martes, 30 de agosto de 2011

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The (r)evolution of language

The (r)evolution of language: are you intexticated or a kidult?
Paulo P Sanchez | August 30, 2011 at 6:59 pm | URL: http://wp.me/pMRGn-1bE

An interesting fact about languages is that they evolve. New words are added each day to our vocabulary, for better or worse. Take "groovy" as an example, a slang colloquialism popular during the 60s and 70s springing out of African American culture. Unless you are nostalgic or have been frozen, like the British spy character Austin Powers played by Mike Myers, you probably would say "cool", "excellent", "fashionable", or "amazing", depending on context.

How about adding a couple of new words?

#1: Humble Brag
Definition: a statement that conveys false humility : a brag couched in self-deprecation

Example: "Facebook seems to be the perfect place for this. How many status reads have actually been humble brags?" – post on Elizabeth Runs blog, February 25, 2011

#2: Planking
Definition: a game or activity in which participants lie facedown in unusual locations

Example: "Planking has achieved notoriety as an online fad, as people try to plank in the most unlikely places." – Los Angeles Times, July 28, 2011

#3: Capgras' Delusion

Definition: a disorder in which a person falsely believes that a friend or relative has been replaced by an identical impostor

Example: "Capgras delusion can be brought about by a variety of conditions – changes in brain chemistry associated with different mental illnesses, or physical trauma to the brain – but the delusion always involves the distinct feeling that the people around you have been replaced by impostors." – Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, NPR Morning Edition, March 30, 2010


#4: Intexticated

Definition: distracted by the act of texting to such a degree that one seems intoxicated

Example: "[Justin Bieber] says he was inspired to get involved in the campaign because of the Alex Brown Foundation, which is a charity named after a teenager who died because he was driving while intexticated." – Darian Demetri, Teenchive.com, July 20, 2011


#5: Epic Fail

Definition: (interjection): used to identify something as a complete failure; also

(noun) : something that fails completely

Example: "Righting the struggling economy through saner, sounder fiscal policies is not the only issue that should be ranked an 'epic fail' on Capitol Hill over the last decade." – Sid Salter, ClarionLedger.com, Aug. 9, 2011


#6: Stuffocation

Definition: the fact of being overwhelmed by the stuff one has bought or accumulated

Example: "Over the weekend, I worked on filling two more storage tubs for our local consignment store, as I do every month. ... Regularly consigning two tubs of stuff ... is how I prevent 'stuffocation.'" – post on WantingWhatYouHave.com, September 13, 2010


#7: Kidult

Definition: an adult who behaves like a child

Example: "But alpha male has been superceded by omega male, the under-achieving, low-testosterone kidult who lounges at the other end of the blokey spectrum, playing computer games and watching Lost." – Kevin Courtney, Irish Times, July 30, 2011

#8: Tanorexic

Definition: having a compulsion to tan

Example: "The cast of 'Jersey Shore' has arrived. Everyone's favorite tanorexic reality stars claimed they had made it after appearing in cartoon form on 'South Park' Wednesday." – Soraya Roberts, New York Daily News, October 14, 2010


#9: Longboard

Definition: a long skate board

Example: "A man riding a longboard has hilariously demonstrated how not to dismount while speeding down a road in Portugual." – NineMSN.com, July 22, 2011

#10: Coffice

Definition: a café that a customer uses as a place in which to conduct business

Example: "Acceptable 'coffice' etiquette states that something must be ordered during your stay." – post on GetItBusinessServices.com, April 21, 2011

Some Irregular plurals.

abyss abysses

alumnus alumni

analysis analyses

aquarium aquaria

arch arches

atlas atlases

axe axes

baby babies

bacterium bacteria

batch batches

beach beaches

brush brushes

bus buses

calf calves

chateau chateaux

cherry cherries

child children

church churches

circus circuses

city cities

cod cod

copy copies

crisis crises

curriculum curricula

deer deer

dictionary dictionaries

domino dominoes

dwarf dwarves

echo echoes

elf elves

emphasis emphases

family families

fax faxes

fish fish

flush flushes

fly flies

foot feet

fungus fungi

half halves

hero heroes

hippopotamus hippopotami

hoax hoaxes

hoof hooves

index indexes

iris irises

kiss kisses

knife knives

lady ladies

leaf leaves

life lives

loaf loaves

man men

mango mangoes

memorandum memoranda

mess messes

moose moose

motto mottoes

mouse mice

nanny nannies

neurosis neuroses

nucleus nuclei

oasis oases

octopus octopi

party parties

pass passes

penny pennies

person people

plateau plateaux

poppy poppies

potato potatoes

quiz quizzes

reflex reflexes

runner-up runners-up

scarf scarves

scratch scratches

series series

sheaf sheaves

sheep sheep

shelf shelves

son-in-law sons-in-law

species species

splash splashes

spy spies

stitch stitches

story stories

syllabus syllabi

tax taxes

thesis theses

thief thieves

tomato tomatoes

tooth teeth

tornado tornadoes

try tries

volcano volcanoes

waltz waltzes

wash washes

watch watches

wharf wharves

wife wives

woman women

The Rhythym of a Language:



Speakers and learners of English are interested in improving their ACCENT. They quite properly give importance to their pronunciation. However, making the correct English sounds is only a part of a correct accent. A native accent also depends on proper links between parts of the expressions spoken, and also the proper intonation or stress on the parts of the words in the spoken utterance.

It is necessary to have the proper “music” or rhythm of the language that is spoken. You all know the following word game. What is a “zookee”? Ask this of a native born English speaker and they will not know what you mean. If you say, “It is used to open the gate to a place where animals are kept”. He or she will know that you are saying “zoo key”. You may have pronounced the sounds perfectly but your link between the two parts of the word caused your listener to not hear “zoo key”.

