Tuesday, 14 January 2014


This is the first in a series of post about phonetics, which we didn't work on last year but I definitely intend to do throughout this school term. We will learn the phonetic symbols and their sound to help you improve your pronunciation in English.

Have you ever wondered what those strange symbols are that appear next to words in the dictionary?

They are a guide to pronounciation called Phonetics. Those symbols represent sounds, of which there are roughly 44 in the English language. Since there are only 26 letters in the alphabet, 44 characters are used to represent them all. Phonics should be a part of every student's tools for learning a language.
There is no end to our study of grammar and vocabulary but phonemic symbols are limited, visual and physical. They may seem challenging at first but it is like learning to swim or ride a bicycle. Once you can do it, it is easy and you never forget.

Watch the following videos from the site we will be using to practice phonetics, BBC Learning English, to know the hows and whys of what we are going to learn about.

Why should you learn the different English sounds? Why should you learn the symbols? Watch the next video to find out:

Notice the interactive phonemic chart below.

Let's become familiar with the sounds of English by clicking on the different symbols. Click on each symbol to go to the video with the explanations: Sounds of English 

Start by clicking on the sound /i/ and doing the activities in Unit 1. Then write a comment about the different exercises you have done.
Then go to the Minimal Pair Website and go through the activities there.

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