Saturday, 4 June 2011
Help your students with pronunciation
Very often students who are learning English as a foreign language need help with pronunciation. Those who have a perfect memory and natural language acquisition gift, may remember the sounding of a word from the teacher or a recording.
However, those who have to hear the pronunciation many times before they remember it, need additional help.
The best assistant in helping students with pronunciation of the words is the website howjsay which is an indispensable resource for checking the sounding of English. There are currently 145,328 entries in the dictionary. It also offers apps for iPhone and iPod Touch.
Forvo which contains 969,698 words and 1,017,619 pronunciations in 268 languages. At present it has 77,234 recorded English words. Many words are recorded by more than one speaker.
HearNames which has a long list of names of different nationalities and regions. I tested it with the Irish name Siobhan which I find incredibly tricky, and of course the site had it! I had to hear it six times to make sure I wouldn't forget it.
Teachers can make use of the marvellous phonemic chart published on the Teaching English website. The students can hear sounds by clicking on the symbols. Perfect at the beginners stage!
If you need to transcribe a short passage, here is the site which will do it for you PhoTransEdit. You only have to type or paste the text in the box and click Transcribe. You can even choose between the British or American variant of the pronunciation.
I am quoting the website: "Text2Phonetics is a PhoTransEdit Online application that transcribes small English texts into broad phonetic transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)."
Finally, I'd like to mention two great sites which offer IPA phonetic symbols for writing the pronunciation online - Type IPA phonetic symbols and Script Typewriter 1.3. Use them when you need to show the pronunciation of a word on the screen or teach IPA symbols.