The same thing happens with word stress. A native speaker of English knows whether you mean the place where the president of the United States lives, or a house that is painted white when you say “white house”. Similarly when you say “dark room”, you mean either a room with no lights on, or the place where a photographer develops film. It is the word stress (which has certain rules that you will learn in other articles) that makes the difference.

This article will present an example of and the reasons for the importance of proper word stress.

A. Read the following sentences aloud timing how long each one takes to read. Then count the syllables in each sentence.

The beautiful Mountain appeared transfixed in the distance.
(How long did it take to read? ______ seconds.) (How many syllables does it have? ________)

He can come on Sundays as long as he doesn't have to do any homework in the evening.
(How long did it take to read? (______ seconds.) (How many syllables does it have? ________)

· Notice that the first sentence actually takes about the same time to speak well!

· Even though the second sentence is approximately 30% longer than the first, the sentences take the same time to speak. This is because there are 5 stressed words in each sentence.

B. Learn the following facts concerning pronunciation.

· English is considered a stressed language while many other languages are considered syllabic.

· In other languages, such as French or Italian, each syllable receives equal importance (there is stress, but each syllable has its own length).

· English pronunciation focuses on specific stressed words while quickly gliding over the other, non-stressed, words.

· Stressed words are considered content words: Nouns e.g. kitchen, Peter - (most) principle verbs e.g. visit, construct - Adjectives e.g. beautiful, interesting - Adverbs e.g. often, carefully

· Non-stressed words are considered function words: Determiners e.g. the, a - Auxiliary verbs e.g. am, were - Prepositions e.g. before, of - Conjunctions e.g. but, and - Pronouns e.g. they, she

C. Practice and Keep it up

· Write down a few sentences, or take a few example sentences from a book or exercise.

· First underline the stressed words, then read aloud focusing on stressing the underlined words and gliding over the non-stressed words.

· Be surprised at how quickly your pronunciation improves! By focusing on stressed words, non-stressed words and syllables take on their more muted nature.

· When listening to native speakers, focus on how those speakers stress certain words and begin to copy this.

· Now, do some listening comprehension or go speak to your native English speaking friends and listen to how they concentrate on the stressed words rather than giving importance to each syllableStressed words are the key to excellent pronunciation and understanding of English.

D. Tips:

· Remember that non-stressed words and syllables are often "swallowed" in English.

· Always focus on pronouncing stressed words well, non-stressed words can be glided over.

· Don't focus on pronouncing each word. Focus on the stressed words in each sentence.

Adapted from esl.about.com
About Author Frank Gerace :

Frank Gerace Ph.D extends guidance on accent reduction and the proper American English accent at http://www.GoodAccent.com. He offers resources for learners of English at http://www.InglesParaLatinos.com/SpanishCourses.htm. His blog is at http://www.InglesParaHispanos.blogspot.com.

Listen and Learn: The Different Intonation of the Noun and the Verb

Intonation, the "music" of a language, is perhaps the most important element of a correct accent. Many people think that pronunciation is what makes up an accent. It may be that pronunciation is very important for an understandable accent. But it is intonation that gives the final touch that makes an accent correct or native. Often we hear someone speaking with perfect grammar, and perfect formation of the sounds of English but with a little something that gives her away as not being a native speaker. Therefore, it is necessary to realize that there are three components to an accent, pronunciation, intonation, and linking. In other places we will examine pronunciation, the proper formation of vowels and consonants, and linking, the way that syllables within a word, and the beginning and ending of words come together.

But what interests us now is the issue of intonation, and in particular the difference in intonation in saying the same word (same spelling) when it is used as a noun and when it is used as a verb. It is a perfect example of how meaning affects intonation. We will try to hear clearly the difference that intonation makes in the daily use of a proper North American English accent. The practice with the following examples will help you to notice, practice, and master the different intonation patterns that you will discover as you concentrate more on your use of North American English.

Intonation: Noun or Verb Knowing when and where to stress the words you use is very important for understanding, and is part of a good accent. A clear example is that of the different stress in nouns and verbs. It will be useful for you to be aware of the stress in both cases. Here is a list of a few that will get you thinking and give you some practice in identifying them and using them correctly. Underline the syllable that is stressed, and write a brief explanation to indicate that you understand the difference. I start the exercise with two examples, the words "suspect" and "present". You do the rest. And make sure you pronounce the words OUT LOUD.

Usually (although there are some exceptions), the stress of a verb is on the last syllable, and that of a noun is on the first syllable.

It will be useful for you to be aware of the stress in both cases. Here is a list of a few that will get you thinking and give you some practice in identifying them and using them correctly. I start the exercise with two examples. I have indicated the stress with CAPITAL LETTERS. You underline the syllable that is stressed, and write a brief explanation to indicate that you understand the difference. You do the rest of the table. And make sure you pronounce the words OUT LOUD.

to susPECT: meaning, to have an opinion a SUSpect: meaning, a person under suspicion

to preSENT: meaning, to give, to introduce a PREsent: meaning, a gift, now

Now, you do the rest of the table, underlining the accented syllable and defining the word to emphasize your understanding that the accent goes with the meaning.

to conflict, a conflict

to contest, a contest to contract, a contract

to convert, a convert to convict, a convict to incline, an incline to insult, an insult to object, an object to permit, a permit to present, a present to produce, a produce to project, a project to protest, a protest to rebel, a rebel

to recall, a recall to reject, a reject to research, a research

Practice on the following sentences that contain some of the words of the list used buth as noun and as verb. Underline the accent and read the sentences out loud You need to insert a paragraph here on this newspaper insert. How can you object to this object? I'd like to present you with this present. The manufacturer couldn't recall if there'd been a recall. The religious convert wanted to convert the world. The political rebels wanted to rebel against the world. The mogul wanted to record a new record for his latest artist. If you perfect your intonation, your accent will be perfect. Due to the drought, the fields didn't produce much produce this year. Unfortunately, City Hall wouldn't permit them to get a permit.


