Posts Tagged ‘pronunciation’

The best foreign languages teacher in my world

15 July 2018

twitter: @eugenio_fouz

[Daniel Day-Lewis, actor]

 

The best foreign languages teacher must

 

1/ be a good reader

2/ be a good radio and podcast listener

3/ use dictionaries almost obsessively

4/ learn culture issues (geography, physics, history, maths, traditions)

5/ be an exquisite fanatic of something singular: literature and poetry, for example

6/ study English language everyday (theory)

7/ understand any kind of written text, video or audio in the foreign language

8/ focus on specific aspects of anything – i.e., Business English, Communication, Language, Journalism

9/ use new tools

10/ master the essentials of language: grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation

 

11/ follow good methods to learn and teach the subject

12/ be honest

13/ move, change, question himself and his strategies on a regular basis

14/ speak good English

 

15/ always explain matters slowly and clear

16/ use old tools

17/ do plenty of exercises on his own (practice)

18/ be a devoted teacher

*

 

 

 

 

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English pronunciation of minimal pairs

20 August 2016

twitter: @eugenio_fouz

snoopy-hugs-woodstock-e1396399317947

webpage providing mp3 audio files for practice of English words

http://www.speak-read-write.com/minimalpairs.html

Cool course book on Business English

30 July 2016

twitter: @eugenio_fouz

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Business elements” (Mc Graw Hill) is a course book on Business English focused on the presentation, practice and learning of elementary issues for a student of English. The course clearly shows several points of grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. It appears to be a good idea sharing brief tips on the margin of the book in order to let the student know the different ways of writing the date in the USA and in the UK. See an example:” WATCH OUT! In email addresses we say dot and not point.”

The book consists of fifteen lessons. Some of the topics include: introducing oneself to others, daily routines, applying for a job, planning, safety at work, travelling and how to book a flight, being good at writing formal letters. The authors have thought that there is a need for revision, therefore they make out a couple of revision pages too.

There are pages dedicated to specific situations on business, namely: how to answer the phone, how to say numbers, where to use ordinal or cardinal numbers, etcetera. In other words, there is a functional approach to the subject.

The course book (also a reference book) contains an appendix on the vocabulary used in every lesson, a list of common phrasal verbs and a phonetic table which can be useful. There is a list of irregular verbs as well.

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BUSINESS ELEMENTS (Mc Graw Hill) by Nigel Barnsley and Margie Lemmens 

Vocational training.

Ciclos Formativos de Grado Medio

Some pieces of advice on readers

15 November 2015

twitter: @eugenio_fouz

reader rob cru

reader: Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe (Oxford Bookworms)

Whenever you read a line in loud voice try to do your best. We learn a foreign language by imitating sounds and rhythms. Remember that some words such as “island”, “walk”, “half”, “could”, “would” contain mute letters (the “s” is mute in “island” and the “l” is mute in the following words mentioned above “walk”, “half”, etcetera)

There is a typical confussion with the verb “to live” (vivir) [pronounced with a short i] and the noun “life” (vida) [pronounced /ai/ ]

Reading a story, a short story helps us to revise and consolidate verbal tenses and formulas as in “I didn´t want that” (the negative form of the simple past tense with lexical verbs). Vocabulary matters too.

The English language has its own tricks called “false friends” which lead us to misunderstanding words. (Examples: library does not mean “librería” but “biblioteca”, actually does not mean “actualmente” but “realmente”, exciting does not mean “excitante” but “emocionante”)

Do not forget the correct use of verbal tenses. I have written (present perfect simple) must be translated as “yo he escrito” (pretérito perfecto compuesto). Some messages in a text might seem difficult to understand although most times they aren´t. Take this one, for example:

Have you ever been alone?

This is a present perfect simple tense in the interrogative form. The word “ever” is the problematic point here. For questions in the present perfect “ever” means “alguna vez”.

Grammar is always vital in language.

Reading a story implies understanding a plot, empathising with the characters, and learning words and expressions. While you read a book take a pencil and a dictionary. Underline words, verbs, take notes, circle proper names.

A big mistake some students make when reading a novel consists of forgetting the author´s name or what´s worse changing the author´s name for the protagonist of the story. So, we hear in the classroom that the author of Daniel Defoe is Robinson Crusoe. [It is the other way round: the author of Robinson Crusoe is the writer Daniel Defoe]

*

Be good & good luck!    

EF.-11112015

Tiny texts, a good idea to learn English

5 February 2015

twitter: @eugenio_fouz

2015-01-19 22.42.32

There is a webpage where you can find “extremely short texts” to read aloud and listen afterwards, or the other way round if you like.

Have a look at the sample text copied from the web page below:

**

[text taken from TINY TEXTS]

Stressed Workers Pay to talk – Read, listen and learn a little English!

November 25, 2014

By Tim Parkinson via Wikimedia Commons
Workers in Australia, have a new hotline they can call when they feel stressed and overworked. The new counselling service, called Talk2Me, will charge its users $2,97 per minute to talk to a counsellor who promises to “just listen” to their work complaints. Of course, the service offers more than just a friendly ear: the counsellors have special skills. It’s not the same as just talking to a friend. For one thing, they do not interrupt with their own tales. Just make sure you don’t talk for too long, otherwise you could end up more stressed when you get the bill. Would you use this service?”

**

Besides the pleasure of short, easy reading an English text, the author (Annette Porte) provides the meaning of some words and the original podcast recorded with singular native English speakers. Annette has a twitter account @tinytexts

https://tinytexts.wordpress.com

Little points to consider in oral interviews

28 August 2014

twitter: @eugenio_fouz

 2013-11-20 12.45.30

First of all, when you are having a conversation you must be aware of your partner. Do not forget that your participation counts but your partner counts as well

Get used to listening.

