Sabtu, 02 Juni 2012

Why Writing Skills Are Important

Organize Your Writing

Whether you are writing a memo to your co-worker or a report for your boss, you should decide what information you want to convey. Here is how to do this:
  1. List each item you need to discuss in your memo or report.
  2. Put them in order — from most to least important
  3. Write a brief summary of your entire memo — this will be your first paragraph.
  4. Expand on each item listed in step 1.
  5. If any action needs to be taken by the recipient, state that in your closing paragraph.

Some Tips

Avoid wordiness. Say out loud what you are trying to write. Listen to how the words sound. For example, the sentence, "I found out that I should take a look at our past sales figures in order to come up with a plan to help us re-evaluate our sales technique" could be more simply stated as "I must take a look at our past sales figures to re-evaluate our sales technique."
Write for your audience. Use simple language. You don't want the reader to need a dictionary to decipher what you are trying to say. You should not try to impress your reader with your huge vocabulary. Chances are you will frustrate your reader instead. Most people are juggling several tasks at the same time, and are interested in receiving only necessary information. You are responsible for making this happen. Instead of saying, "His gregarious nature credentials him as a superlative candidate for the job," say "His friendliness makes him a top candidate for the job."
Stay away from jargon your reader may not understand. If your work is very technical, but the person you are writing to is not well versed in that field, stick to words that person will understand. For example, if you are a Web site designer, this sentence in a memo to your client, a psychologist, will make no sense: "What would you like me to use as the BGCOLOR for your site: #ADD8E6 or #FFFFFF?" Anyone proficient in Web page design knows that this question can be translated to "What would you like the background color of your site to be: Light Blue or White?" However, don't expect your client to be more familiar with this technical jargon than you would be with her discussion of a psychological term such as trichotillomania.
A cliche a day keeps the reader away — or at least it does not make him or her remember what you are saying. You want your writing to be memorable. Because we hear cliches often, we become desensitized to them. The words, then, are not uniquely associated with your writing. Rather than saying "Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today" in a memo to a subordinate you are trying to motivate. Simply say, "Stop procrastinating. Get the job done now."
When possible, use the active voice. The active voice makes your sentence stronger and usually shorter. Let's try these examples. Passive voice: "Sales increased due to the networking I did." Active voice: "My networking increased sales."
Don't be redundant. It is not necessary to say "2 p.m. in the afternoon" or "the expectant pregnant woman." Saying "2 p.m." or "2 in the afternoon" or "the expectant woman" or "the pregnant woman" all convey what you want to say and are less wordy.
Of course pay attention to grammar. Use Strunk and White's Elements of Style, available on the Web. A good dictionary should be nearby, along with a thesaurus. A thesaurus will allow you to keep your writing fresh by helping you find a variety of words to use. Many of these resources are available online.
Proofreading is one of the most important things you can do. Since you probably do most of your writing on a computer, you have access to automated spelling and grammar checkers. Beware though — some words, used in the wrong context may be missed by computerized spell checkers. For example the sentence "To employees attended too meetings two learn about the gnu software," would pass through the spell check without any misspellings being detected. Have someone else proofread your document, if possible. If time allows, put your composition away, and proofread it later, or even better, the next day.
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The IPA consonant chart

This is the main IPA consonant chart. (Clicking on a column will take you to the page for that place of articulation. Clicking on a row label will take you to the page for that manner of articulation.)
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Improving Listening Skills

What are three types of effective listening?