About Author Frank Gerace :

Frank Gerace Ph.D has worked in Latin America on UN and national Educational and Communication Projects, and has taught in Bolivian and Peruvian Universities. He currently teaches English in New York City at La Guardia College/CUNY. He provides resources on accent reduction and the proper American English accent at http://www.GoodAccent.com

Pronunciation of words ending in “ate”.



You can find our other related articles in this same directory. Among them are “Intonation in English: Expressions of Two Words”, and “Intonation in English: The Noun and the Verb”.

In these articles we saw that verbs of two syllables often have the stress fall on the second syllable, while the related noun has the stress on the first syllable.

These cases are examples of the effect that meaning has on INTONATION in English.

The present article shows how meaning has an affect on PRONUNCIATION, just as the previous articles dealt with INTONATION. In this case we will also learn a "rule".

Many native speakers do not know that there are “rules” of accent, stress, intonation, and pronunciation. English is not as crazy as we think. To know these “rules” can help you in building your vocabulary at the same time as you perfect your intonation and pronunciation. We write "rules" in quotes to indicate that there are always a few exceptions to such rules. They are not 100% accurate but they are a big help in most situations.

There are many words in English that end with the letters “ate”. These words come from origins in the Latin language, and are very common in English. Words ending in "ate" are verbs, nouns, and adjectives.

Fortunately there is a "rule" that you can master. No matter if they are nouns, verbs, or adjectives, these words almost always have the accent on the "antepenultimate" syllable. That's a fancy way of saying "the syllable just before the next to the last syllable in the word". The difference is in the way the letters "ate" are pronounced.

Verbs ending in the letters “ate” pronounce the letter “a” with the “long a” sound (the name of the letter “a”, the sound of the words “steak’ and “make”).

However, there are other words ending in “ate” that are not verbs. Related nouns or adjectives pronounce the letter “a” of the last syllable with the indefinite “schwa” sound (the sound of the “a” of the word “about”, or the second “e” in the word "elephant”). Nouns and adjectives usually stress the antepenultimate (the one before the next-to-the-last) syllable,

For each word ending in “ate” in the following sentences, indicate that you realize the effect of meaning on pronunciation by clarifying the difference between the two uses of the same word (“same” meaning having the same spelling.)

The governor told his staff to separate the large document into separate categories

The professor said he would not elaborate on his elaborate explanation.

Their associate used to associate with many bankers.

I asked the carpenter to estimate the cost of the job. His estimate was low.

For the following words, indicate whether the word is a verb, noun or adjective, give a brief meaning of the word, and then observe how the letters “ate” are pronounced,

For the following words, indicate whether the word is a verb, noun or adjective, give a brief meaning of the word, and then observe how the vowel of the last syllable (that is, the letters “ate”) are pronounced. Remember pronounce these words with the sound of the words “make”, cake, etc. Nouns and Adjectives pronounce the vowel with the indeterminate sound, the schwa.

You can write me at the address given in the author’s box if you want the results or if you have any questions.

deliberate - Adjective: on purpose, intended - schwa
deliberate - Verb: think seriously - “long a”
moderate - Adjective:, not extreme - schwa
moderate - Verb: To manage or control - “long a”

NOW DO THE OTHERS

approximate
duplicate
laminate
graduate
intimate
moderate
predicate
precipitate
appropriate
alternate
associate

Good luck, for more help, search for my articles by my last name, Gerace, and take advantage for the resources on my websites.
About Author Frank Gerace :

Frank Gerace Ph.D extends guidance on accent reduction and the proper American English accent at http://www.GoodAccent.com. He offers resources for Spanish Speaking learners of English at http://www.InglesParaLatinos.com. His blog is at http://www.InglesParaHispanos.blogspot.com

Vocabulary Building and Reading Comprehension

The meaning of unknown words which you come across in your reading sometimes can be known by their surroundings, that is, their contexts. The context of the sentence can tell us the part of speech of the unknown word. Using the context of the paragraph to define unknown words can also helpful.

Although it takes practice, it is the easiest and most efficient way to identify words. Often, using the context is the only way to figure out the meaning of the word as it is used in the sentence, passage, or chapter.

Consider the word "bar". Bar is a common word. But without surrounding words, you don't know if it describes soap, a place that serves beer, a sand formation at the beach, a way to lock the door, or...

Readers often have trouble because they identify the literal but incorrect meaning of a word when they should identify the way it was used in the passage. The following sections will give you more explanation and some exercises on how to get help on the meaning of unknown words by checking their part of speech and their place in context.

A. Using The Part of Speech of the unknown word as a help in reading.

One consideration in using the context is to determine the unknown word's part of speech. The words around the unknown word give you clues. Once you know if the word is a noun or if it is an adjective, it often is enough for you to continue reading intelligently without having to stop to look up the meaning of the word. After coming across the word a few more times, you will know its meaning more firmly than if you had just looked it up.

In the following sentences, identify the part of speech of the italicized words by writing N if the word is a noun, V if the italicized word is a verb, Adj if the italicized word is an adjective, or Adv if the italicized word is an adverb.

Example: She liked to wear red and always wore jewelry made of carnelian. Ans. N

1. The dirty old man gave the young woman a salacious look.

2. The president prayed for the sagacity to make the right decision in the face of many alternatives.

3. The man looked at the rusty old gadget and wondered how its mechanism worked.

4. The dying man designated his son to receive his property.

5. The brindled dog barked loudly.

6. The father caressed his crying child with great tenderness.

7. "Don’t patronize us; we are not children!" said the angry indigenous leaders to the politicians.

