Phonetic Knowledge in English Learning

537 Words3 Pages
Phonetics is one main branch of linguistics. It studies the production, description and classification of sounds. It seems that phonetics is only concerned with those who study linguistics. However, it is not true. As a matter of fact, the knowledge of phonetics plays an important role in language learning. Today in china, most students are learning English as their first foreign language. They spend at least 6 years on English, but only a tiny part of them can use it as a tool of communication. Among so many reasons that cause the present condition, the neglect of English phonetics English learning is significant. Speech sound is the primary medium of language. Students’ learning English does not start with letters of a, b, c, but with the imitation of “ Hello” or “ Good-bye”. Imitation is an efficient way to access to a new language, whereas not perfect. Chinese and English have different phonic systems. For Chinese students, they often meet the problem how to correctly pronounce those sounds that never appear in Chinese phonic system. This sort of problem that cannot be solved by imitation requires the knowledge of English phonetics. Take /θ/ and / / for example, these two consonants are the most difficult to Chinese students, because they cannot tell the differences between /θ/ and /s/, / / and /z/ by listening to tapes. If they consult English phonetics, the problem would become easy: /θ/ and / / are dental consonants while /s/ and /z/ are affricatives, and the key to pronounce dental consonants is to put the tip of tongue between the upper and lower teeth allowing the air to pass the tip of tongue and the upper teeth. According to the description, students can easily and correctly pronounce them. People realize that the knowledge of phonetics is quite helpful in English learning, but the fact is that, during the process of teaching and

More about Phonetic Knowledge in English Learning

Open Document