Friday, September 12, 2008

(( BORED ? ))

"You know the world of English is a fun and exciting place to be." That is what I say at the start of my English lessons. But not all of the learning process is exciting. A good example of this comes in my latest video, where I talk about the 'Phonetic Alphabet'. I always remember during my time teaching English in China there was a class that I was giving at our adult training centre. One of my students asked me about phonetics and requested a lesson about it. So the following week I stood in front of the class and took them through all the various sounds and symbols which make up the phonetic code. At the end of the lesson, some of my students came up to me and said that they found the whole subject of phonetics really boring and dull.

I had to agree with them as I had felt equally bored explaining it all. After that lesson we would all joke about the time I taught Phonetics in my usually lively class and I gave the student who had first asked me to teach it a nickname. From then on we all called him "Mr Phonetics". This was not done to be mean or rude as I often gave my students nicknames and he took it with good humour. In fact he turned out to be one of my best students and always made the classes interesting with his questions about the English language.

As I say in lesson 36. Do not rely too much on phonetics and only use it if you have a really difficult word to pronounce. Perhaps this lesson will not get many viewers and maybe I will lose some of my online students because of it, but it does make up a part of learning English so I should mention it. However I promise that I will never mention phonetics again in any future video lessons!....cross my heart!



Antonio Carlos said...

Thank you for your advice, Mr. Duncan. It`s the most awful part of the English language. I sorry for my bad English. Thanks a bundle for your help toward us. I'm from Zaragoza, Spain.

Anonymous said...

You are the best, yes I find phonetcts so hard but i'll do my better to understand it and use it.

Your faithful student
Nabil from Morocco

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am from Austria. Your videos are really really great!!!
I am happy that you talked about the can be very useful sometimes! And it´s no Problem, if the lesson may seem to be a little boring- the important thing is to learn a LOT of good correct English, well taught!!!
You a very great. Keep doing what you are doing! ;)

nictations said...

I dont find phonetics more boring than any other subject. Learning a language is, first of all, a work on "form" (isn't it?), so its maybe the most formal aspect of speaking. I also think that the more we pronounce words and sentences correctly, the easier it gets for our mouth to speak. But yes, this makes an alphabet more to learn...

I teach french and italian as second languages, so i would be happy to share with all of you ideas on these issues. I also would appreciate to be corrected.

This is Nancy in Belgium saying sorry for mistakes and thanks for reading and answering,
ta ta for now!