Signs and Symbols

For a long time I’ve been thinking that English learners from Asia use abbreviations like ‘pls’, ‘tks’, ‘u’, ‘coz’ etc due to reasons of internet coolness and community blending. Today it occurred to me (many of you may have anticipated this decades ahead of time) that many Asian learners see spelling completely detached from pronunciation. If you are new to the Greek letter system, the sign may have no or very little connection to its articulation.

What is your experience with teaching/learning English pronunciation? And, if you are from Asia, what do you think about reading and pronouncing English words? Do your teachers teach patterns, and are you able to identify them?

Hello Ralf,
It’s the same wherever in Asia or in any other country where there are lots of non-native English speakers. The teachers of English should be well trained by English native speakers. Here we learn all the English pronunciation rules, the differences between the American and the British English, as well as phonatics and the transcription of the English words. Sometimes we meet English native speakers who are not aware of the English phonatics or even can not transcribe an English word. On the other side, the English litrature is not interesting to many English native speakers, may be because most of them don’t like these kinds of classes while we are very interested in reading English poems, novels and many kinds of the English litrature. Once I talked to some English people about Shakespeare and amazingly I find them don’t even know him.


I don’t think I was ever taught how to read those symbols, Ralf. But I remember comparing words in a dictionary to know the pronunciation. Back then when I didn’t know how to pronounce a new word, I tried guessing several possible pronunciation and compared the symbols of the new word with the the symbols of words that I already knew.

For example I once got confused of how to pronounce “flour”, so I compared it to “flower”. They have the same symbol! But of course then I found out “flour” has two pronunciation.

what a great topic !! Thanks Mr.Ralf .

I started studying phonics in university because i studied in an English literature department . It was difficult for the first time , then i found it easy .
When i was at school , i just studied the words by imitating the teacher who,unfortunately , was non-native speaker of English language or looking at the pronunciation in a dictionary .My friends and i tried guessing the differences between words pronunciation .

can you tell me if my language good or bad , please ? I will be happy to get your opinion . Thank you in advance .

Hi Najlaa,
So, your teachers of English weren’t professionals. Do you want to say that you didn’t get benefit of them and you learnt English by yourself?

Hi , Nola .

What i want to say is that our curriculum of studying English language in schools at that time did not contain phonic lessons . My teachers did their best and i appreciated this too much but because they were not native speakers and taught by non native speaker also :? , i found this problem. :frowning:
In my univeristy , i kept learning phonics and tried to improve my language through listening to English songs and watching CNN, BBC, and recently i join this useful forum.

Nowadays , the curriculum of English in my country contains phonics which i find it a good step to get correct pronunciation.

Thank for your interest Nola . :slight_smile:

In Indonesia… we learn English gramatically since junior high school and the result is that the student are not able to speak English fluently. The student have to attend private course to learn “speaking English”. It’s good for Najlaa that the curriculum has contained phonetic lesson. Hope the English experts give some solution to the best curriculum of English for Asian. I have met my collegue from Philipines who arguing that the pronounciation of ‘apple’ is ‘apol’ instead of ‘apel’

Hi Rudi,

The schwa in words like app[color=blue]el can also be omitted. Try say it like ‘apl’ :wink:

All the best,