1. Paraphrasing
To paraphrase, one simply rewords what another individual has said. For example, the speaker might say, "She was foolish to quit her job." The listener might respond, "I hear you saying that you believe she shouldn't have quit." What has occurred is paraphrasing where the listener has clarified what the speaker has said.
2. Open Questions
An open question explores a person's statement without requiring a simple "yes" or "no" answer. The basic difference between an open question and a closed question is what they provide the person being asked. When you are asked an open question it helps you think more about an issue. A closed question will not do that. It may force you to answer before you are ready, or require a "yes" or "no" answer that doesn't allow more thinking about the issue. Closed questions close the door on further thought, while open questions open the door. For example, the speaker might say, "I don't like my job." The listener might respond, "What about your job don't you like?" or, "Tell me more about your feelings regarding your job."
3. Feeling Reflection
Feeling reflection is a response in which you express a feeling or emotion you have experienced in reference to a particular statement. For example, the speaker might say, "I get sick of working so much overtime!" The listener might respond, "I hear you feeling angry and resentful at being asked to work so much overtime." Feeling reflections are perhaps the most difficult active listening responses to make. Not only do you actively listen to what is being said but also you actively listen for what is being felt. When you make a feeling reflection, you are reflecting back what you hear of another's feelings. It is similar to paraphrasing; however, you repeat what you heard them feeling instead of what you heard them saying. To understand what individuals are feeling, you must listen to their words, to their tone of voice, and watch their body signals. By observing all three you can begin to guess their feelings.
* Listen carefully so that you will be able to understand, comprehend and evaluate. Careful listening will require a conscious effort on your part. You must be aware of the verbal and nonverbal messages (reading between the lines).
* Be mentally and physically prepared to listen. Put other thoughts out of your mind. Your attention will be diverted from listening if you try to think of answers in advance.
* You can't hear if you do all the talking.
* Think about the topic in advance, if possible. Be prepared to listen.
* Listen with empathy. See the situation from the other's point of view. Try to put yourself in their shoes.
* Be courteous; don't interrupt. Take notes if you worry about forgetting a particular point.
* Avoid stereotyping individuals by making assumptions about how you expect them to act. This will bias your listening.
* Listen to how something is said. Be alert for what is left unsaid.
* Make certain everyone involved gets an opportunity to voice their opinions. Don't let one person dominate the conversation.
* Face those you are talking with, lean slightly forward and make eye contact. Use your body to show your interest and concern.

Roadblocks to Effective Listening

The following types of responses indicate ineffective listening:
* warning
* interrogating
* preaching
* ordering
* judging
* diverting
* analyzing
* blaming
* labeling
* moralizing
* probing
* ridiculing
* threatening
* reassuring
* distracting
* sympathizing
* demanding
* interpreting
* teaching
* withdrawing
* giving solutions
* scolding
* praising
* advising
* criticizing
* directing
* lecturing
* name-calling

Reasons to Improve Listening Skills

* To avoid saying the wrong thing, being tactless
* To dissipate strong feelings
* To learn to accept feelings (yours and others)
* To generate a feeling of caring
* To help people start listening to you
* To increase the other person's confidence in you
* To make the other person feel important and recognized
* To be sure you both are on the same wavelength
* To be sure you both are focused on the same topic
* To check that you are both are on target with one another

Questions to Ask Yourself in Conversations
* What am I doing in this interaction?
* What are my strategies or goals in communicating this message?
* Where do I want to go in this conversation?
* What is my body feeling right now in this conversation?
* What pressures am I feeling in talking with this person?
* What could I say differently?
* How could I say that so as to show I understood?
* What am I feeling at this time?
* What impulses do I have?
* What is my decision--making process in this conversation?
* How is she feeling toward me?
* What do I want or not want him to feel?
* What risks am I experiencing in this conversation?
* How is her appearance affecting me?
* What fantasy is going on in my head in this dialogue?
* What cues of the other am I responding to?
* How does his behavior affect my approach in this discussion?
* How genuine am I feeling at this time?
* How does what I say reflect genuineness to her?
* How could I have made what I just said more empathetic? How did I demonstrate respect for the other?
* How is my level of communication and vocabulary affecting the dialogue?
* What different style of communication could I use to reach her better?
* How attentive am I to him at this time?
* How do I feel about her response?
* How comfortable am I feeling at this time?
* How are my values affecting what I am hearing at this time?
* What is the level of my trust at this time?
* How did that question further the discussion and show I was listening?
* How mutually helpful is this conversation at this time?
* How honest are my statements with her?
* How comfortable am I in honestly labeling what I see going on with him?
* What can I do to improve the feedback I am giving the other?
* How well am I tuning into her feelings?
* What responses can I use to demonstrate that I am "with" the other?