8. John was a good emanuensis, always taking dictation correctly and typing up all of his employer’s correspondence.

9. The boy was disappointed by the paltry amount he received as an inheritance when his grandfather died.

10. The young boy ran clumsily down the hill with his arms and legs flapping all over.

B. USING OTHER CLUES GOTTEN FROM THE TEXT ITSELF

Knowing the part of speech of the unknown word is not the only way to figure out its meaning. There are other clues to the meanings of unknown words. They are found directly within a sentence, paragraph, passage, or chapter. Being able to recognize these clues helps you define new words in context. These clues are found right in the text and can be words or punctuation marks or specific words or phrases.

You use them to compare words or to identify unknown words that mean the same or the opposite of words you already know. The clues can also be used to define unknown words that are examples of a group.

There are five other clues that will help you: 1. Punctuation clues, 2. Definition clues, 3. Contrast clues, 4.Comparison clues, and 5. Example clues.

Of these types, the most important are the Contrast clues and the Comparison Clues. The other clues are very obvious and are given here just for the sake of completeness. The reader should concentrate on the Contrast and the Comparison clues.

The five text based clues are useful but the most powerful tool is the Framework based clue. This is the use of information from your own experience, common sense, and the context in which you find the difficult word. There will be examples of this tool at the end of the paper.

1. Punctuation Clues

Punctuation clues are given when the unknown word is set off by commas, parentheses, brackets, or dashes. The information contained within the punctuation marks sometimes means the same or nearly the same as the unknown words. Or, the unknown word might be set off from its meaning by punctuation marks. Information set off by punctuation marks may clarify rather than define the word. Finding these clues is not foolproof.

Example of Punctuation Clue: Nicotine, a colorless and oily drug in tobacco, stains the teeth of chain smokers. Explanation: The words between the commas-a colorless and oily drug in tobacco-define nicotine .

Punctuation Exercise: Underline the punctuation clue that tells you the meaning of the italicized word. 1. The soldiers advanced down the small deep-sided gulch (a narrow valley) into an ambush.

2. The philosopher Descartes helped to establish dualism (the separation of mind and body).

3. Metamemory -knowledge about one's memory processes-is helpful in helping us store and recall information.

4. Adjunct aids-techniques used to assist students' comprehension of reading materials-have been found to be quite useful.

5. The deluge, a flood of rain, threatened to drown the little town.

2. Definition Clues Definition clues join the unknown word with the word(s) that rename it or tell its meaning. The clues precede or follow words that are or act like linking verbs. A linking verb shows no action but indicates being.

Examples of these verbs are: is, was, are, means, i.e. (that is), involves, is called, that is, or resembles.

For example: The mansion's piazza resembled a large uncovered patio. Explanation: The word resembled joins piazza with its meaning so it is a clue that lets us know that a piazza is a large uncovered patio.

Definition Exercise: Use definition text-based clues to find the meaning of the italicized word. Underline the word (or words) that tells you the meaning of the italicized word.

1. The art, science, or profession of teaching is called pedagogy.

2. Divergent thinking is generating many different ideas in order to solve a problem.

3. Conservative behavior involves cautious or conventional actions.

4. The seasonal wind of the Indian Ocean and southern Asia is a monsoon.

5. Criterion means a standard or rule by which a judgment is formed.

6. A souk is an open-air marketplace in North Africa.

3. Contrast Clues

With contrast clues, you use the opposite of known information to determine the unknown word. Connecting words like however, yet, on the other hand, instead of, but, while, and although join the unknown word with another word that is its opposite.

Example of Contrast Clue:

My sister is extremely neat in appearance while she is slovenly in her housekeeping.

Explanation: The word "while" indicates that slovenly means the opposite of neat. Thus, slovenly means sloppy or messy.

Contrast Exercise: Determine the meaning of the italicized word by using contrast text-based clues. Exercise Example: Although the patron asked for a solemn poem, the poet wrote doggerel.

1.The tumor was benign; nevertheless, the doctor decided to treat it as if it could injure the patient.

2.Some business disputes can be settled out of court; on the other hand; others require litigation.

3. At first the labor union leaders and the factory owners argued about pay schedules and benefits; however, they finally came to a compromise.

4. Gina's leg muscles continued to atrophy because of her injury, but she exercised to build up their strength. 5. Carlos acquiesced to Jane's demands instead of standing his ground and defending his viewpoint.

4. Comparison Clues

Comparison clues indicate that two or more things are alike. A comparison is possible because the known and unknown words have similarities. Words like similarly, as well as, both, and likewise show you that comparisons can be made.

Examples of Comparison Clue:

Miss Johnson is a prim, modest woman; likewise, many of her friends are very proper.

Explanation: Likewise is used to compare prim to proper. Proper means respectable. Thus, prim has a similar meaning.

1. The Greek vase was made of alabaster; similarly, the Roman lamp was also of a translucent, white stone. 2. Taking out the garbage was an onerous task; likewise, washing dishes can be a hard job.

3. Repartee, as well as other kinds of humorous conversation, kept the talk show from becoming boring. 4. Birds are oviparous; similarly, fish and reptiles lay eggs that hatch outside of the body. 5. Both accountants and CPA’s are necessary for a large company’s financial office.

6. The old chair was protected by both handmade antimacassars and other coverings.

5. Example Clues

Example clues tell you an example of an unknown word follows. You derive the meaning of the unknown word by determining what the examples have in common. Example clues are usually introduced by the following words and phrases: such as, such, other, for example, and like.

Example of "Example" Clue: Potentates-such as kings, queens, and emperors-are very powerful and wealthy people. Explanation: Since kings, queens, and emperors are the rulers of countries, potentates are rulers.

"Example" Clue EXERCISE: Underline the words that explain the italicized words.

Canines, such as collies, pugs, and poodles, are good pets.

