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Artículo 02

Articulo 02




Ana Luisa Castillo ndez


Colegio de Inglés


Plantel 6 “Antonio Caso



One of the most important aspects of learning English is pronunciation. Without clear pronunciation, it is difficult to make yourself understood. However, you might be surprised by the following statement: Pronouncing every word correctly leads to poor pronunciation! (Kenneth Beare, 2012)


Good pronunciation is of prime importance for spoken communication. However, there is no reason why you should speak like a native English speaker to have a good pronunciation. There are different natural varieties of English pronunciation in Britain and around the world.


Good pronunciation comes from stressing the right words while quickly gliding over non-stressed ones - this is because English is a time-stressed language. On the other hand many other languages are considered syllabic.


Pronunciation Help - Sentence Stress - Take a look at the following list of stressed and non-stressed word types.

  •  Basically, stress words are considered content words such as

Nouns e.g. kitchen, Peter

Most principal verbs e.g. visit, construct 

Adjectives e.g. beautiful, interestin

Adverbs e.g. often, carefully

  • Non-stressed words are considered function words such as:

Determiners e.g. the, a, some, a few

Auxiliary verbs e.g. don't, am, can, and were 

Prepositions e.g. before, next to, opposite

Conjunctions e.g. but, while, as

Pronouns e.g. they, she, us




Useful Tips for both, teachers and students, to develop familiarity with pronunciation:



1.  Remember that non-stressed words and syllables are often 'swallowed' in English.



2.  Always focus on pronouncing stressed words well, non-stressed words can be glided over.



3.  Don't focus on pronouncing each word. Focus on the stressed words in each sentence.



Letters and Sounds


There are 26 letters in the English alphabet but there are 44 sounds in the English language. This means that the number of sounds in a word is not always the same as the number of letters.


The word 'CAT' has three letters and three sounds but the word 'CATCH' has five letters but still only three sounds.


CAT is written /k æ t/


CATCH is written /k æ ʧ/ In 'CATCH' the three letters TCH are one sound represented by one phonemic symbol /ʧ/




Common mistakes and errors


For some reason, people feel that in order to pronounce words correctly they need to make words more extravagant than they really are. Words like dilate (dehy-leyt) or athlete (ath-leet) both fall victim to syllable sloppiness. (Jacob Franek, 2010)


It is fundamental to consider the fact that knowing every single expression is all about attention to details,  i.e.:  It’s  ‘Alzheimers  disease’  not  ‘old-timers  disease’  and  it’s  ‘Ku  Klux  Klan’,  not  ‘Klu KluxKlan’. (Jacob Franek, 2010)

Keep silent letters silent. Do not overemphasize certain words, in order to prevent you from sound as an ignoramus. Go through the use of silent letters: soften (saw-fuhn), handsome (han-suhm) and handkerchief (hang-ker-chif or -cheef). (Jacob Franek, 2010)




  • Fight dyslexia at pronouncing words such as prescription whose correct pronunciation is (pri- skrip-shuhn not per-skrip-shuhn), supremacist, not supremist, and supposedly, not supposably.




It is a fact that mispronouncing a few words now and again probably won't hurt you in your daily life, but it might. The word “mispronunciation” is actually a perfect example: It is one of the most commonly misspelled (misspronounciation)  and  mispronounced  (mis-pruh-nuhn-see-ey-shuhn, not miss-pruh-nown-see-ey-shuhn). (Jacob Franek, 2010)




Vowel sounds


  • Mispronunciation might include some examples as-‘not now because he is did (dead)'.


Draw a column with the heading /e/. In this column write the word 'dead' .Look for examples of words which rhyme with this- 'red', 'bed', etc.


Come up with a list for words which rhyme and have the same vowel spelling, i.e. 'ea'. Such as


'head', 'bread', 'read', lead’, and we end up with an extendable list of words with the same spelling and sound.


It is the cognitive work of trying to think of similar words, writing them down and their organization into columns that helps learners retain sounds and spellings, rather than their simply revising the lists.




The diphthong (pronounced / f i: n d /) is not shown anywhere. 

  •  Make a column with /ai/- 'fight', 'bike', 'buy', 'eye’, my', etc. for the sound, think of other words spelt like 'find'- 'mind' and 'kind'.

Example: 'I will buy vegetables (pronouncing 'table' at the end)' Note that this is also an opportunity to work on word stress.

  • Make a column with a schwa, and drill 'vegetable', marking the word stress, point out the number of syllables and the stress on the beginning of the word, this makes the final syllable weak and not pronounced as the word 'table'.


Add to the list 'comfortable' and 'presentable' as further examples.



For the second example point out that the stress is on the second syllable, which might cause confusion at the lack of a steadfast rule or the non-uniformity of the examples, this merely serves to reinforce misbelief that a language always obeys a strict set of rules. The only way to learn these fundamental pronunciation points is to notice them, note them down and practice them regularly.



What is connected speech?


When we speak naturally we do not pronounce a word, stop, then say the next word in the sentence. Fluent speech flows with a rhythm and the words bump into each other. To make speech flow smoothly the way we pronounce the end and beginning of some words can change depending on the sounds at the beginning and end of those words. These changes are described as features of connected speech.