Feelings for Which You Can be Listening

Use these lists of words to help you as you listen for the feelings of others in your conversations. Try to identify the other person's feeling, then reflect them back to the speaker.
Positive feelings include love, affection, concern, interest, elation and joy.
Negative feelings include depression, sadness, distress, fear, anger and anxiety.
Practice Listening for Feelings
Give either a paraphrase, an open question or a feeling-reflection listening response for each of the following statements. First identify the feelings, then give your response. Compare your answers with a friend's. Discuss the feelings identification and appropriateness of your responses.
"I am overwhelmed with work and can't get to your project yet."
"No one ever appreciates me around here!"
"I am lost. I'll never get this job done. Can you help me with this?"
"When I was younger I never knew what to expect in my house. One day Dad would be happy and carefree, and the next day he might be angry and hateful."
"I always work hard to achieve the goals of my group. I can't believe everyone else doesn't feel that way."
"I am so upset. I hate bringing the baby to the mall. Everyone stares at him. I get so embarrassed, I could cry!"
"Why doesn't anyone understand how I feel? I try my hardest but it never seems to matter. They still argue and fight all the time."
"I would rather die than let anyone know how I feel about it."
"No one but me is responsible for what happens to me. Butt out of my business and I'll butt out of yours."
"Why did this have to happen to me? What did I do wrong? Why has God chosen me for this?"
"Why doesn't anyone ever hear me? I am so anxious for them to give me a chance but they all seem busy and preoccupied. I don't think they really care about me anymore."
"You are all a bunch of phonies. I can't stand your cold-hearted, pompous ideas of right and wrong. I'd rather be anywhere else than with you tonight!"
"I get so embarrassed in that group. Everyone seems so together and with it. I'm afraid they would never accept me for who I am and the way I feel."
"I get so uptight coming to this group every week. I am sure that someday my turn will come and I'll be so clammed up I'll never be able to say a word."
"I am so afraid of letting my feelings out. If I ever let them out, I may never stop. I might go over the edge."
"My dad and mom are so busy taking care of my little brother that I'm afraid to tell them about my problems. They seem insignificant compared to his problems."
"Nobody really cares if we win or lose. They goof around and take nothing serious."
"I am so untalented, ignorant and ugly that no one could possibly love me."
"I wish that I had never been born. If I hadn't been born, maybe my family wouldn't have had such problems. Maybe Mom and Dad would have been happy and not divorced."
"I want to thank you for making this the best day of my life. You are all so special and wonderful. I love you all."

Listening Role-Play Activity
You and a friend can practice effective listening on one another. Practice with these suggested topics.
Step 1
One partner takes a turn as speaker, the other as listener. For 5 minutes the speaker elaborates on one of the ten topics. The listener uses effective listening and makes appropriate responses back to the speaker.
Step 2
After the 5-minute role play is completed, the speaker spends two minutes giving feedback to the listening partner on the effective listener skills used. Review Section II to help you give appropriate feedback.
Step 3
After the first practice and feedback session, switch roles until all topics have been covered.

Practice Listening Topics:
How I feel about:
* My life today.
* Being raised in my family of origin.
* All the good things that have happened to me.
* My future.
* My decision to participate in a support group.
* My current personal problems.
* Learning to deal with my problems.
* Listening to other people's deepest concerns and feelings.
* Showing love to those closest to me.
* The fact that I influence my life, regardless of the events, with either positive or negative outcomes.
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improve your English skill

Improving your English speaking skills will help you communicate more easily and effectively. But how do you become a more confident English speaker?

Practise where you can, when you can. Any practice is good – whether you speak to someone who is a native English speaker or not.
It's important to build your confidence. If possible, use simple English sentence structure that you know is correct, so that you can concentrate on getting your message across.
Try to experiment with the English you know. Use words and phrases you know in new situations. Native English speakers are more likely to correct you if you use the wrong word than if you use the wrong grammar. Experimenting with vocabulary is a really good way of getting feedback.
Try to respond to what people say to you. You can often get clues to what people think by looking at their body language. Respond to them in a natural way.
Try NOT to translate into and from your own language. This takes too much time and will make you more hesitant.
If you forget a word, do what native English speakers do all the time, and say things that 'fill' the conversation. This is better than keeping completely silent. Try using um, or er, if you forget the word.
Don't speak too fast! It's important to use a natural rhythm when speaking English, but if you speak too fast it will be difficult for people to understand you.
Try to relax when you speak – you'll find your mouth does most of the pronunciation work for you. When you speak English at normal speed, you'll discover that many of the pronunciation skills, such as linking between words, will happen automatically.
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6 Ways to Improve Reading Comprehension

Help your child retain what he reads — a crucial skill, especially as he gets older and needs to glean important information from textbooks.

  1. Have him read aloud. This forces him to go slower, which gives him more time to process what he reads. Plus, he's not only seeing the words, he's hearing them, too. You can also take turns reading aloud.

  2. Provide the right kinds of books. Make sure your child gets lots of practice reading books that aren't too hard. She should recognize at least 90 percent of the words without any help. Stopping any more often than that to figure out a word makes it tough for her to focus on the overall meaning of the story.

  3. Reread to build fluency. To gain meaning from text, your child needs to read quickly and smoothly — a skill known as fluency. By the end of 2nd grade, for example, your child should be able to read 90 words a minute. Rereading familiar, simple books gives your child practice at decoding words quickly, so she'll become more fluent.

