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Intonation in Speech

Has anyone reprimanded you for speaking like a robot? If they did, then it means your voice is flat without any ups and downs as you speak. In other words, there’s no intonation in your speech. Intonation is a crucial part of communication, regardless of any language that you speak in. Watch this video and learn the importance of intonation.



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.


Learn Phonetics

If you have a printed dictionary, you’ll notice that beside every word, there are weird symbols. Those symbols represent sounds in the English language. The study of speech sounds is called phonetics. By knowing a little about phonetics, you’ll be able to pronounce those symbols correctly, thus pronouncing the words correctly too. In this video, Mr. Duncan, the teacher, will tell you a bit about phonetics. Listen and watch how the teacher in this video pronounces each symbol.