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School Britannia pronunciation 2

Bird, bear, beard or beer?

Pronunciation matters. A lot. It’s the difference between ‘ship’ and ‘sheep’, ‘this’ and ‘these’. Here’s a joke one of my students sent me (in italian for once);

“Parlo così male l’inglese che quando ordino una birra non so se porteranno un uccello, un orso, una barba o una birra”


Bird, bear, beard or beer. Pronunciation is important.
The English language isn’t phonetic like Italian. When you look at a word in English, it is not always easy to understand its pronunciation. Take the word ‘know’. The ‘k’ is silent. Take the word ‘teacher’. The final ‘r’ isn’t pronounced. In the word ‘cake’ the ‘c’ and the ‘k’ have the same sound.

To help us understand we use the International Phonetic Alphabet, a serious of sounds that when written down, look more like Arabic than English.

Pronunciation is difficult to learn and it’s difficult to teach. Using rhyme can help us to group words with the same sound. Writing poems can be a fun way of doing this. Even for adults. Here are some examples from our students at School Britannia:

I want to fly
In the sky
With my mind

Me and you
See the moon
Like a cartoon

When I look at a star
I feel bizarre
And play with cards

I ride my bike
With a glass of wine
It’s all mine

Easy no? Why not try writing a poem at home?

But to really learn the correct pronunciation you need to listen. A native speaker is essential for getting it right. Listen to music. Watch films in the original language. Talk to people.

Take part in a conversation class.  For more information on how to sign up for our new speaking experiences at School Britannia please call us or write us an email.

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