The Perils of Final Consonant Devoicing!

Mark Hancock's cartoon about substituting p for b at the end of a word.
Perils of Final Consonant Devoicing

Minimal pairs. Context will often disambiguate, as it hopefully does in this cartoon! But pronunciation problems tend to hunt in packs, and the resulting chaos is less easy to find your way out of. You end up having to unpick the problems one by one anyway. Minimal pairs.

Homophone Hunt 2

Hancock's homophone hunts
Homophone Hunt 2

Showing again how homophones are not only restricted to single words, here’s one consisting of two words with consonant-vowel linking. You can never be quite sure where one word ends and another begins in speech!

And this week’s winner in the facebook contest was Barbara Connelly with ‘Grade A’ = ‘Grey day’!

Homophone Hunt 1

Homophones are pairs of words such as piece and peace, with different meaning but the same pronunciation. But they may also be phrases which are more than just one word, as in this challenge. In this pair, the homophones occur because two words link together and it’s not clear where  the boundary between them lies – there are two possibilities! Can you find the homophones?

This homophone hunt went on Facebook, and the winner is… Jolanta Nyczke with sick snails = six nails!

Heading for BrELT on the road in São Paulo!

BrELT is ‘a global ELT community made by Brazilians’ and what a community it is – amazing energy and initiative, and an important part of any teacher’s personal learning network, in Brazil and beyond. But it’s not only online – there are now physical conferences too. This event is their second, and I’m honored to have been invited! More about the event here!

Post-ELF 5: Beyond Dogma and Denial

When the implications of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) first hit the consciousness of the ELT community at the beginning of this century, reactions tended to polarize between dogma and denial. On the dogma side were militants who saw native pronunciation models such as received pronunciation (RP) as a residue of colonialism which needed to be uprooted. From the denial point of view, these militants were a noisy distraction who would hopefully tire themselves out and go away. These are caricatures admittedly, but let’s run with them a little… Continue reading “Post-ELF 5: Beyond Dogma and Denial”