  4. Talk to the teacher. If your child is struggling mightily with comprehension, he may need more help with his reading — for example, building his vocabulary or practicing phonics skills.

  5. Supplement class reading. If your child's class is studying a particular theme, look for easy-to-read books or magazines on the topic. Some prior knowledge will help her make her way through tougher classroom texts.

  6. Talk about what he's reading. This "verbal processing" helps him remember and think through the themes of the book. Ask questions before, during, and after a reading session. For example:
  • Before: "What are you interested in about this book? What doesn't interest you?"
  • During: "What's going on in the book? Is it turning out the way you thought it would? What do you think will happen next?"
  • After: "Can you summarize the book? What did you like about it? What other books does it remind you of?"
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Introduction to phonetic transcription

With phonetic transcriptions, dictionaries tell you about the pronunciation of words. In English dictionaries, phonetic transcriptions are necessary, because the spelling of an English word does not tell you how you should pronounce it.
Phonetic transcriptions are usually written in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), in which each English sound has its own symbol. (You can take a look at a chart with all the English sounds and their IPA symbols.)
For example, the IPA-based phonetic transcription of no is noʊ, and the transcription of do is du:. Note that in spelling, these words are similar. They both end in the letter o. But their phonetic transcriptions are different, because they are pronounced differently.
Phonetic transcription is usually given in brackets, like this: /noʊ/, /du:/. In a dictionary, it looks like this:
dictionary definition of the word 'image'
(By the way, not all dictionaries give the pronunciations of words. If you are serious about learning English, you should buy a dictionary which has this information.)

Word stress

When a word has many syllables, one of them is always pronounced more strongly. This is called word stress, and we say that the syllable is stressed. For example, in the word become, the stressed syllable is come. If the stressed syllable was be, become would be pronounced like this.
Dictionaries tell you which syllable is stressed. The most popular system is to put a vertical line (ˈ) before the stressed syllable in the phonetic transcription of the word. For example, the transcription for become is /bɪˈkʌm/.
If a word has only one syllable (for example: pen, house), the syllable is always stressed. Dictionaries usually do not put the ˈ stress mark before the only syllable. So they don’t write /ˈpen/ — they simply write /pen/.
Some dictionaries use other systems for showing word stress. For example, they may put ˈ after the stressed syllable, or they may underline the stressed syllable.

A demonstration

Have a look at our demonstration of the phonetic transcription system. You can read the transcriptions of some English words and listen to their pronunciations at the same time.

Representing differences between British and American English

Many words are pronounced differently in British and American English. Of course, these differences must be reflected in phonetic transcriptions. There are two basic ways to do this:
  • Separate transcriptions for British and American English, for example:
    dot BrE /dɒt/, AmE /dɑ:t/
    farm BrE /fɑ:m/, AmE /fɑ:rm/
    go BrE /gəʊ/, AmE /goʊ/
    mother BrE /ˈmʌðəʳ/, AmE /ˈmʌðər/ (or /ˈmʌðɚ/)
    This system is used in advanced learner’s dictionaries from Longman, Oxford and Cambridge.
  • One “compromise” transcription for both British and American English. This is done by using mostly British phoneme symbols plus the ʳ symbol.
    dot /dɒt/
    farm /fɑ:ʳm/
    go /goʊ/
    mother /ˈmʌðəʳ/
    In this system, transcriptions are shorter, but the reader has to know that, in American English, ɒ changes to ɑ: and ʳ changes to r. This system is used e.g. in the Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary and on Antimoon.
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Jika kita telah mempunyai faktor dasar penting belajar bahasa inggris, saya yakin kemampuan bahasa inggris kita sedikit banyak telah meningkat. Tapi tahukah kamu, apa kebiasaan yang dapat meningkatkan kemampuan bahasa inggris kita? Sehingga kita bisa memenuhi tuntutan zaman?
Ingat, bahasa adalah sebuah alat untuk berkomunikasi. Sehingga cara terbaik belajar bahasa inggris adalah membiasakannya. Berikut adalah 7 kebiasaan yang bisa kamu lakukan.