Edifices, such as skyscrapers and condominiums, are found in cities.

Various means of conveyance-for example, cars, subways, and ships are used worldwide.

Nickels, dimes, dollars, and other kinds of legal tender are used to purchase goods.

Many people enjoy eating mollusks, like clams and snails.

Fiduciaries, like lawyers and bankers, were chosen to manage the young heir's money.

Framework Based Clues

To find meanings from text-based clues (like contrast clues, comparison clues, definition clues, example clues), you looked for clues in the sentence itself. A second kind of clue does not rely on specific words or punctuation marks to indicate meaning. This kind of context clue is called framework-based

Your knowledge of the meanings of surrounding words helps you discover the meaning of a word or of a sentence. The background information you find in these frameworks helps you get the meanings of new words. Common sense and your knowledge of the parts of speech also help in defining unknown words. You combine your experience with what the text contains to determine meaning.

Framework Based Clue Example: The angry driver shouted vehemently during his fight with the other driver. What does vehemently mean? You know what angry means, and you know how people feel when they argue. From this, you can figure out that vehemently has something to do with strong emotion or intense feeling. This is an example of using framework-based context to find the meanings of new words. The meaning you find comes from your personal experience.

Sometimes it takes a bit more detective work to puzzle out the meaning of an unfamiliar word. In such cases, you must draw conclusions based on the information given with the word. Asking yourself questions about the passages may help you make a fairly accurate guess about the meaning of the unfamiliar word. Each of the sentences below is followed by a question. Think about each question; using your common sense and asking yourself a question about the sentence you should be able to know the correct meaning of the italicized word.

1. A former employee, irate over having been fired, broke into the plant and deliberately wrecked several machines. (What would be the employee's state of mind?)

2. John always praised his bosses; he always agreed with what they said. He said he was just a good employee but his friends said he was a sycophant. (What behaviors were his friends describing with the word they put on John?) 3. The car wash we organized to raise funds was a fiasco -it rained all day.

(How successful would a car wash be on a rainy day?) The first sentence provides enough evidence for you to guess that irate means very angry. Sycophant in the second sentence means sweet-talker. And a fiasco is a complete disaster. (These are not exact dictionary definitions of the words. But by using context clues, but you will often be accurate enough to make good sense of what you are reading. And the good thing is that you save time in your reading because you don’t have to look up every word!)

Try to answer the question that follows each item of the list on the other side of this page. Then use the logic of each answer to help you circle the letter of the meaning you think is correct. Note that some of these sentences have been taken from college textbooks. This should prove to you that your new skills in reading will help you in your college studies. In the future you will be able to make up your own questions to help you.

1. Jamal didn't want to tell Tina the entire plot of the movie, so he just gave her the gist of the story. (What would Jamal say to Tina?)

Answer the question: …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..……

Meaning of the word: ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

2. The lizard was so lethargic that I wasn't sure if it was alive or dead. It didn't even blink. (How active is this lizard?)

Answer the question: …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..……

Meaning of the word: ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

3. After the accident, I was angered when the other driver told the police officer a complete fabrication about what happened. He made it seem that I was the only person at fault. (How truthful was the other driver's information?)

Answer the question: …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..……

Meaning of the word: ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

4. The public knows very little about the covert activities of CIA spies. (What kind of activities would the CIA spies be involved in that the public wouldn't know much about?)

Answer the question: …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..……

Meaning of the word: ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

5. Whether or not there is life in outer space is an enigma. We may never know for sure until we are capable of space travel or aliens actually land on our planet. (What would we call something to which we have no answer?)

Answer the question: …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..……

Meaning of the word: ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

6. Suicide rates tend to fluctuate with the seasons, with much higher rates in the winter than in the summer. (What happens to the suicide rate from season to season?)

Answer the question: …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..……

Meaning of the word: ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

7. Human beings are resilient creatures-they can often bounce back from negative experiences and adjust well to life. (What point is the author making about the nature of human beings ? Answer the question:……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Meaning of the word: ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

8. A major accomplishment of the field of sociology is dispelling the myths and prejudices that groups of people have about each other. (What would teachers of sociology do to "myths and prejudices" that could be considered a "major accomplishment"?)

Answer the question: …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..……

Meaning of the word: ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

9. When he first heard the news that he had lost the job, Peter showed a pugnacious attitude. But later when other alternatives were explained to him, he became less hostile. (What attitude would you feel when you lose your job?

Answer the question: …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..……

Meaning of the word: ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………


About Author Frank Gerace :

Frank Gerace Ph.D has lived and worked in Latin America on Educational and Communication Projects. He currently teaches English in New York City at La Guardia College/CUNY. He provides help to parents wanting to have their children speak Spanish at: http://www.bookslibros.com/SpanishForNinos.htm

How to Improve Your Accent

How to Improve Your Accent

Are you tired of people asking you to repeat because they don't understand you? Your friends say, "Just do this!" and they expect you to make the sound! Would you like to learn once and for all what to do with your lips, tongue and mouth to make the sounds of English?

Do you feel that everything sounds the same? You know you are pronouncing the words wrong; you know that you are pausing too much; you know that when you talk, it doesn't sound like English, but you don't know what to do.

Wouldn't you like to learn once and for all what are the most common errors that people make when they learn English so you could concentrate on those errors.

First of all, you have to realize that an accent is made up of three parts: intonation, liaisons, and pronunciation.

You have to learn the "rules" of these three components of your new language. The work "rule" is in quotes because in speech all "rules" may be broken by native speakers in special circumstances. Still, if a "rule" helps you 9 times out of ten, you shouldn't complain if it fails you once.

Intonation is the most important and the most difficult to change. It is the "music", the rhythm or a language.

Liaisons, or linkages, are the ways that words and parts of words are linked together in a language. This may be very different from how you do it in your native language.

