An important thing to watch out for is clear and proper pronunciation. Students should avoid speaking too quickly, mumbling, or trailing off at the end of their sentences.
- Know the difference between the short vowel ĭ and the long vowel ē sound.
e.g. chĭck / cheek
e.g. slĭp / sleep
e.g. fĭll / feel
- Pronounce end consonants clearly.
e.g. Tom wants (not ‘want’) to play football.
e.g. Do your best (not ‘bess’) later.
e.g. The students (not ‘student’) were nervous before their test (not ‘tess’).
e.g. The bench had a wet paint (not ‘weh’ ‘pain’) sign on it.
- Know how to pronounce ‘th’ correctly.
e.g. This (not ‘dis’) is the way to school.
e.g. My father (not ‘fah-der’) drives a taxi.
e.g. His mother (not ‘muh-der’) helped him with his school project.
It is important to remember the different ways of saying ‘the’. When ‘the’ comes before words beginning with a vowel sound, it should be read as /thee/ and not /thuh/. It is the sound that matters, not the letter used in writing the word.
Examples when we pronounce ‘the’ like /thee/:
- ‘the ant’ = /thee ant/
- ‘the egg’ = /thee egg/
- ‘the HDB flat’ = /thee aich-dee-bee flat/
Examples when we pronounce ‘the’ like /thuh/:
- ‘the boy’ = /thuh boy/
- ‘the car’ = /thuh car/
- Vary your pitch, making sure that your voice goes up and down.
e.g. Where are the children? (questions end on a high note)
e.g. It’s time for dinner. (affirmative statements should end in a level pitch)
- Stress the important words.
e.g. Let’s eat children. vs. Let’s eat, children.
- Adjust your volume so you don’t speak in a monotone.
e.g. Soft to Loud: whisper–mutter–state–announce–demand–exclaim–shout
- Focus on reading groups of words, or phrases, rather than individual words.
- Practise using slashes (/ /) to group words into phrases. Remember to pause when you see a full stop or comma.
Take note of all punctuation and make sure that you pause where there are commas and full stops. Avoid speaking too softly or too quickly, or speaking in a flat or monotone voice. Read with expression and be sure to articulate words clearly; don’t forget to pronounce the ending sounds of words!
- three (three, not tree)
- mother (mo-ther, not mud-der)
- children (chil-dren, not chew-ren or cho-dren)
- women (wim-in, not woo-men)
- calendar (kal-en-der, not ka-lan-der)
- photography (fuh-taw-gruh-fee, not foh-toh-grah-fee)
- flour (flou-er, not flahr)
- salmon (sam-uhn, not sal-mon)