What? Jewery? Yup, that’s what I heard a few minutes ago, and that prompted me to post this article.

My office door is now open because there’s no electricity.  Somehow this PC runs on a different electrical line. Right across my room, I could see a group of students discussing a mock meeting. Well, somewhere along their discussion, one of the group members wanted to know the spelling of the word “jewelry” (jewellery), and her friend confidently said: “Jewery? J-E-W-E-R-Y.”  – she was literally spelling the way she pronounced it!!

I blogged about grammar and phonics recently, and now it’s clearly proven that in some cultures, you can’t simply “convert” them into native English speakers, probably never in their lifetime. What the Ministry of Education could do is to start a speech therapy class conducted by local teachers, if they’re really serious about improving pronunciation. You won’t get 100% success rate, but you’d certainly see some improvement. A friend of mine attended a speech therapy class in the U.S. when she was studying there, and it helped her. Nevertheless, she still has problems pronouncing the “l” in “problem”, for instance. It’s all got to do with the interference of the mother tongue.

It’s really noisy – oh, they’re quiet now as it’s time to start that mock meeting with their lecturer.



Posted on April 7, 2010, in Jottings and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I mostly come around Chinese that having problem pronouncing the “V” as in “over”, “every” etc. It becomes “ower” and “ewery”. hehehe!

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