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Do you know the letter SOUNDS of English? It seems that a large part of non-native English speakers haven't studied the isolated sounds of English letters. It could prove difficult in learning English if you don't know what the letters are truly supposed to sound like. And, if not studied, knowing how to pronounce a word can be impossible, or at least stressful.
So, how does a native-English speaker learn these sounds and when? All American children start learning letters and their sounds as young as a year old. By the time the child is 3 or 4-years-old, they are already speaking words; and by the tiime they are six, they've mastered most of the sounds - but can still have difficulty with the harder ones (like R, for example). So, with this explained, it seems that knowing the sound of a letter is extremely useful and helpful!
Yet, not all non-native English speakers practice the individual letter sounds. Why? Mostly because adults are taught differently than kids; many teachers don't think the little details are necessary because the adult mind can learn easier than a child's. It is assumed that the adult will "figure it out" on their own. While this is partially true for some learners, it definitely does not include all learners. Therefore, I argue that all minds (no matter the age) must be given complete information if they are to succeed in fully learning and understanding the English language.
That's why today's topic is letter sounds - or, "The Sounds of English".
Take a moment and think how you pronounce each English letter:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Did you know that most of these letters have only ONE sound? It's true!
B D F G H J K L M N P Q R S T V W X Z... all of these letters only have one sound that they make in English. The only time one of these letter will change sound is IF they are influenced by the letter directly before or after; in fact, most of them don't change at all, while others change due to a word's ORIGIN.
For instance, in the word adventure ---> the letters D, V, N, and R all stay the same in pronuncition, with T the only one changing to CH. Why the change? T changes to CH due to the letter U following it, which happens a lot in TU combinations.
So... now it's your turn to chime in to the conversation! Think of the following letters and see if you know the individual sounds that they make.
A = short A (a, cat); long A (A, gate); schwa (uh, above); ah (father)
You're turn!! Anyone want to try? GO FOR IT!!!
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