Challenge 2 - phonetic script

Steve K   Monday, August 02, 2004, 16:51 GMT
I feel phonetic script is an artificial barrier between the learner and the language as it is written. The only way to learn to pronounce is to listen over and over to a voice and pronunciation style one likes,especially if a transcript of the text is available. This works for words, groups of words featuring the same sound (often spelled differently if it is English), phrases and whole texts. Listen to the voice, then read it out loud and record yourself. Compare. Keep working at it until you reach your level of pronunciation competence. Then forget about pronunciation.

Continue doing a lot of listening. And of course get out and talk to peole to get some rhythm in the language. Do not bother with phonetic script.
Boy   Monday, August 02, 2004, 19:56 GMT
Your suggestion also proves the point of why Harpercollins has not yet updated the "phonetic transcription" of words in a dictionary version. They also think that hearing a word and repeating it over and over again and comparing it with the recorded version is a perfect solution of improving the pronunciation of words.

In my view, your point is rock solid for those learners who can afford of using computers and buying CDS.

but what would you like to suggest for those learners who can't afford that luxury and can have only paper-version dictionaries. Also, they live in a non-foreign country. They can't search people
who have a perfect pronunciation of words to practice with.

Then, only phonetic transcription will be the best solution for them to improve their pronunciation of words. What's your take on that?

You should not only see everything from a computer eye but from a human eye.
Steve K   Monday, August 02, 2004, 20:39 GMT
Anyone can visit libraries to rent audio material. It is possible to access computers to download material without owning a computer. Some internet cafes allow doownloading. An MP3 player is inexpensive (US$ 50) and powerful. Very few people cannot avail themselves of some of these opportunities. Still, I get your point.
Tom   Thursday, August 05, 2004, 15:04 GMT
Teacher: Okay, repeat after me -- BED.
Student: BET
Teacher: No, say BED
Student: BET
Teacher: No, that's not right.
Student: What do you mean? You wanted me to say BET and I said BET.

Learners are often unable to see the difference between their pronunciation and correct pronunciation. Phonetic transcription helps them realize their mistakes.

- It also helps you hear the differences between similar sounds (enhances your ability to learn from recordings)
- allows you to look up a word's pronunciation in the dictionary
- allows you to write e-mails about pronunciation to your friends (which is important for motivation)