Category Archives: Pronunciation

I – /ai/

I – /ai/

At times even reasonably advanced German, Spanish and Basque native speakers can find some difficulty with English vowel sounds despite the same sound being common in their own languages. The card below is designed to lead learners from what they know – ‘ Daimler Benz’ , ‘hay bocadillo’ or the name Aitor to English words with the same vowel sound.

I usually laminate these cards and give one to each student, then ask one to read all the words in a line or a column, then nominate another student to read another line or column of words.

Continue until you are happy with their pronunciation.

The words ‘Why, high, height and sign’ all contain silent letters, of these words it is only ‘sign’ that seems to cause some problems, if it does write ‘sign ‘ and ‘sine wave’ on the board and draw a picture of a sine wave, then ask students to repeat the words ‘sign, sine’ – the pronunciation is the same and they usually overcome the problem.

I include Daimler in this device because it often causes some discussion – particularly when I point out that the English pronunciation of this German name is D/ei/mler. I also use colour to highlight the letter combinations that can make the sound /ai/ – both things that might help make the pronunciation more memorable for some learners.

Once students have had the card and the rote learning I correct mispronunciations by starting to write Daimler or hay boc….or Aitor on the board. Students will frequently acknowledge their mistake and self correct.

pie

why?

five

height

my

high

dry

eye

Daimler

die

by

I

Aitor

fly

spy

sky

whisky &

rye

hybrid

diagonal

sign

Ikea

eins, zwei, drei, Daimler Benz, hay bocadillo, Aitor

An alternative to the card is to write the words to be pronounced, on the board, as follows:

bIlingual, dYnamo, trIangle, hYbrid. Model and drill.

If you find this helpful please let me know.

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