English pronunciation course
Pronounce English words correctly: sounds, phonics, intonation
If you want to improve your English pronunciation and speak professionally, this oral English course in HK is suitable for you because you can be the only student in the lesson (1-1 class) or you can come with your friends if they are at the same level as you are.
In the English class you will watch or listen to something in English a few times. You need to pay attention to the pronunciation of the words, the intonation of the voice of the speaker and prepare for your presentation. When it's your time to role play the same conversation, I will give feedback about your pronunciation, grammar and accuracy. You need to learn and do the presentation again and again until your English sounds right.
Pronouncing the individual sounds and words is not enough. You need to be able to speak fluently with the accurate intonation and as little Chinese accent as possible. This requires focus to the details and desire for perfection.
The goal is that you automatically pronounce words accurately. This requires replacing the old, incorrect sound with the right ones.
It is important that you do not teach yourself the wrong pronunciation. So when you listen to an audio or watch a movie do not repeat what the speaker says but focus 100% on the listening. Speak when you can get an immediate feedback form an English tutor.
Learning English phonics
Phonics is a teaching method where you can learn to associate spoken sounds with written letters or groups of letters.
I don't teach phonetics because it does not have any sense. As you learn pronouncing and writing the words correctly, your mind will make the connections and recognise patterns. After you have learnt a few hundred words, you will have a feeling about how to pronounce a written word you have never heard before. However, there are no fixed rules and you need to learn to pronounce each word separately.
Furthermore, sometimes the same word or letter combination is pronounced differently depending on context and grammar function. For example, the word 'read' in simple present and simple past is written the same way but said differently.
So just spend a lot time listening to speakers while following the written script with your eyes. Your mind will do the association.
For Learners of English As a Second Language: A Myth About the Indefinite Articles "a" and "an"
By Zoltan Gregor
I have observed a common mistake that almost all of the Chinese students who learn English in Hong Kong make. It might be a world-wide misunderstanding for students who learn English as a second language. So if you are not a native English speaker, you can learn something new. At least it has been new for my students whenever I teach this.
Teachers in primary and secondary schools in Hong Kong tell their students to use the indefinite article "an" before words that start with the letter "a", "e", "i", "o" or "u" and to use "a" before the other letters.
It is not always true. The spoken language is relevant, not the written. Use "a" before pronouncing a vowel and "an" before pronouncing a consonant. That is, not the first letter but the first sound is important.
Here are some examples for the correct usage of the indefinite articles.
1, You say and write "a hotel" because the "h" is pronounced. But you say and write "an hour" because the "h" is not pronounced. The spoken word "hour" starts with the vowel sound [au].
2, Is his name Bruce or Bruse? Is the fourth letter a "c" or an "s"?
It is clear that we need an "a" in front of the "c". When you say "c" you are pronouncing two sounds [s] + [i]. The first sound is a consonant and that's why you write and say a "c".
When you pronounce "s" you are saying two sounds [e] + [s]. The first sound is a vowel and that's why you write and say an "s".
We have seen examples where the indefinite article "an" is used before a written consonant. What about the other way?
3, You write and say "a university". The "u" letter here is pronounced [j] + [u], that is, university starts with a consonant sound. So you need to say "a" before it.
Here are two more examples that violate the "aeiou" rule: "a European", "a user."
The rule for pronouncing the definite article "the" is consistent with the usage of "a" and "an". Pronounce [ð] + [i] before a vowel sound and [ð] + [ə] before a consonant sound. Again, don't follow the letter but the sound.
Still, you can use the "aeiou" rule as a rule of thumb. Most of the times it works.
Besides learning to pronounce the definite and indefinite articles correctly, you should learn when to use them. And that is much more difficult to learn and master.