And pronunciation is the way that sounds are made in the new language. These sounds may be similar (rarely exactly the same) to the sounds of your own language, or they may be very different. To learn the sounds, you have to learn where in the mouth the sound is made, how it is made, and the position of the tongue in making the sound.

Most people do not work on their accents. Some achieve very good, even perfect, accents after living many years in their new country or by using their new language for many years. However, this is not automatic. There are many people who spend years using a language and never get rid of a heavy accent.

Often, it doesn't matter to the person. If they live in an immigrant community, sometimes it is even a negative thing to achieve a good accent in the new language. This is because friends and family might think that one is trying to forget their origins.

But if you live and work among people who speak the new language well, you should work at improving your accent. Unfortunately, some people make judgments about your worth and your intelligence according to how well you speak their language. Read what the Chinese American writer Amy Tan says about her own feelings about her mother's accent:

Lately, I've been giving more thought to the kind of English my mother speaks. Like others, I have described it to people as "broken" or "fractured" English. But I wince when I say that. It has always bothered me that I can think of no way to describe it other than "broken," as if it were damaged and needed to be fixed, as if it lacked a certain wholeness and soundness. I've heard other terms used, "limited English," for example. But they seem just as bad, as if everything is limited, including people's perceptions of the limited English speaker.

I know this for a fact, because when I was growing up, my mother's "limited" English limited my perception of her. I was ashamed of her English. I believed that her English reflected the quality of what she had to say. That is, because she expressed them imperfectly her thoughts were imperfect. And 1 had plenty of evidence to support me: the fact that people in department stores, at banks, and at restaurants did not take her seriously, did not give her good service, pretended not to understand her, or even acted as if they did not hear her.

If even a daughter can think that her mother is limited because of her limited English, you can be sure that other people think this way also. So you should start improving your accent.

You can go to a specialist who can work with you. This is the best way but it can be expensive. You can use recordings and courses to imporve your accent. This can be as good as working with the expert IF YOU DO IT! It is just like the difference between having exercise equipment in your house and using a personal trainer. The trick is to do it. For some accent reduction programs go to: http://www.goodaccent.com/accentbooks.htm !

You can start with this little exercise to get used to working on your accent. First, try this: Listen to recordings of how people who speak your language pronounce English or whatever language you are learning. Next, make a recording of your own voice. Compare, do it over, see if that helps a little.

PRONUNCIATION: AN IMPORTANT PART OF ACCENT

Proper pronunciation is only one of the parts of a good accent and maybe not even the most important one (many linguists think that intonation is the most important part of a correct accent). But pronunciation is where a learner of a new language can make the best progress. The correct Pronunciation of the sounds of a new language CAN be learned!

Of course, it takes listening and practice but one little tip for English is to recall that the "long" vowels in English, like the "e" in May, the "o" in toe, have a little "slide" at their end, either a "y" or a "u". That is why an English speaker ends up "smiling" after a word ending with a "long a", or "puckering" after an "o". The mouth of speakers of other languages barely move when he pronounces their vowels.

Here's another trick that might help you pronounce English correctly. The consonants "p" and "t" are pronounced with a puff of air in English. All you have to do to make a huge jump in your English is to practice saying words with these letters, such as Peter, pepper, table, etc. with a lit match in front of your mouth. If the match goes out, you're speaking English.

Obviously the two examples just given are brief and crude explanations only meant to open the discussion that will be presented more carefully in the recommendations you will find in the lists on this page. The most important thing to realize is that Accent is more than Pronunciation!
About Author Frank Gerace :

Frank Gerace Ph.D currently teaches English in New York City at La Guardia College/CUNY. He provides tools for accent reduction and the proper American English accent at http://www.GoodAccent.com. He also works with Spanish Speaking learners of English at http://www.InglesParaLatinos.com

The General "Rule" of English Pronunciation

Frank Gerace Ph.D has worked in Latin America in UN and national Educational and Communication Projects, and in Bolivian and Peruvian Universities. He currently teaches English in New York City. He provides help on accent reduction and the proper American English accent at http://www.GoodAccent.com

You know that it is difficult to know when to pronounce the written letter "s" in English like "s", the sound of air escaping from your bicycle tire, and when to pronounce it as the letter "z", the sound of an angry bee. This problem shows up in the plural of nouns.

In the same way, the written letter "t" sometimes sounds like the letter "d". This problem comes up in the past tense of verbs.

There is a logic that is at work in both cases, that of the plural of the noun and that of the past tense of the verb. The two cases have a lot in common even though one has to do with the "s" sound" and other has to do with the "d" sound.

There is so much in common that some language teachers say that there is one general "rule" for the two cases. This "rule" works in most of the cases that you will have to learn.

In both situations, the ending of the word depends on the sound that it follows.

1. If the noun or verb ends in a voiceless consonant (one that doesn't vibrate the vocal cords), like the "p" of soap or the "k" of wink, the result (the plural of the noun or the "s" of the third person singular of the verb) is a voiceless consonant.

In the case of the nouns ending in a voiceless consonant, the "s" that indicates the plural of the noun has the sound of the voiceless "s", (tops, tacks, etc.). In the case of the verbs ending in a voiceless consonant, the "ed" that indicates the past of the verb has the sound of the voiceless "t" (flapped, talked, etc.)

2. If the noun or verb ends in a voiced consonant (one that vibrates the vocal cords, the result is a voiced consonant.

In the case of these nouns (tub and lug) ending in a voiced consonant, the "s" that indicates the plural of the noun has the sound of the voiced "s", ( tubs, tugs, etc.).

In the case of the verbs ending in a voiced consonant, the "ed" that indicates the past of the verb has the sound of the voiced "d" (rubbed, tugged, etc.)

