The Sounds and Stress of English

Hi Everyone,

Yesterday we discussed the “sounds” of English and focused on pronunciation of letters and words, and syllables and stress. It did stress us out a little, but, here we go! 

Many people today use letter and number abbreviations when texting and emailing – here are some of the abbreviations we looked at : B4 (before) ; RUOK (are you ok) ; EZ (easy) ; W8 4 ME, I’M L8 (wait for me , I’m late); DID U C? (did you see?) ; PLZ (please); OIC (oh I see); GR8 (great); NE (any); and NE1 (anyone).

Then we talked about the letters i and u and made a list of one syllable words that have the i sound and another list for one syllable words that have the u sound. Our list of words with the sound included fly, high, buy, bye, die, pie, try, sly, lie, my, why  and the words with the sound were you, true, blue, clue, new few, due, dewNext we watched this short film called Missing U about the letter i in search of her missing . She finally does find u and they become we! The film is based on a poem which is here Missing U try reading the poem along with the film to practice your tempo and pronunciation.

Next we took a look at stressing words in English. This is a hard thing to do but is a natural part of the English language. But first we need to review syllables, which are units of pronunciation, in words. Here is the practice we did in class Syllables Review and Practice  In addition to dictionaries, a good website to use to see how many syllables a word has and listen to the word is here at Syllable Count (just click and see if you like it).

 Now ,the rules of word stressing can be complicated and the  best way to learn stress is to listen carefully to spoken English and try to develop a feeling for the “sound” or “music” of the language. Here are the slides we looked at together with 5 simple, basic rules about using stress  Are You All Stressed Out About Speaking English  Practice the rules about word stress on this review we did together Word Stress Rules and Review 

That was a lot of information yesterday, but you all worked hard and did a great job!!

Words of the day:

organic (adjective) : not using artificial chemicals ; natural (usually with food)                                                                                                                                                         Whole Foods market specializes in organic fruits and vegetables.

accelerate (verb) : to move faster; to gain speed                                                                   Drivers on the highway will often accelerate their cars to pass slower drivers on the road.                                                                           

classy (adjective) : having qualities that make someone ot something special and attractive                                                                                                                                      My friend told me that the restaurant at the Four Seasons hotel is very classy and expensive.

******(see if you can find out what syllable you stress in each of the words of the day, like we did together in class, good luck!)******

Great job everyone!

And remember, don’t stress out, just relax and practice!