1. Menulis artikel bahasa inggris
Secara dasar menulis sama dengan berbicara. Hanya saja kata dan kalimat yang kita gunakan tidak diverbalkan, melainkan hanya ditulis dalam selembar kertas. Akan tetapi, memiliki manfaat yang kurang lebih sama. Bahkan beberapa penulis menganggap lebih memiliki efek besar dalam belajar bahasa. Saya pernah mendengar seorang wartawan yang ingin belajar bahasa inggris, dia malah masuk ke Jakarta Post.
2. Berbicara dengan teman
Waktu sekolah menengah atas, sekolah saya tidak menerapkan english day, atau semacamnya. Sehingga siswa-siswi di sekolah saya jarang menggunakan bahasa inggris untuk berkomunikasi. Efeknya sangat jelas, mereka tidak terbiasa. Dan sekarang, ketika saya dibandingkan teman saya yang telah terbiasa dari dulu menggunakan bahasa inggris, saya kalah. Meski pun tidak telak.
3. Menerjemahkan artikel bahasa inggris ke dalam bahasa indonesia
Saya sering melakukannya. Menerjemahkan cerpen dan puisi bahasa inggriss. Hasilnya, saya memiliki perbendaharaan kata yang berlimpah.
4. Mengajar teman-teman lain
Tidak tahu kenapa, ada efek belajar ketika kita mengajarkan ilmu kepada orang lain. karena itu, seorang guru tiap tahun tambah pintar. Mungkin ini yang dinamakan efek dua sisi.

5. Membuka kamus bahasa inggris
Pengertian kata termaktub dalam sebuah kamus. Kamus lah yang bisa kita jadikan rujukan, apa arti atau makna kata yang tidak kita ketahui. Seseorang yang ingin belajar bahasa inggris seharusnya sering membuka kamus.
6. Mendengarkan musik
Sangat menyenangkan belajar sambil bermain, bukan? Kita bisa mengakali belajar bahasa inggris dengan mendengarkan musik bahasa inggris. Biasanya opendengar musik secara tidak sadar meniru suara penyanyi. Saat itulah dia telah belajar bagaimana cara pengucapannya.
7. Menonton film
Sama seperti mendengarkan musik. Cobalah setting film yang kamu setel, tidak menampilkan subtitle. Biarkan tidak ada teks yang membantumu mengeri percakapan. Dengan begitu kamu telah membuat diri berlatih listening.

Four Main Aspects of Language

Four Main Aspects of Language

Phonology is the study of sounds in a language.
Phoneme: the basic unit of sound.
Semantics is the study of the meaning of language
Morpheme: The smallest unit of sound to carry meaning.
Pragmatics is the study of the use of language. Deals with the intentions behind the utterances.
Syntax is the study of the structure of language and how words can be formed to create gramatically correct sentences.

