The English Phonetic Alphabet is a Tool For English As a 2nd Language (ESL) Learners

The English Phonetic Alphabet is a Tool For English As a 2nd Language (ESL) Learners

Spoken English is designed up of forty specific seems such as 20 4 consonant sounds and sixteen vowels seems. With only twenty 6 letters in the ABC’s, the Latin alphabet has hardly ever properly represented English speaking.

While the ABC’s have labored sufficiently for composed English considering that 1476, there has not been a suited phonetic alphabet to show the appears of the language until eventually 2001.

The English Phonetic Alphabet

24 Consonants

/b/, /d/, /f/, /g/, /h/, /j/, /k/, /l/, /m/, /n/, /p/, /r/, /s/, /t/, /v/, /w/, /y/, /z/

/CH/, /SH/, /TH/, /th/, /ng/, /Zh/

16 Vowels

/Ay/, /a/, /Ey/, /e/, /Iy/, /i/, /Ow/, /o/, /Uw/, /u/, /^/, /Oy/, /Aw/, /Er/, /Ar/, /Or/

The Effects of ABC’s on ESL – Could Chan’s Story

The secretary burst into my classroom. “Can you occur – now” she pleaded and disappeared back into the corridor. I motioned to my course to perform on their very own and followed her. From the computer system lab at the much conclude of the faculty, I could hear the seem of a guy shouting. When we entered the lab, he stopped “I won’t be able to fully grasp what she’s indicating”, the repairman snapped as he backed away from a young Chinese woman.

The personal computer lab in our midtown grownup group school was lined with second-hand office environment computer systems. Could Chan, a graduate of our university was utilized there as an assistant. It was her career to load the suitable computer software into the computers for every single course. That working day she stood by itself pointing to a cumbersome outdated unit. A one tear rolled down her cheek. In my encounter, Chinese people today are model students: they are very pleased, tranquil individuals. I experienced in no way noticed a Chinese pupil cry and it broke my heart. Could Chan pointed to the watch and whispered, “To soun. Eyychoo. To soun.”

She was ashamed of her Chinese accent and the rude technician had humiliated her. I requested her what was completely wrong and she repeated, “To soun. Eyychoo. To soun.” But I could not fully grasp her respond to. “Can you publish it down?” I asked, and gave her a pen.

E C H O, she printed, and it all manufactured feeling. The pc was sending two seems it had an echo. She understood the proper phrase, but in English figuring out the ideal term does not normally assist. What May Chan did not comprehend was English, letters do not signify appears. The relationship among English letters and sounds is so weak, no 1 can talk English from looking through it.

The Lesson: Spelling is Random

Could Chan was making the classic ESL learner’s blunder of saying a phrase the way it appears to be. English does not function like that. Understanding the variations concerning prepared English and spoken English is the critical. The alphabet, spelling, grammar and punctuation are all about composing and have absolutely nothing in any way to do with talking. In English, spelling is random and speaking is not writing said out loud.

When a student’s means to browse and compose English considerably outstrips their ability to converse it, producing it down is a good strategy for interaction hiccoughs (pronounced /hik ups/ – circumstance in position). A thing ESL learners are shocked to discover is that indigenous English speakers do not know how to pronounce text from reading them, either. English spelling has been hopeless for a extended, prolonged time.

The Age-Outdated Issue

English as a spoken language has been creating because 450 Advertisement and frequently uses 40 seems. The Latin alphabet (or ABCs) with its 26 symbols has only been employed by the standard general public to print the English language considering that 1476 Ad when William Caxton established up his printing press in London. English uses extra appears than it has letters! The Latin alphabet has never accurately represented spoken English.

For illustration, what is the seem of the letter ‘g’ in beige, garage and genre? What is the sound of the letter ‘s’ in Asia, typical and tv? /Zh/ is a French sound and there is no certain letter for it in English.

The Solution that Did not Function

Dictionaries generally use a set of symbols acknowledged as the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). However, that alphabet does not get the job done well for English. The origin of IPA is French in which the letter ‘e’ is acknowledged as ‘euh’ and ‘i’ is regarded as ‘e’ and so on. In spite of the inherent confusion, the IPA experienced a good run and survived for extra than a person hundred and 20 several years. Today there is small tolerance for the method, for the reason that the obscure IPA symbols have no representation on the standard computer system keyboard.

The Resolution that Worked

In 2001, English finally got its individual 40- symbol, computer system-friendly phonetic alphabet in which every image signifies a person and only 1 audio in the English language.

Pupils need to have to learn their ABC’s for examining and creating and the English Phonetic Alphabet / ingli SH funedik alfabet/ for speaking. When learners can see how phrases audio, they pronounce them with confidence!


· Write it down is an appropriate tactic if talking is not doing work

· English crafting and English speaking are different languages

· The Latin alphabet does not represent English seems

· The English Phonetic Alphabet (EPA) is a phonetic program that performs

And be confident to hearth the bastards that make your learners cry.