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Comment by Oliver O'Mahony on February 19, 2014 at 3:07pm

Well done.....Nice video

Comment by Declann Harris on December 20, 2013 at 7:13pm

Hi Simon

Thanks for the details on the difficulties Chinese speakers have with diphthongs and the specific examples you gave. I agree with you that in most instances meaning isn't lost but so much more can be gained with clearer pronunciation. With correct pronunciation, the listener can give more mental energy to the meaning of a sentence, rather than the meaning of each individual word in a dialogue.

Comment by Ross Thorburn on December 19, 2013 at 6:26pm

This is great Simon. Detailed and practical. I'm a big fan of the black and white slides. I bet this would be useful to train service staff to help beginner level students with pronunciation basics.

Comment by Laura Wilkes on December 19, 2013 at 2:20pm

Hi Simon.

Thank you for your comprehensive introduction to diphthongs. You present diphthongs in a logical order - what they are and words they appear in, common problems learners encounter and why, and strategies we can adopt to increase learners' intelligibility. I especially like how you draw comparisons between Chinese semi-vowels and the longer English diphthongs in identifying why learners tend to shorten these sounds. Also, fantastic modeling of sounds for your students! You clearly show them the mouth shape and give them the chance to try through choral and individual drilling - this is a great on-the-spot and time efficient strategy that is very effective.

For diploma level interviews the examiner may ask you about how diphthongs are articulated. You highlight that they are a blend of monophthongs - are there any differences for the mouth movement(s) for diphthongs? As you have focused on the phoneme in isolation, the examiner may go on to ask you how these sounds change in connected speech.


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