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Jumat, 01 Juni 2012

English Pronunciation

Mengapa kita perlu belajar pronunciation bahasa Inggris? Karena pronunciation (cara anda berbicara) adalah hal terbesar yang dapat dilihat orang dari bahasa Inggris kita. Kita harus mempelajarinya sekalipun kita menganggap bahwa kita sudah bisa berkomunikasi dalam bahasa Inggris.
Pronunciation terkadang menyebabkan sakit kepala bagi orang yang baru belajar bahasa Inggris karena ada beberapa bunyi dalam bahasa Inggris yang tidak terdapat dalam bahasa kita. Selain itu, perlu diketahui bahwa ejaan (spelling) sebuah kata tidak selamanya dapat membantu secara akurat untuk mengetahui bagaimana kata tersebut dilafalkan (pronunced). Dan pelafalan (pronunciation) sebuah kata tidak selamanya dapat membantu untuk mengetahui ejaannya.
Ada 26 huruf dalam alfabet bahasa Inggris tetapi terdapat lebih dari 40 bunyi (sounds) dalam bahasa Inggris. Ini berarti bahwa jumlah bunyi pada sebuah kata tidak selamana sama dengan jumlah huruf-hurufnya.
Contoh, kata ‘CAT’ terdiri dari tiga huruf dan tiga bunyi tetapi kata ‘CATCH’ terdiri dari lima huruf namun masih tetap tiga bunyi. Jika kita menulis kata-kata ini dengan menggunakan simbol bunyi dalam bahasa Inggris (akan dibahas secara ringkas nanti), maka kita bisa melihat berapa banyak bunyi yang dimiliki.
CAT dituliskan sebagai – /k æ t/
CATCH dituliskan sebagai – /k æ tʃ/
Pada ‘CATCH’ ketiga huruf TCH hanya memiliki satu bunyi yang dituliskan dengan satu simbol /tʃ/
Dalam pengantar English Pronunciation ini, kita akan melihat bagaimana cara mempelajari pronunciation bahasa Inggris dan tahapan-tahapannya:
1. Mempelajari bunyi-bunyi yang ada dalam bahasa Inggris dan simbol-simbolnya
Seperti yang telah disebutkan di atas, ada 26 huruf dalam alfabet bahasa Inggris tetapi terdapat lebih dari 40 bunyi. Salah satu cara untuk memudahkan mempelajari setiap dari bunyi adalah dengan menggunakan simbol fonetik atau IPA (International Phonetic Aplhabet) bahasa Inggris. Berikut daftar simbol bunyi bahasa Inggris.
2. Mempelajari transkripsi fonetik (penulisan) kata-kata dan penekanan pada suku kata.
Transkripsi fonetik biasanya dituliskan dengan simbol IPA, sehingga dengan mengetahui simbol-simbol bunyi maka Anda dapat mengetahui pronunciation sebuah kata hanya dengan melihat kamus (kebanyakan kamus menuliskan pronunciation sebuah kata dengan simbol IPA, seperti kamus Oxford standar).
Jika sebuah kata memiliki banyak suku kata, maka salah satu diantaranya selalu dilafalkan lebih kuat. Ini disebut tekanan kata (word stress), dan yang ditekan adalah suku kata. Contoh, kata become, suku kata yang ditekan adalah come bukan be. Kita bisa mengetahui suku kata yang ditekan dengan melihat kamus. Biasanya digunakan tanda petik tunggal (‘) sebelum suku-kata yang ditekan. Contoh, kata become dalam kamus yang disetai transkripsi fonetik akan ditulis seperti ini /bɪ’kʌm/ (penekanan pada come) bukan seperti ini /’bɪkʌm/ (penekanan pada be).
Jika sebuah kata hanya memiliki satu suku kata (misal: pen, house), maka suku-kata tunggal tersebut selalu ditekan. Untuk ini, dalam kamus biasanya tidak digunakan tanda tekanan sebelumnya suku-kata tunggal. Jadi tidak ditulis /’pen/ tetapi hanya ditulis /pen/.
3. Belajar melafalkan semua bunyi bahasa Inggris
Setelah mengetahui semua bunyi bahasa Inggris cobalah mendengarkan bagaimana bunyi sebenarnya dari bunyi tersebut jika digunakan dalam kata dan kalimat. Latih pronunciation Anda, dengarkan kata-kata dan kalimat-kalimat bahasa Inggris, dan coba ulangi dan ulangi.
4. Mempelajari pronunciation setiap kata bahasa Inggris yang digunakan/ditemukan
Pada kebanyakan bahasa, termasuk bahasa Indonesia, ketika kita membaca sebuah kata kita akan tahu bunyinya. Tetapi tidak untuk bahasa Inggris. Membaca sebuah kata bahasa Inggris tidak turut menjelaskan bagaimana cara pengucapannya. Sebagai contoh, kata no dan do keduanya berakhiran o tetapi o pada kedua kata itu dilafalkan secara berbeda. Ini artinya bahwa Anda harus mempelajari pronunciation setiap kata yang akan digunakan. Lalu bagaimana Anda bisa mempelajari pronunciation sebuah kata bahasa Inggris? Anda bisa menemukan transkripsi fonetiknya dalam kamus standar, dengan catatan bahwa Anda sudah harus tahu simbol-simbol bunyi.
Inilah pengantar dan beberapa tahapan dalam belajar pronunciation. Setiap dari tahapan ini akan kita bahas secara bertahap pada postingan-postingan mendatang. Untuk yang pertama pada postingan berikutnya, kita akan mempelajari simbol-simbol bunyi bahasa Inggris dan cara pelafalannya.
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The Organs of Speech

The various organs which are involved in the production of speech sounds are called speech organs (also known as vocal organs). The study of speech organs helps to determine the role of each organ in the production of speech sounds. They include the lungs, the vocal folds, and most importantly the articulators.

1. The Lungs

The airflow is by far the most vital requirement for producing speech sound, since all speech sounds are made with some movement of air. The lungs provide the energy source for the airflow. The lungs are the spongy respiratory organs situated inside the rib cage. They expand and contract as we breathe in and out air. The amount of air accumulated inside our lungs controls the pressure of the airflow.

2. The Larynx & the Vocal Folds

The larynx is colloquially known as the voice box. It is a box-like small structure situated in the front of the throat where there is a protuberance. For this reason the larynx is popularly called the Adam’s apple. This casing is formed of cartilages and muscles. It protects as well as houses the trachea (also known as windpipe, oesophagus, esophagus) and the vocal folds (formerly they were called vocal cords). The vocal folds are like a pair of lips placed horizontally from front to back. They are joined in the front but can be separated at the back. The opening between them is called glottis. The glottis is considered to be in open state when the folds are apart, and when the folds are pressed together the glottis is considered to be in close state.