3. In both cases, that of the plural of the noun, and that of the past of the verb, a syllable is added when the consonant sound of the last syllable of the noun or verb is pronounced in the same part of the mouth as is the consonant sound of the ending.

That is, if a noun ends in any sibilant sound (voiced or unvoiced) like the words mess or buzz, the plural adds a syllable and the plural forms are messes and buzzes. If a verb ends in the any "t" or "d" sound (voiced or unvoiced) like the words pet or weed, the past tense adds a syllable and the past forms are petted and weeded.

The syllable that is added is the vowel sound called the "short i", (the sound of the simple words: it, his, fish, chips) followed by a final voiced consonant, either the voiced "z" sound for the plural noun or the voiced "d" sound for the past of the verb.

Look at the pairs of words in the following table. Words were chosen that are both nouns and verbs so you can see the changes in both parts of speech.

Try to identify the "rule" that applies to each of them. See you need help you can check the the answers at the end of this article.

Voiced Noun or 3rd Person Singular of the Verb................ Past Form of the Verb

load loads...........................................................load loaded hose hoses...........................................................hose hosed turn turns...........................................................turn turned farm farms...........................................................farm farmed haze hazes...........................................................haze hazed weed weeds...........................................................weed weeded lug lugs.................................................................lug lugged judge judges...........................................................judge judged

Voiceless Noun or 3rd Person Singular of the Verb.................Past Form of the Verb

wish wishes..........................................................wish wished heat heats...........................................................heat heated fuss fusses...........................................................fuss fussed talk talks...........................................................talk talked tape tapes...........................................................tape taped clutch clutches........................................................clutch clutched fluff fluffs............................................................fluff fluffed meet meets...........................................................mete meted

Now that you have learned this "rule", you can listen to the difference in the e-book "Leer Es Poder, a sample (in Spanish)of which you can find in www.BooksLibros.com/muestra_index.htm . Pay attention to the voiced and unvoiced consonants and try to understand why the changes occur.

The pertinent "rules" are:

Nouns Nouns that end in a voiced consonant sound form the plural with a voiced "s" sound. The words: load, hose, turn, farm, weed, lug, judge are of this type. If the noun ends in a voiced sibilant (hissing or buzzing) consonant sound, a syllable is added, por example, hoses, hazes, judges.

The nouns that end in a voiceless consonant sound form the plural with a voiceless "s" sound, such as the words: wish, heat, fuss, talk, tape clutch, fluff, meet. If the voiceless consonant is a voiceless "s" or similar sound, the plural is formed with an extra syllable, for example, wishes, fusses clutches.

Verbs Verbs that end in a voiced consonant sound make their plural with a voiced "s" sound. por example, the words: load, hose, turn, farm, weed, lug, judge. If the verb ends in a "d" or "t" sound they add a syllable, for example, loaded, weeded.

The verbs that end in a voiceless consonant sound make their past tense with a voiceless "d" or "t" sound, for example, wish, heat, fuss, talk, tape, clutch, fluff, meet. Verbs that end in a "d" or "t" sound, a syllable is added, for example, heated, meeted.

If you read Spanish, Hispano, consiga el e-libro en: www.LeerEsPoder.com/TuLibro.htm y vuelva a escuchar los sonidos, and listen again.

Intonation In English:

Frank Gerace Ph.D has worked in Latin America on UN and national Educational and Communication Projects, and has taught in Bolivian and Peruvian Universities. He currently teaches English in New York City at La Guardia College/CUNY. He provides resources on accent reduction and the proper American English accent at http://www.GoodAccent.com


Listen and Learn: The Different Intonation of the Noun and the Verb Intonation, the "music" of a language, is perhaps the most important element of a correct accent. Many people think that pronunciation is what makes up an accent. It may be that pronunciation is very important for an understandable accent. But it is intonation that gives the final touch that makes an accent correct or native. Often we hear someone speaking with perfect grammar, and perfect formation of the sounds of English but with a little something that gives her away as not being a native speaker. Therefore, it is necessary to realize that there are three components to an accent, pronunciation, intonation, and linking. In other places we will examine pronunciation, the proper formation of vowels and consonants, and linking, the way that syllables within a word, and the beginning and ending of words come together.

But what interests us now is the issue of intonation, and in particular the difference in intonation in saying the same word (same spelling) when it is used as a noun and when it is used as a verb. It is a perfect example of how meaning affects intonation. We will try to hear clearly the difference that intonation makes in the daily use of a proper North American English accent. The practice with the following examples will help you to notice, practice, and master the different intonation patterns that you will discover as you concentrate more on your use of North American English.

Intonation: Noun or Verb Knowing when and where to stress the words you use is very important for understanding, and is part of a good accent. A clear example is that of the different stress in nouns and verbs. It will be useful for you to be aware of the stress in both cases. Here is a list of a few that will get you thinking and give you some practice in identifying them and using them correctly. Underline the syllable that is stressed, and write a brief explanation to indicate that you understand the difference. I start the exercise with two examples, the words "suspect" and "present". You do the rest. And make sure you pronounce the words OUT LOUD.

Usually (although there are some exceptions), the stress of a verb is on the last syllable, and that of a noun is on the first syllable.

