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Archive for June, 2011

Pronunciation of words

Posted by Anne on June 26th, 2011

Part 1: Individual words In English, words are rarely pronounced the way they are spelled. Here, an online teacher, Melanie (American), provides short video lessons, between 4 and 10 minutes each, contrasting and comparing words that many speakers of other languages find difficult in English. Video 1: said, suit, clothes, recipe, mountain, famous, virus Video […]

Stress and Intonation

Posted by Anne on June 23rd, 2011

These are the videos I posted on the Moodle site for students, for self-study in intonation. All are by the same online teacher, who does a really fabulous job, taking learners into the world of stress patterns with practice sentences like this: Clients get haircuts. Clients will get haircuts. His clients will get haircuts. His […]

Teaching pronunciation using jazz chants

Posted by Anne on June 23rd, 2011

Carol Graham trains teachers how to use jazz chants to teach pronunciation. They’re great energizers and get learners speaking faster than they can think – one of the elements of fluency. I’ll be doing some jazz chants in the telephoning part of a compact course next week, first giving them some jazz chant minis (see […]

Midnight in Paris: Discourse markers

Posted by Anne on June 22nd, 2011

Today my main task was to find examples of discourse markers in context in a movie trailer, explaining their functions in a given utterance. I chose Midnight in Paris by Woody Allen and, because it caught my imagination, transcribed and thought through more than necessary. It’s fun to examine a dialogue and make what is […]

Sound wave: Owa Tana Siam

Posted by Anne on June 21st, 2011

This brilliant sketch by the late Ronnie Barker is an eye-opener – or an ear-opener! – to how we preempt meaning when we listen. I found it on Abiloon’s lovely blog – full transcript there. I would use this video to raise student awareness for the way we anticipate what the speaker will say next. […]

Practice academic writing skills 2: Ambiguity

Posted by Anne on June 1st, 2011

One of the most important elements of good writing is clarity. Unfortunately, English has a lot of potential for ambiguity, which makes it easy to write ambiguous sentences. Great for humor, of course, but not a lot of help when it comes to writing works of science! One example is the use of prepositions. Compare: […]

Practice academic writing skills 1: Parallelism

Posted by Anne on June 1st, 2011

Parallelism adds elegance to your writing: Clumsy: They work with great care and effectively. Elegant: They work carefully and effectively. Clumsy: Making contacts is as important as to give a good presentation. Elegant: Making contacts is as important as giving a good presentation. Clumsy: We analyzed the extensive data, which was highly complex. Elegant: We […]