The opening of the vocal folds takes different positions:
  1. Wide Apart: When the folds are wide apart they do not vibrate. The sounds produced in such position are called breathed or voiceless sounds. For example: /p/f/θ/s/.
  2. Narrow Glottis: If the air is passed through the glottis when it is narrowed then there is an audible friction. Such sounds are also voiceless since the vocal folds do not vibrate. For example, in English /h/ is a voiceless glottal fricative sound.
  3. Tightly Closed: The vocal folds can be firmly pressed together so that the air cannot pass between them. Such a position produces a glottal stop / ʔ / (also known as glottal catch, glottal plosive).
  4. Touched or Nearly Touched: The major role of the vocal folds is that of a vibrator in the production of speech. The folds vibrate when these two are touching each other or nearly touching. The pressure of the air coming from the lungs makes them vibrate. This vibration of the folds produces a musical note called voice. And sounds produced in such manner are called voiced sounds. In English all the vowel sounds and the consonants /v/z/m/n/are voiced.

Thus it is clear that the main function of the vocal folds is to convert the air delivered by the lungs into audible sound. The opening and closing process of the vocal folds manipulates the airflow to control the pitch and the tone of speech sounds. As a result, we have different qualities of sounds.

3. The Articulators

Articulators transform the sound into intelligible speech. They can be either active or passive. They include the pharynx, the teeth, the alveolar ridge behind them, the hard palate, the softer velum behind it, the lips, the tongue, and the nose and its cavity. Traditionally the articulators are studied with the help of a sliced human head figure like the following:

(i) The Pharynx: The pharynx lies between the mouth and the food passage, that is, just above the larynx. It is just about 7cm long in the case of women and 8cm long in the case of men.

(ii) The Roof of the Mouth: The roof of the mouth is considered as a major speech organ. It is divided into three parts:

a. The Alveolar Ridge/Teeth Ridge: The alveolar ridge is situated immediately after the upper front teeth. The sounds which are produced touching this convex part are called alveolarsounds. Some alveolar sounds in English include: /t/d/.

b. The Hard Palate: The hard palate is the concave part of the roof of the mouth. It is situated on the middle part of the roof.

c. The Velum or Soft Palate: The lower part of the roof of the mouth is called soft palate. It could be lowered or raised. When it is lowered, the air stream from the lungs has access to the nasal cavity. When it is raised the passage to the nasal cavity is blocked. The sounds which are produced touching this area with the back of the tongue are called velarsounds. For example: /k/g/.

(iii) The Lips: The lips also play an important role in the matter of articulation. They can be pressed together or brought into contact with the teeth. The consonant sounds which are articulated by touching two lips each other are called bilabial sounds. For example, /p/ and /b/ are bilabial sounds in English. Whereas, the sounds which are produced with lip to teeth contact are called labiodental sounds. In English there are two labiodental sounds: /f/ and /v/.

Another important thing about the lips is that they can take different shapes and positions. Therefore, lip-rounding is considered as a major criterion for describing vowel sounds. The lips may have the following positions:

a. Rounded: When we pronounce a vowel, our lips can be rounded, a position where the corners of the lips are brought towards each other and the lips are pushed forwards. And the resulting vowel from this position is a rounded one. For example, /ə ʊ/.

b. Spread: The lips can be spread. In this position the lips are moved away from each other (i.e. when we smile). The vowel that we articulate from this position is an unrounded one. For example, in English /i: /is a long vowel with slightly spread lips.

c. Neutral: Again, the lips can be neutral, a position where the lips are not noticeably rounded or spread. And the articulated vowel from this position is referred to as unrounded vowel. For example, in English /ɑ: / is a long vowel with neutral lips.

(iv) The Teeth: The teeth are also very much helpful in producing various speech sounds. The sounds which are made with the tongue touching the teeth are called dental sounds. Some examples of dental sounds in English include: /θ/ð/.

(v) The Tongue: The tongue is divided into four parts:

a. The tip: It is the extreme end of the tongue.
b. The blade: It lies opposite to the alveolar ridge.
c. The front: It lies opposite to the hard palate.
d. The back: It lies opposite to the soft palate or velum.

The tongue is responsible for the production of many speech sounds, since it can move very fast to different places and is also capable of assuming different shapes. The shape and the position of the tongue are especially crucial for the production of vowel sounds. Thus when we describe the vowel sounds in the context of the function of the tongue, we generally consider the following criteria:

• Tongue Height: It is concerned with the vertical distance between the upper surface of the tongue and the hard palate. From this perspective the vowels can be described as close and open. For instance, because of the different distance between the surface of the tongue and the roof of the mouth, the vowel /i: /has to be described as a relatively close vowel, whereas /æ / has to be described as a relatively open vowel.

