IELTS Speaking Test Exercises – Pronunciation # Part 1 : Symbols | IELTS Eddy Suaib

IELTS Speaking Test Exercises – Pronunciation # Part 1 : Symbols

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Pronunciation refers to the ability to use the correct stress, rhythm and intonation of a word in a spoken language. Learning pronunciation will give us some advantages in speaking test. For basic example, lets see the word 'pronunciation'. It should be /prəˌnʌnsɪˈeɪʃ(ə)n/ but some of you may read it as /prəʊnaʊnsɪˈeɪʃ(ə)n/, because we are more familiar with word 'pronoun' /ˈprəʊnaʊn/ or 'noun' /naʊn/. You will hear very different sounds when you listen native speaker speaks those words.

It is important to us to learn english words sounds to prepare speaking test. To learn each different sounds in english, first we should learn different symbols.

pronunciation symbol

Why do we need different symbols?
In writing english we need 26 letters of the alphabet. But there are more than 26 sounds in English. In fact, there are over 40 sounds in English and its not very easy to show this using only the letters of alphabet. So, that is system which use a group of symbols. Some of the symbols are same as letter and and some of them are different. You can use these symbols to write out the pronunciation of words. In many dictionaries for English learner (for example Oxford dictionary), you will see the pronunciation written out using these specials symbols. This pronunciation is written between slashes ( /.../ ).
A word can have same spelling and pronunciation.


Other word can have pronunciation that completely different from its spelling.

source: symbols table and video from http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/

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