Cheapest TEFL Certificate

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A.L. - Korea said:
korean Pronunciation ProblemsIn korea, English has become an important language to learn. English is a required course in schools and parents spend hundreds of dollars a month on afterschool English classes and tutors for their children. Though English is important, koreans still have many difficulties learning it. The biggest problem with korean speakers learning English is its pronunciation. English pronunciation can be difficult for any language learner, but for korean speakers it is especially difficult because in korean, certain sounds are allophones, some phonemes don?t exist in korean, and its word structure is vastly different from English. korean speakers are unable to pronounce some phonemes. The simple reason is because they just do not exist in their language. However, some phonemes are actually allophones and because of this, native korean speakers have difficulty identifying these phonemes as separate sounds. The most memorable is probably the difficulty pronouncing and recognizing the phonemes [l] and [r]. In korean, these two phonemes are allophones represented by one letter ??? and because of this koreans cannot identify the difference between [l] and [r] because to them they are the same sound (Cho 32). It is like in English with aspirated and unaspirated consonants, we have aspirated [p] and unaspirated [p], in English they are the same sound but change slightly depending on where they are in a word (for example, the [p] in ?spin? and ?pin?); it is the same situation with the [l] and [r] sounds in korean. Another pronunciation difficulty for koreans is that some phonemes that exist in English don?t exist in korean. The phonemes [b, d, g, v, ð, z], for example, are difficult for koreans to learn because of the fact that they don?t exist in the korean language (Cho 32). koreans tend to substitute phonemes because they are unable to tell the differences between them. So [z] would be substituted for [ts] or an unaspirated [t] will sometimes be substituted for a [ð] (Hong 19). There are also some difficulties in recognizing the differences between voiced and voiceless, especially if neither the voiced nor the voiceless version of a phoneme exists in their language; this is the situation with [f] and [v]. Since neither phoneme exists in korean, native speakers tend to substitute them with [p] and [b] (Hong 18). Another problem with English pronunciation in korean is the CVC syllabic structure, that is, Consonant Vowel Consonant structure. In English syllables, many consonants can appear back to back whether at the beginning of a word, or at the end (?strength? for example), but in korean, there is only one syllable structure. In this structure (CVC), the consonants at the beginning and end of the syllable are optional, but that is it. In korean, you can?t pronounce two consonants together as you can in English. This kind of thinking effects the way koreans pronounce words that begin or end with double or triple consonants (Cho 33). So therefore ?plight? would be pronounced ?polite.? For native korean speakers, studying English can be one of the most challenging experiences, not only does English contain sounds that do not exist in korean, but English recognizes sounds that are allophones in the other language. Add other problems such as English grammar and word stress and the study of the English language can be quite daunting to korean students. The best way to approach the teaching of English to korean students is to get the students speaking and giving them feedback and help.


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