• Tongue Frontness / Backness: It is concerned with the part of tongue between the front and the back, which is raised high. From this point of view the vowel sounds can be classified as front vowels and back vowels. By changing the shape of the tongue we can produce vowels in which a different part of the tongue is the highest point. That means, a vowel having the back of the tongue as the highest point is a back vowel, whereas the one having the front of the tongue as the highest point is called a front vowel. For example: during the articulation of the vowel / u: / the back of the tongue is raised high, so it’s a back vowel. On the other hand, during the articulation of the vowel / æ / the front of the tongue is raise high, therefore, it’s a front vowel.

(vi) The Jaws: Some phoneticians consider the jaws as articulators, since we move the lower jaw a lot at the time of speaking. But it should be noted that the jaws are not articulators in the same way as the others. The main reason is that they are incapable of making contact with other articulators by themselves.

(vii) The Nose and the Nasal Cavity: The nose and its cavity may also be considered as speech organs. The sounds which are produced with the nose are called nasal sounds. Some nasal sounds in English include: /m/n/ŋ/.
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Meningkatkan Kemampuan Pronunciation Bahasa Inggris Siswa

Dewasa ini kemampuan berbahasa Inggris merupakan suatu hal yang sangat urgen sesuai dengan tuntutan perkembangan jaman. Oleh karena itu penguasaan bahasa Inggris sejak pendidikan dasar sangat ditekankan, khususnya siswa Sekolah Menengah Pertama (SMP). Diharapakan dengan penguasaan bahasa Inggris yang baik, siswa SMP dapat memiliki bekal untuk mengembangkan diri dan siap berperan aktif dalam persaingan global nanti.
Pembelajaran mata pelajaran bahasa Inggris di SMP meliputi empat aspek, yaitu listening (menyimak), speaking (berbicara), reading (membaca) dan writing (menulis). Unsur-unsur bahasa lainnya juga diajarkan, antara lain vocabulary (kosa kata), grammar (tata bahasa) dan pronunciation (pelafalan) sesuai dengan indikator pencapaian tujuan pembelajaran.
Dari keempat keterampilan bahasa tersebut, pembelajaran keterampilan berbicara yang berkaitan dengan pronunciation ternyata kurang berjalan sebagaimana mestinya, siswa masih lemah dalam hal pelafalan. Hal ini dapat ditemukan hampir di semua jenjang pendidikan dasar di mana banyak sekali kesalahan siswa dalam melafalakan suatu kosa kata dengan benar. Misalnya, saat siswa melafalkan cake (keik) menjadi (cek), may (mei) menjadi (mai) dan masih banyak lagi. Pronunciation siswa sangat kental dipengaruhi oleh pelafalan bahasa ibu mereka, yaitu bahasa Indonesia. Tidak mengherankan bila pengaruh bahasa ibu (L1) ini mempengaruhi dalam penguasaan bahasa asing atau bahasa kedua (L2). Sebagaimana kita tahu, bahwa Bahasa Inggris merupakan salah satu bahasa asing yang sangat tidak konsisten dalam pelafalan suatu kosa kata.
Salah satu faktor penyebab ketidakmampuan siswa berbahasa Inggris adalah guru masih menekankan pembelajaran pada kaidah-kaidah bahasa, padahal seharusnya lebih menekankan pada aspek bahasa Inggris sebagai alat komunikasi. Akibatnya, banyak siswa sulit menggunakan bahasa Inggris sebagai alat komunikasi dengan berbagai alasan yang mereka lontarkan. Kelemahan ini kemudian menyebabkan para siswa tidak terlatih untuk melafalkan vocabularies dengan benar.
Pronunciation atau pelafalan di dalam bahasa Inggris sendiri sangatlah penting. Kesalahan dalam pelafalan suatu kosa kata bisa menyebabkan salah pengertian saat kita berbicara dalam bahasa Inggris. Misalnya pelafalan I yang bermakna saya diucapkan i, bukan ai tidak akan bermakna apa-apa.
Baca Selengkapnya →Meningkatkan Kemampuan Pronunciation Bahasa Inggris Siswa

belajar bahasa inggris

assalamualaikum wr.wb
ini adalah tempat berbagi semua hal tentang bahasa inggris baik t pengajaran bahasa inggris, materi pengajaran, tips belajar bahasa inggri blog ini terbuaka buat siapa saja yang mau belajar bahasa inggris n orang-orang yang cinta bahasa inggris.
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