weak flow of energy to pass
    through the nose.
  • 5. Approximants - English has four approximants -
    the 'w' in "won", the 'l' in "like", the 'r' in
    "red", and the 'y' in "yes." In these phonemes,
    there is more constriction in the vocal tract
    than for the vowels, but less than the other
    consonant categories below.

English consonants and their description
  • /p/- voiceless bilabio stop
  • /b/- voiced bilabio stop
  • /t/- voiceless alveolar stop
  • /d/- voiced alveolar stop
  • /k/- voiceless velar stop
  • /?/- voiced velar stop
  • /f/- voiceless labiodental fricative
  • /v/- voiced labiodental fricative
  • /?/- voiceless dental fricative
  • /?/- voiced dental fricative
  • /s/- voiceless alveolar fricatives
  • /z/- voiced alveolar fricative

English consonants and their description
  • /?/- voiceless post-alveolar fricative
  • /?/- voiced post-alveolar fricative
  • /h/- voiceless glottal fricative
  • /t?/- voiceless post-alveolar affricate
  • /d?/- voiced post-alveolar affricate
  • /m/- voiced bilabial nasal
  • /n/- voiced alveolar nasal
  • /n/- voiced velar nasal
  • /l/- voiced alveolar lateral
  • /w/- voiced bilabial approximant
  • /r/- voiced post-alveolar approximant
  • /j/- voiced palatal approximant

The pronunciation of /p/ and /b/
The pronunciation of /t/ and /d/
The pronunciation of /k/ and /g/
  • ???????????,??poke,tape,keep.
  • ????????top tea, rob the man, sit still, take
    three, lag behind.
  • ???????,???,??????stop Pete, rob Bob, let Tim
    (??let him), sad Dave, take Kim (??take him), big
  • /s/????????spot, stop, sky.
  • ???????eighth, width(??), clock, padlock, glad
    (???????), keen,geese (??????).

  • I.   Learning of English consonants
  • II. Frequency of occurrence of English
  • consonants

Ex. 1 Write down the English consonants
according to the description
  • 1. _______________
  • 2. _______________
  • 3. _______________
  • 4. _______________
  • 5. _______________
  • 6. _______________
  • 7. _______________
  • 8. _______________

  • Ex. 2 Materials for reading aloud
  • Americans eat breakfast and lunch quickly unless
    it is a social, business or family occasion. The
    evening meal is usually longer and a time for
    families to gather together. Rushing through
    daytime meals is part of the fast pace in
    America. Another reason for rushing through
    daytime meals is that many people eat in
    restaurants that are usually crowded with people
    waiting for a place so that they can be served
    and return to work at the proper time. So each
    one hurries to make room for the next person. As
    with busy people everywhere, there is a real
    difference between meals that are eaten in a
    hurry and those that can be enjoyed slowly with

  • ????????Unit 2????
  • ???????????

Thank you.
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