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1. What is the American accent, actually? In fact, there is not one kind of American accent. The US is huge, and people from different regions speak with different accents. A guy from Texas can sound quite different from one in New York. There isn't even one type of New Yorker accent. Similarly, there are different types of Californian accents. Want some proof for the diversity of the accents? One movie can show you right away. If you have watched Cars, by Pixar, you'll notice that Lightning McQueen (The red car) speaks English very differently from Mater (the truck). This is because Mater has
One hot button issue in education is the debate over whole language vs. phonics instruction in reading (and it has been for several decades). Both sides of the debate can cite research which suggests one side is better than the other. This article is intended to clear the muddled waters of reading instruction, and help parents see how they can use the best of both approaches for the benefit of their children.
Many people think that good pronunciation means pronouncing every word distinctly and clearly but this is not always the case. In spoken English the words within a sentence do not always sound the same as when you say them individually. That's because English speakers link words together in phrases and sentences.
I recently got a long, anguished letter from a couple with a five-year-old in kindergarten. The school’s curriculum was built around learning 76 Sight Words. The child was not making progress; the parents were miserable. They had decided they must homeschool their child. The couple said ...
What is an accent? An accent is the carryover of sounds from the speaker’s original language to the second language. When we are infants we literally have the ability to speak any language in the world. We are all born with the necessary speech mechanisms and the capability to learn any language. We end up speaking the language that we do solely by reinforcement.
Many years ago, a presenter at an ESL conference I attended began his stimulating, and very memorable, presentation with a ten minute mini lesson in . . . Thai! The audience of ESL teachers, syllabus planners and curriculum designers was stunned, but the point was effectively made: Learning correct pronunciation and intonation in a foreign language is not as simple as ESL teachers seem to think!