Pronunciation: Get Better In Another Language

Pronunciation can affect how we communicate. Many people, who have had a go at learning a foreign language, have experienced that sinking feeling when they try a well-constructed sentence in another language only to be met with a blank face.

Why is this?

Languages are built on sounds. If I speak English and live in an English-speaking country I expect a speaker to say sounds in a particular way. In French or Spanish I would expect to hear different sounds. When we can’t recognise the sound we try and adjust how we are listening, a bit like tuning a radio, but if we can’t guess the sound, the chances are we won’t understand what is being said.

The Blocks of Pronunciation

Pronunciation has two main aspects to it, physically producing it and the sound that is produced from it, the hearing of the sound. As we get older the ability to do both of these, i.e. physically work out how to make the sound and recognise it, can diminish. This doesn’t mean we can’t continue to learn new languages but we need some extra tricks to help us.

Let’s look at some ideas on what we can do when we learn a new language.

How am I saying it?

Try saying the letters. Notice how your mouth is working. If you don’t know how a sound is physically made you may find it harder to say it.

What sounds are the same?

English has many more sounds than other languages but it also has a lot of sounds in common with other languages. Good dictionaries in a new language will usually offer an English sound or word to compare with. Use it to check what sounds are similar.

Which sounds are hard to say?

Go through the alphabet of the new language and mark out the ones you find hard to say. Give them some attention. Try and physically make the sound and see how your mouth works. Say the alphabet. Look at how children use the alphabet song in English to help them remember the alphabet, doing the same in a new language will also help memorise the letters and sounds.

Read out loud.

Find some reading form your course book or any other book. There are two advantages here. One you get to say the letters and words. Secondly you get to practise sounds that you expect to hear and you become accustomed to the sounds of the language.

How good do I need to be?

There is much discussion on this. For many of us the ability to get by in other languages is good enough. If we can say what we want, simply, slowly and the person we are speaking to, can understand us, then our pronunciation is probably good enough. After that it is a matter of choice. Some people become very good at other languages and get to very good levels of pronunciation. Not many of us are such gifted linguists but there’s no reason why we can’t make the words so that people can understand us.

Teenage Gambling Addiction Education Needed At Local Schools

For the past few years teenage gambling has been increasing at an exponential rate. The increase in gambling can be contributed to family members who gamble, multiple television programs like poker tournaments and skillful advertising from the gambling establishments. It’s becoming an epidemic among our teenagers with no real solution being presented to the educators of our schools systems.

The new stream of commercials related to stop gambling has had very little affect. The commercials are geared towards helping people stop gambling but are not geared towards the individuals who have not experienced gambling at this point in time. The stop gambling commercials have not been able to reach the teenager with a compulsive gambling addiction. They however may reach the parents who may realize their child has a problem.

The only way to help our youth is to educate them in the classroom and at home. I remember years ago in health class they educated us on smoking and drinking. This was very effective on those individuals who never started. But the ones that were already addicted the educational programs were unable to reach them.

There following educational curriculums are needed for today’s students:

a)Helpful Resources for identifying teenagers who may have a compulsive gambling addiction.

b)Helping Teenagers identify their compulsive gambling addiction

c)Educating teenagers on compulsive gambling addiction. This one is my favorite because this has the best opportunity to prevent a teenager from gambling, helping teenagers identify the signs of compulsive gambling addiction and if the teenager has a problem with gambling.

d)Giving Teenagers the tools to identify others who may have a gambling addiction like their parents. This one has to be handled sensitively. I have received numerous emails from teenagers who did not know where to go, who to talk to in order to help a family member.

e)Educating Teenagers on the resources available to get help by giving them the local stop gambling telephone numbers and helpful stop gambling websites.

f)Understanding Compulsive Gambling Addiction

g)Practical exercises for teenagers with addictions to learn about self esteem, trust and more.

The above educational curriculums are needed to help educate the teenage population.

As each year passes the amount of teenager’s addicted to gambling increases. This increase is due to the increased exposure. This exposure is due to the increase in the number of cable and television gambling programs, advetising by local gambling establishements, retailers jumping on poker craze selling poker chips, the increase in the number of state lotto drawings per day and the state advertising for their scratch off tickets.

Video Games Can Be Educational For Children

There seems to be a constant battle on how video games are affecting the children that are playing them, but the fact is that video games can teach children too. In fact, video games can help to enhance the reading skills of a child, not to mention help build their coordination and visual skills.

In several video games, your child get to become the main character who travels throughout the game purchasing different items needed to complete the video game successfully, while reading special instructions given throughout the video game. Since the child is simply interested in playing the video game they become unaware that they are actually reading and often times the reading is above their regular grade level. You may often hear your child say they do not like to read, but if you will take the time to watch them play particular video games and tell them you can not see the writing that well, then hopefully they will read it to you and you will become fairly surprised.

Video games can even inspire children to new interests as well. In fact, when a child plays a video game that they do not know much about, then you may see your child bringing books home from the school library that are similar to their new video game. When a child is participating in a video game, then children can see history come alive. Each video game that your child plays must be viewed as having a positive side instead of listening to all the hubba of others, because video games can teach your child different skills.

Some video games are designed to teach the skills necessary for making a living as they give the gamer a variety of different choices. Video games also confront gamers with issues such as moral dilemmas, solving challenging problems, and developing social relationships as well. Children who play video games often have the pick up from a cluttered area than those that do not. In fact, studies are now showing that when learning is added into video game playing children begin being faster at the other activities they participate in.

Some where in the future of time teachers may begin incorporating the playing of video games into the assignments of their students. Several government agencies will use computerized video games to assist in stimulating certain types of situations for their employees. In fact, even the military and NASA train with computerized video games, which is due to the changes in computer technology. By looking more at the positive side of video games parents and teacher could really bring themselves closer to children.

Often times children are playing their video games on-line, which makes playing video games much more of a social activity. Children and adults can learn more from each other if they take the time to learn how to play these video games with each other, which will also open up the lines of communication and understanding. Hopefully, more individuals will see video games in a more positive light instead of in a negative way most of the time.