Thursday, 2 December 2010

Make Quick Pronunciation Activities

Text2Phonetics is a very handy site if you like to use phonemic script with your students. It can take a lot of the hard work out of transcribing text to phonetic symbols. You just paste in a short piece of text, click a button, and it does it for you.

You can then copy and paste the text into websites or documents, like the text below which I copied from Wikipedia. Here you can see how well it transcribes.
This was done using the 'RP' setting.
  • | fəʊˈnɒlədʒi z ðə ˌsɪstəˈmætɪk juːz əv saʊnd tə ɪnˈkəʊd ˈmiːnɪŋ ɪn ˈeni ˈspəʊkən ˈhjuːmən ˈlæŋɡwɪdʒ | ɔː ðə fiːld əv lɪŋˈɡwɪstɪks ˈstʌdɪɪŋ ðɪs juːz |
  • Phonology is the systematic use of sound to encode meaning in any spoken human language, or the field of linguistics studying this use.
This looks like a really great tool to help prepare materials for students or to get students using for themselves.

Here's a few ways you might use it.
  • Get students to type example sentences using new vocabulary words and convert them to script.
  • Produce some sample sentences in script for your students to decode and read.
  • Produce some examples of script and the original text and add some pronunciation errors to the script and see if they can spot the errors.
  • Get students to translate short texts or sentences to script and then use the site to compare and check their own transcriptions.
  • Create transcribed versions of conversations or dialogue and get students to draw on the intonation patterns to show where the intonation rises or falls. You could actually use short exerts from film or TV scripts to do this and then find the clip on YouTube so they can listen to hear the intonation. Drew's Script-O-Rama is a good place to find TV scripts.
If you want to transcribe longer texts then you can also download a desktop edition, but this only runs on PC, so I haven't tried it yet. The tool even offers a degree of customization so you can remove or include different features.
I hope you find Text2Phonetics useful and soon have your students producing perfect 'RP' accents.

Here you an find more web based activities for pronunciation.

Related links:
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Nik Peachey

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