Pronunciation problems VietnamMany experts in linguistics agree that in vietnam
pronunciation is the weakest area. Many people find Vietnamese English speakers incomprehensible. The main problem is in word final consonants. Some articles state that cluster consonants are as big a problem but we will focus on word final consonants specifically (s) and (z) a voiceless and voiced pair respectively. Most articles with foundational research have complex explanations and many rules and guidelines to improve pronunciation. One goes so far as to state that If Vietnamese listened to English more there would be no problem. My research has lead me to believe that a simple approach to pronunciation focused on producing singular sounds will teach students
proper control for producing the (s) and (z) final consonants.
The (s) and (z) sounds are alveolar fricatives, and respectively strong (fortis) and weak (lenus). The models we may use to create these sounds are found in the animal kingdom. The (s) definitely sounds like a snake hissing. SSSSSSSSSSSSS?. keeping a groove in the tongue and the sound close to the tip. After hissing a few times say rice. Try the hiss before saying niece, ice, peace, lace or sauce. The final consonant sounds like a hiss and the mouth automatically forms the same way. All sounds in an English word should be pronounced. Some sounds are silent, preparing the mouth to say the next sound in the word.
Bees buzz zzzzzzzzzzzz around. Natural sound of bees in class could really spark interest. After making the buzz sound a few times say rise. The word rise ends with a buzz. Try it with niece, ice, peace, lace and sauce. The (s) and (z) do not occur in the final position in Vietnamese. The students
have no experience with making that sound and although the experts have complex explanations for teaching these sounds I believe the experience of making the sound consistently will give them the confidence to try with other words and learn to pronunciate words in a more comprehensible discourse.
We saw the place.
Did you bring back any lace?
His knee gave him trouble.
That?s a good price.
We saw the plays.
Did you bring back any leis?
His niece gave him trouble.
That?s a good prize.
1. He hit his knee on the ice.
2. She made a sauce for the pens.
3. The first prize was a buzz saw.
4. What?s new in the news?
The above sentences come from on online document of exercises for students
of English from Indochina. The exercises are very good, but I feel the students
will perform much better if they can produce those difficult sounds with confidence. In a class that puts an emphasis on pronunciation making animal sounds and other weird noises at the beginning of class would always engage the students
once they saw the connection.
WWW- World Wide Web
2 Speaking Adventure by Antonio Graceffo
3 Common pronunciation problems of Vietnamese learners of English by Ha Cam Tam
4Difficulties for Vietnamese when pronouncing English (Final consonants) Nguyen Thi Thu Thao