It will be useful for you to be aware of the stress in both cases. Here is a list of a few that will get you thinking and give you some practice in identifying them and using them correctly. I start the exercise with two examples. I have indicated the stress with CAPITAL LETTERS. You underline the syllable that is stressed, and write a brief explanation to indicate that you understand the difference. You do the rest of the table. And make sure you pronounce the words OUT LOUD.

to susPECT: meaning, to have an opinion a SUSpect: meaning, a person under suspicion

to preSENT: meaning, to give, to introduce a PREsent: meaning, a gift, now

Now, you do the rest of the table, underlining the accented syllable and defining the word to emphasize your understanding that the accent goes with the meaning.

to conflict, a conflict

to contest, a contest to contract, a contract

to convert, a convert to convict, a convict to incline, an incline to insult, an insult to object, an object to permit, a permit to present, a present to produce, a produce to project, a project to protest, a protest to rebel, a rebel

to recall, a recall to reject, a reject to research, a research

Practice on the following sentences that contain some of the words of the list used buth as noun and as verb. Underline the accent and read the sentences out loud You need to insert a paragraph here on this newspaper insert. How can you object to this object? I'd like to present you with this present. The manufacturer couldn't recall if there'd been a recall. The religious convert wanted to convert the world. The political rebels wanted to rebel against the world. The mogul wanted to record a new record for his latest artist. If you perfect your intonation, your accent will be perfect. Due to the drought, the fields didn't produce much produce this year. Unfortunately, City Hall wouldn't permit them to get a permit.

English lesson - Pronunciation 1

100 most common words in English

jueves, 25 de agosto de 2011

Is English French-fried?

Is English French-fried?

Tips for teachers from Sir Ken Robinson

Tips for teachers from Sir Ken Robinson

By Janet Steffenhagen 23 Aug 2011 COMMENTS(8) Report Card

Filed under: Vancouver, teachers, education, Sir Ken Robinson, heart and mind, Dalai Lama Centre

I had the pleasure of interviewing Sir Ken Robinson in advance of his talk this week at the Dalai Lama Centre. (Find details here.) Anyone who has heard him speak knows he is highly entertaining and engaging. No less so during our 30-minute telephone conversation. His speech Thursday, Educating the Heart and Mind, will delve into his contention that schools kill creativity with their focus on standardization, a narrow curriculum and test results. My story, which you can find here, mentions his response to my request for three tips for teachers trying to personalize learning and encourage creativity. Here is his answer:

"The first thing I always want to say to teachers, and I work a lot with school systems, is that they have more freedom than they often think. We can talk generally about the education system and about national priorities and national problems, but in the end, as far as any given student is concerned, the education system comes down to the school that they go to, wherever that is. When the door closes on the classroom, and the teacher is with the class, as far as the kids are concerned, that is the education system. It's not what happens in the corridors of our government buildings or the committee rooms of the Education Department.

"When the door closes, what the teacher does is up to the teacher. They have a lot of freedom. . . . [here, Robinson gives an example of a teacher in a low-achievement area of Los Angeles who had remarkable success with his students primarily by teaching them Shakespeare]. "Nobody told him to do that but nobody told him he couldn't either. Once he closed the door, he started to do his own thing. I know teachers who do that in math, in chemistry, in dance - they decide, OK, this is my space. It's like when you sit down to write an article. You can write any number of different articles. You have lots of discretion and choice. You've got to hand it in. You have deadlines to meet and all the other pressures on you to meet the standards that you know you need to meet . . . but you have huge freedom once you sit down to do it. And that's true of teachers. There is a curriculum, there is a framework, but how they do it is up to them.

"The second thing is that teachers have to take care of their own creativity. They have to enjoy what they do. It's like any job - if you enjoy it, then you'll overcome all kinds of obstacles. But if you feel it's drudgery to start with, then you're probably better not doing it. So my second suggestion is, are you sure you're doing the right thing? Is this the life you want? Is this the job you want? Some people love it and some people don't. People who don't love it are often not terribly good at it in the long run. They're not bad people, they're just not good teachers. They should do something else. But if you are interested, then treat your art form seriously. Take time to study techniques of teaching, look at other teachers, be prepared to have people come and look at you, and do what people in other fields do: Be open to criticism and be open to learning and growing. If you're a writer, you spend time reading other people's work, you're in the public domain, people will comment and you'll be self-critical. It's true if you're a musician or a scientist. Often teachers end up living in their own world because that's how schools work, so open yourself up to collaboration and be prepared to learn and take risks and challenges.

"The final thing is be prepared to learn from the kids. Kids are often full of ideas that they're willing to offer if you create the right culture in the room or the school for them to (do so). The history of education is peppered with wonderful, groundbreaking, inspirational teachers who did all of those things. If they can do it, you can do it."

lunes, 15 de agosto de 2011

English Vocabulary Pronunciation

English Vocabulary Pronunciation

How to improve your pronunciation in english when you dont live in an english speaking country? What english to learn? How can you improve all your skills? When you attend classes in english but by mexican teachers with bad pronunciation and boring methods of teaching. Hi I am learning. english but I want to expand more and more vocabulary, pronunciation etc. you know please tell me. good. From what I can tell… Hi there, As far as vocabulary, exposure is the key. Not exposure of your body, either. You can only really learn words in context by hearing them in context. Chatting and listening to native english speakers is a better way to increase your vocabulary than reading it from a textbook. And it's a more interesting way. For pronunciation, it depends what your native language is. If English has sounds which are not in your first language, it is a good idea to study them in detail (e. G. "th" = produced with tongue and teeth, with or without voice), and then practice them daily. Start with just short words (e. G. Thee, the, though), and move on to more complex words (e. G. Othello, thermometer, methylated). Only progress if you get the sound right each time. If you've mastered the sounds, but want to modify your accent, research what specific problems people with your first language have with english. E. G. Spanish speakers have difficulty with vowel sounds, as English has many more than Spanish. Also, English pronunciation of vowels isn't strongly indicated by the spelling.

miércoles, 3 de agosto de 2011

50 English Words with 'ch' Pronounced /k/ - Pronunciation Lesson

7 Commonly Mispronounced English Words - English Pronunciation Lesson

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A word in your ear: Spelling and pronunciation - ABC Brisbane - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

A word in your ear: Spelling and pronunciation - ABC Brisbane - Australian Broadcasting Corporation