When it´s your turn to speak try to be clear and concise. Do not make very long sentences. Long messages sometimes can be boring to others

Your intonation is important. Of course, nobody asks a question by doing an affirmative statement. Think where you put your stress in sentences.

Basics is a principal point in language. You need to make sure you use the precise words, that is to say, do not use “him” where you should use “her” or him. We are dealing basics when we deal with verbal tenses, personal pronouns of subject or object, cardinal numbers, demonstratives, possessive adjectives, adverbials, and so on.

In verbs as you should know there are three forms or elements in their presentation, namely, the infinitive, the past and the past participle. The pronunciation of the past form of an irregular verb is not usually the same as the pronunciation of the past participle form.

On the other hand, there are lots of useful expressions, linkers or even idioms which may help in a conversation. A good student, a good speaker must learn, know and use them (once more, let´s see, to sum up, unfortunalely, that is to say, the truth is that, actually, secondly, et cetera)

In English sometimes we use a future verbal tense with the meaning of a present. For example, we say “I´ll start by saying that…” meaning “empiezo diciendo que…” or “shall we open the door?” meaning “¿abrimos la puerta?”.

Phonetics and pronunciation are two pillars in the building of a good dialogue. If you pronounce well, you will always be clearly understood. Phonetics helps to pronunciation rules.

I wouldn´t like to forget probably the point number one in communication: words. Without words we speak nothing. Words, or rather, vocabulary is the most important thing in language. Learn new words and you will be able to communicate anything to anyone. Use a dictionary, take notes of new words, read texts (newspapers, readers), listen to podcasts, online radios, watch videos, talk to real English people.

When you make a sentence, remember that in English there is always an easy rule to follow which consists of subject, verb and complements in standard messages.

Therefore, if you mean “Entonces, sería …” you shouldn´ t forget the subject “it” as in “Then, it would be…”. On the other hand, when you have used a subject it is wrong to put it twice as in “ this song it is about…” and you should say “this song is about…”

Other points where one can make mistakes are confusing numbers as in “thirteen” (13) and “thirty” (30) or the ordinal numbers “twelfth” (duodécimo) ”, telling the time, men and women (the latest´s pronunciation is very peculiar).

Some speakers think that saying “and” many times will make the speech more fluent and that is wrong and boring. One has to take some other words as “however”, “nevertheless”, “but”, “on the one hand”. Try to avoid repetition which only means lack of vocabulary and style. Sometimes it will be better not to say anything and leaving a blank space in conversation, as if you were playing music. Whenever you use a verb take your time to consider if it wouldn´t be nicer to choose a more specific verb instead of the verb “to be” or “to have” [ “go”, “visit”, “walk”, “travel”]

There are lots of words that we don´t often check in the dictionary. We do not know their meaning. Sometimes we pronounce them wrong.

Never forget the idea that English grammar is not a cheese but “lots of cheese”. Be available to learn rules or new aspects of grammar. I have just remembered now the rule of the verbs of like and dislike which take the gerund after themselves: like/hate/love/prefer + Ving

She hates waiting for her brother every day after class

When you talk to someone, try to make short messages. Most of times you go further on you make a mistake, nevertheless the best way to learn is by making mistakes and talking.

If your partner asks a question starting with “do” as in “do you like eating hot dogs?” you will be expected to answer by using the same auxiliary verb, “yes, I do” / “No, I don´t” and then continue with your part of the conversation. If your partner starts with “have you ever driven a car?”, again you must give something like this “no, I haven´t”/ “yes, I have”.

U2

15 July 2013

twitter: @eugenio_fouz

  Imagen

Anyone can be good at English by continuously reading (newspaper articles, books, blogs), listening to podcasts, taking care of pronunciation, using more than one dictionary, watching TV series and learning words. Moreover I believe that grammar must be always reviewed. I think grammar is not an only kind of cheese but plenty of cheeses. Martinet and Swan, I want you two. 

Close friends : online dictionaries and BBC podcasts

24 November 2012

twitter: @eugenio_fouz

my MP3 player and a workbook of English for Baccalaureate

WordReference is an online dictionary which I consult very often. If I had to choose a couple of tools for learning English on the internet I would pick out a good online dictionary such as WordReference, Farlex or Onelook dictionary and any link to the BBC podcasting site.

Let´s see how much I like WordReference by an example. I was not quite sure about the feminine meaning of the adjective “gorgeous” so I typed the word in the box of the online dictionary and got this:

English definition | conjugator | English synonyms | in context | images

Concise Oxford Spanish Dictionary © 2009 Oxford University Press:

gorgeous / ˈɡɔːrdʒəs / || / ˈɡɔːdʒəs/ adjetivo

  1. (lovely) (colloq) ‹girl› precioso, guapísimo;
    dress› precioso, divino;
    day› maravilloso, espléndido
  2. (splendid) ‹color› magnífico

Diccionario Espasa Concise © 2000 Espasa Calpe:

gorgeous [‘gɔ:dʒəs] adj (día) magnífico,-a, estupendo,-a: we had a gorgeous view from our hotel, teníamos una vista preciosa desde el hotel
(persona) precioso,-a, guapísimo,-a: he’s in love with a gorgeous woman he met in Rome, está enamorado de una chica fabulosa que conoció en Roma
gorgeous‘ also found in these Oxford entries:

English:

drop

Spanish:

WordReference English-Spanish Dictionary © 2012:

Principal Translations
gorgeous adj (beautiful: person) precioso adj
She is such a gorgeous girl.
Ella es una chica preciosa.
gorgeous adj (beautiful: thing, day) precioso adj
It is such a gorgeous day.
Es un día precioso.

Regular listening to BBC podcasts provides the listener with understanding, intonation and keeping up-to-date with English life and culture.


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