Every Wednesday morning a small group of Focus students join Tanya for a pronunciation workshop at 11am. The workshop covers the basics that a student needs to become aware of the complexities of English pronunciation. English is a peculiar language in the sense that words are not pronounced the way they are written and there are no “clear” rules. The gift a student can give themselves is to get to know the Phonemic Chart because then you can open up a dictionary and immediately know exactly how to say a word and to know which part of the word is stressed and unstressed. You can also, upon hearing a new word, write exactly how it’s pronounced and thus always have perfect pronunciation.
Of course that is only the first step as we have recently started exploring the fact that English is a Stress Timed Language which means we stress the key words and all the other words get compressed in between those important ones. Next week we’ll start playing with how emphasis changes the meaning.
It has been a great workshop and the students are grasping the concepts excellently.