Sounds linkage


i.      Linking is a way of joining the pronunciation of two words so that they are easy to say and flow together smoothly. In English there are different ways that this happens. i.e.-sit down, take care, talk about, used to.

ii.      Consonant to vowel linking - when the first word ends with a consonant sound and the second word begins with a vowel sound. i.e. - stop it, need it, walk away, read a book, play a song.

iii.      Vowel to vowel linking - when certain vowels come next to each other an extra sound is added to make the link smooth. i.e. - people asked, Ana invited, clear it up.

iv.      Linking 'r'. In standard British English (RP) the letter 'r' after a vowel sound at the end of word is often not pronounced. i.e. - what are you doing? park the car, car pull, order it, Peter Piper.

v.      When the following word begins with a vowel the /r/ sound is pronounced to make a smooth link. i.e.- ochre ogre, dear Ann Landers, wander around for your eyes only

vi.      Sounds disappear. i.e. - tell her, it bobbed up and down, he begged her to stay, can speak, lunch time.

vii.    When the sounds /t/ or /d/ occur between two consonant sounds, they will often disappear completely from the pronunciation. i.e. - that kind, last year, what you need.

viii.     Sounds join together. i.e. - raise her expectations, I have to go.


ix.     When a word ends in a consonant sound and the following word begins with the same consonant sound, we don't pronounce two sounds - both sounds are pronounced together as one. i.e. - big grape, best time, good day, ban new members.

x.      Sounds change. i.e. - a bit of butter, quite well, you were supposed to leave.


xi.     Sound, depending on the particular sounds, the last sound of the first word or both the last sound and the first sound of the next word can change. i.e. - best time, sit down, best friend, booked a room for two people.





-Write down the following tongue twisters: "Red lolly, yellow lolly, red lolly, yellow lolly"; "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers"; "Shy Shelly says she shall sew sheets"; and "Which witch wished which wicked wish?"


1.  Practice saying these tongue twisters slowly; do not sing them. When you can say them well, record yourself. It is best if you can record the phrase and then either leave room to record you singing them later, or record each phrase to a different tape or file to keep them separate.

2.  Sing the tongue twisters, moving up and down a basic scale. For instance, instead of the notes "do-re-mi-fa-so-la-si,"  substitute  the  words  "shy-shelley-says-she-shall-sew-sheets."  Repeat this step several times for each tongue twister until you feel you have mastered being able to pronounce the words when you sing.

3.  Record yourself singing the tongue twisters on the simple scale and listen to the difference in clarity between speaking the twister and singing it; repeat that step until your singing of the twister matches your clarity in speaking it.

4.  Experiment with the way in which you pronounce the vowels in each word, and in the speed, style and emotion of the manner in which you sing the tongue twister. Changing a long "a" to an "ah" sound or changing from "Shel-lee" to "Shel-ay" will affect the emotion you convey when you are singing. Record your different versions and listen to them.

5.  It is advisable to take advantage of a phonemic chart as an aid to improve the pronunciation of vowels (whether they are long or short) as well as the consonants.

These are the symbols (script) for the sounds of English.


They are organized into the following different groups



Use of Poetry


"The Chaos by G. Nolst Trenité is a classic English poem with a wide range of irregularities of spelling and pronunciation. Don´t worry about understanding the poem- there is no meaning.


Most native speakers would have difficulty pronouncing all these words, so don´t worry if you find it difficult. Once youve learned to correctly pronounce every word in the following poem, you will be speaking English better. If you find it tough going do not despair, you are not alone.





*Pronounce (v) to utter or articulate (a sound or sequence of sounds in the correct way)

*Articulate (adj) expressed, formulated, or presented with clarity and effectiveness.

One of the beauties of using student speech for pronunciation work is that it directly addresses students' problems. I have attempted to provide very simple rules and examples to help integrate pronunciation into classes on a regular basis.


Focusing on the "stress - timed" quality of English helps students improve their pronunciation skills. Students often focus on pronouncing each word correctly and therefore tend to pronounce in an unnatural manner. By focusing on the stress - timed factor in English - the fact that only principal words such as proper nouns, principal verbs, adjectives and adverbs receive the "stress" - students soon begin sounding much more "authentic" as the cadence of the language begins to ring true.


Regular work in this area helps learners to develop their own hypotheses and gut-feeling for English pronunciation, something experts and researchers have long emphasized as an essential skill of a good language learner.




1.  Kenneth Bear. (2012). English as a second language,<11 de mayo de 2014>., de

Sitio web: Kenneth Beare English as 2nd Language

2.  Sadzhaya, V. (2011). Great! México, D.F.: Progreso.












ABSTRACT: The purpose of the present work is to provide students with survival changes to improve their pronunciation.

Keeping that I mind, some techniques were used, ranging from explicit strategies, to eventually encourage them to acquire an intrinsic instinct to confront their lack of confidence and insecurities when speaking English.

Based upon the afore mentioned information, some elements such as stress, letters, sounds, spelling, as well as examples of mistakes that commonly occur while speaking English, in addition of some tongue twisters, singing and even a poem were taken advantage of.

Practice exercises such as the different types of common stress and intonation in English, will help students improve their English skills, as well as improve overall English pronunciation skills.


Ana Luisa Castillo ndez

Colegio de Ingles

Plantel 6 “Antonio Caso

Tel casa 26159068