Speaking

Learning English phonetics

Hello there.

I would like to share about the English phonetics and sounds.

These are the symbols for the sounds of English. We use the term ‘accents’ to refer to differences in pronunciations. Pronunciation can vary with cultures, regions and speakers, but there are two major standard varieties in English pronunciation: British English and American English.

The sounds are organised into the following different groups:

Short vowels
Long vowels
Diphthongs (double vowel sounds)
Voiceless consonants
Voiced consonants
Other consonants
By: Sharziman Ismail

Fun Mazes

ACTIVITY

Giving Direction: Solving Mazes

Time: 60 minutes

Preparation: 15 minutes

Level: Intermediate

Instruction:

  1. Before the activity begins, teacher had a short discussion with the students regarding vocabulary used in giving directions.
  2. Then, teacher explains the activity to the students and what they are expected to do.
  3. Students are divided into pairs.
  4. Each pair will be given a task sheet (maze) to be completed.
  5. One student will give direction whereas the other student will listen to the directions given by his partner in order to solve the maze.
  6. After a maze is completed, students change their roles and complete another maze given by teacher.
  7. After that, students compare their answers with other students.

After the activity, teacher conducted a short discussion again with the students on what vocabulary that they employ in giving directions to their friends and the difficulties encountered.

This activity allows students to practice their listening and speaking skills. At the same time, students have to incorporate appropriate grammar and vocabulary while giving instructions to their partners. Thus, this activity helps students to enhance their vocabulary as it creates an opportunity for the students to use the language in their conversation (giving direction).

There are varieties of mazes that can be found on the internet. Here are examples of simple but fun mazes that can be used for kids of lower and intermediate students. Printable Mazes For Kids


Learning to Speak English in Interactive Games

Standing on the brink of an golden age of technology, language learning has taken a major shift where computer-based learning is beginning to gain prevalence all around the world. When it comes to learning English language, four of the major language skills one has to master in order to gain proficiency in the language are speaking, writing, reading, and listening.  Conversing in English would not be an easy task for some of the English learners where they would struggle for the right words to articulate. However, elearning company has offered an advanced alternative in learning to speak English.

Learning to speak English deluxe is developed by elearning company with the collaboration of language experts as well as university language professors. It is meticulously designed to meet the needs of English learners. On top of that, this software offers more than 25 interactive activities where English learners will engage in conversations to hone their conversational skills. Some of the primary focuses in the learning activities are conversation, pronunciation, simulations, vocabulary and grammar. These are some of the most important aspects in speaking as one has to learn to choose the right words and articulate it in the correct pronunciation.

Apart from that, the software has included a flexible immersion system where it allows users to choose the learning path that suits individual learning style. The learning system is integrated with real-world context and one can even converse with native speakers using engaging interactive videos and speech recognition tools. This is exactly the software that would serve as an effective teaching aid in conducting an English speaking class. Now, students no longer have to conform to the majority in learning to speak English. One can learn to speak the language in one’s preferable way to achieve better competency of the language. In short, learning to speak English is never an easy task but technology offers better alternatives to facilitate everyone’s needs in learning to speak good English.

 

Yu Ching Hung


Enhance Speaking through Choral Speaking

By LEE CHEN PING

When students think about choral speaking, often they will be afraid because of the long, long script that they will need to memorise. This is the wrong perception that we, as teachers need to change. Choral speaking can always be done in a classroom setting and it can be so much fun if a teacher is creative enough. A teacher can always use classical nursery rhyme in a choral speaking. It has the advantages of being short, easy vocabulary, and constant rhyme where students can remember easily. If a teacher can add few actions into the choral speaking, it will be superb as it enhances students’ memory in the combination of actions and the script.

Based on experience, I have tried a short choral speaking with my classmates back in the year 2010. There were 3 nursery rhymes that we used. When the lecturer taught us the action, the whole choral speaking was turned into a fresh vibe. Everyone is so excited to redo the whole choral speaking again and again. In less than one hour, we had all memorised the script and the action. So, this is our script.

Hickory Dickory Dock,
The mouse ran up the clock.
The clock struck one,
The mouse ran down!
Hickory Dickory Dock.

