Teach English in Changjing Zhen - Wuxi Shi

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In my life, I have been an active traveler for close to 10 years now. Most of my traveling was done in my home country, U.S.A., and in western Europe. Traveling to western Europe and hearing people talk, I could pick up a lot of similarities with the sounds being spoken. After I had traveled to southeast Asia for the first time, one of the things I noticed immediately was all of the different sounds being spoken that I was not familiar with. Cambodians were using sounds I had not heard before, and some sounds had a higher pitch or lower pitch. Some words began with a sound that English words end with. So to me, it was clear that Asian languages required a different use of the mouth and tongue to speak. I started to think about the sounds in the English language that I had not heard them use in Cambodia. I knew that phonetics was going to be a very important part of teaching English (or any other language). I think it is crucial for any teacher of English as a foreign language to learn some of the native language in the country they are teaching. Learning some of their native language will allow you to understand the way they use their mouth and tongue to make different sounds, and will make you aware of the potential problem areas your students may have when teaching them English. I have been teaching English in Cambodia for only 6 months now, but I have noticed a lot of my students have trouble in some areas of phonetics. One common word that is taught to beginners is the number ‘six’. The first letter sound ‘s’ is not a problem, but the sound ending ‘ix’, or sometimes just the last consonant sound, can be hard for Cambodians to learn at first. The Khmer language has words that leave off the last consonant sound, so this is why it is harder for some students learn. Students will often pronounce the word ‘six’ as ‘sick’. The same can be said for words like ‘box’ or my name, ‘Alex’. The word ‘rice’ is often pronounced as the word ‘rye’, leaving off the last consonant sound of ‘s’. The phonetic sound for the letters ‘th’ have also been problematic for Cambodians as it is often mispronounced as the letter 's'. The English language uses the letters ‘th’ as 2 different sounds, depending on what the word is. The ‘th’ sound for the word ‘three’ is pronounced differently from the word ‘those’. Consequently when we combine these problems in certain words of the English language, they can become particularly difficult to learn. The use of ordinal numbers is a good example of this. It can be difficult for Cambodians to pronounce the end of words such as fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, etc. In Cambodia, students will often mispronounce the sound for the letter 'v' as a 'w'. Constant practice at an early age with these different sounds is one of the most important things with teaching the English language because it will set the foundation for each student to correctly pronounce each word learned during their English language learning experience. If the students encounter a word they are unfamiliar with, they will be able to use the sounds learned with each letter or letter combination to sound out the word the best they can.