A sailor went to sea sea sea
To see what he could see see see
But all that he could see see see
Was the bottom of the deep blue sea sea sea

Left, right, left
Left, right, left
I had a good job but I left
I left because nothing went right
Left, right, left

This is our choral speaking performance during the Institute English Open Day 2010. After we had finished the choral speaking, there were many teachers approached us asking for the script and to teach them the actions. I guess teachers all knew students will be very excited with this activity 🙂

 

 

Left, right, left

Left, right, left

I had a good job but I left

I left because nothing went right

Left, right, left


Speaking:Jigsaw Activities

Traditional classroom speaking practice often takes the form of drills in which one person asks a question and another gives an answer. The question and the answer are structured and predictable, and often there is only one correct, predetermined answer.

In contrast, the purpose of real communication is to accomplish a task, such as conveying a telephone message, obtaining information, or expressing an opinion. In real communication, participants must manage uncertainty about what the other person will say. Authentic communication involves an information gap; each participant has information that the other does not have. In addition, to achieve their purpose, participants may have to clarify their meaning or ask for confirmation of their own understanding. To create classroom speaking activities that will develop communicative competence, instructors need to incorporate a purpose and an information gap and allow for multiple forms of expression.

HOW TO DO THIS? —>> JIGSAW ACTIVITY


Jigsaw activities are more elaborate information gap activities that can be done with several partners. In a jigsaw activity, each partner has one or a few pieces of the “puzzle,” and the partners must cooperate to fit all the pieces into a whole picture. The puzzle piece may take one of several forms. It may be one panel from a comic strip or one photo from a set that tells a story. It may be one sentence from a written narrative. It may be a tape recording of a conversation, in which case no two partners hear exactly the same conversation.

  • In one fairly simple jigsaw activity, students work in groups of four. Each student in the group receives one panel from a comic strip. Partners may not show each other their panels. Together the four panels present this narrative: a man takes a container of ice cream from the freezer; he serves himself several scoops of ice cream; he sits in front of the TV eating his ice cream; he returns with the empty bowl to the kitchen and finds that he left the container of ice cream, now melting, on the kitchen counter. These pictures have a clear narrative line and the partners are not likely to disagree about the appropriate sequencing. You can make the task more demanding, however, by using pictures that lend themselves to alternative sequences, so that the partners have to negotiate among themselves to agree on a satisfactory sequence

  • More elaborate jigsaws may proceed in two stages. Students first work in input groups (groups A, B, C, and D) to receive information. Each group receives a different part of the total information for the task. Students then reorganize into groups of four with one student each from A, B, C, and D, and use the information they received to complete the task. Such an organization could be used, for example, when the input is given in the form of a tape recording. Groups A, B, C, and D each hear a different recording of a short news bulletin. The four recordings all contain the same general information, but each has one or more details that the others do not. In the second stage, students reconstruct the complete story by comparing the four versions.

Taken From: The National Capital Language Resource Center

http://www.nclrc.org/essentials/speaking/developspeak.htm

By: QADARIAH JALOK


Speaking like Martin Luther King Junior-I Have A Dream

Shared by: JOHNNY TIANG KAH HOE (A126075)

English as a legacy of English colonial in our country always play an important role in our society. Mastery of English language will enable us to be competitive globally. But, unfortunately, standard of English seems to decline among the students currently in Malaysia compared to the pass. One of the reasons for the decline is claimed to be the phasing out of English as a medium of instruction in Education starting from 1967.

It is interesting to find out that those who are more effective in communication experience more success in school and in other areas of their lives (Hare, 2003; Mead & Rubin, 1985). Thus, as teachers, we should always aim to improve students’ speaking skills. We should always encourage the students to use English in the classroom as well as outside the classroom. We can also expose to some good speeches where they can learn from the speakers and inspired to be a good speaker. Here, I attach a transcript of an excellent speech entitle “I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King Junior and a video of him during the speech. The argument in his speech is strong and able to reach the heart of the listeners.

Transcript of “I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King Junior, 1963.

Taken from:http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.”

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.

We cannot turn back.

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: “For Whites Only.” We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until “justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest — quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

And this will be the day — this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.

Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride,

From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that:

Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

Free at last! Free at last!

Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!



listen…listen…listen….

Here is another fun way to learn English…

Listen, listen, listen – to native speakers and English speakers! You need to tune in to natural English and do this on a regular basis. This will give you a great foundation. Select an English speaking movie that you love and that has subtitles in your own language.

  1. Select a scene that you enjoy, turn down the English sound and then watch it with the subtitles so that you know what it is about.
  2. Then, turn on the sound, listen and watch it with the subtitles.
  3. So now, turn off the subtitles and watch it while listening.
  4. Do this over and over again and then test yourself by replaying the scene and see if you can speak the lines just like the actors.
  5. Finally…enjoy yourself

Taken from http://ezinearticles.com