martes, 1 de enero de 2013

Vowel Length



The five pure long vowels are: 

[a:] Is a long vowel as in these words: ask /ɑːsk/, arm /ɑːm/, fast /fɑːst/, last /lɑːst/, car /kɑːr ; tongue body is pulled back, it’s back vowel and a tense vowel as also a low / opened vowel.

[i:] A long /i/ as in the words: keep /kiːp/, meat /miːt/, be  /biː/ , me /miː/, beast /biːst/;The tongue body is pulled forward, it’s a front vowel and a high/ close vowel. It’s a tense vowel.

/ɜ:/ A long  /ə/ as in: girl /gɜːl/ , hurt /hɜːt/; it’s a central vowel, the tongue body is neutral and intermediate. It’s a tense vowel
[u:] A long /u/ as in: moon /muːn/, fool /fuːl/, cool /kuːl/; tongue body is pulled back, it’s  a back vowel and a high/ close vowel as also it´s a tense vowel.




[ɔː] A long vowel sound as in:  all /ɔːl/, or /ɔːr/, call /kɔːl/, born /bɔːn/, store /stɔːr/; The tongue body is pulled back, it’s a back vowel and the tongue body is intermediate as also it’s a tense vowel.

Here you are similar pairs of short vowels:
/ə/- at /ət/, an /ən/, about /əˈbaʊt/, under /ˈʌn.dər/, mother /ˈmʌð.ər; It’s a lax vowel, the tongue body is neutral and it’s a mid vowel.
 [ɒ] - on /ɒn/, off /ɒf/ , dog /dɒg/, pot /pɒt/; It’s a lax vowel.
 [ʊ] – book  /bʊk/, cook /kʊk/ , look /lʊk/ ; it’s a lax vowel as also a high back rounded vowel.



The similar pairs of long and short vowels:
[ə] – at /ət/, an /ən/, about /əˈbaʊt/, under /ˈʌn.dər/ , mother /ˈmʌð.ər/
[ɜ:] – girl /gɜːl/, hurt /hɜːt/
[ɒ] - on /ɒn/, off /ɒf/ , dog /dɒg/, pot /pɒt/
[ɔː]– a long vowel sound as in:  all /ɔːl/, or /ɔːr/, call /kɔːl/, born /bɔːn/, store /stɔːr/
[ʊ] – book  /bʊk/, cook /kʊk/ , look /lʊk/
[u:] moon /muːn/, fool /fuːl/, cool /kuːl/


The difference in pronunciation between a long and a short vowel lies in the position of the tongue. When pronouncing long sounds, we place the middle of the tongue against the top of the mouth. On the other hand, when we pronounce short sounds the middle of the tongue stays in a lower position.

Since I´m a lover of technology I would use interactive exercises in the classroom. I think it helps the motivation of our pupils in the classroom when we have to do repetitive pronunciation activities. I think the activities I´ve listed below are good for learning and also having fun at the same time:









I would also try to have a blog or website where I hang up the activities we do in class so  parents (who want) can be able to help out their children with the study. 
I could also work with worksheets as the ones listed below:

 Classify the words into those with a short “e” sound and those with a long "e" sound.
bed, bee, egg, feet, sweet, teeth, ten, tent, three, tree, web, wheel, sheep, pen.

Short e sound
Long e sound



Classify the words into those with a short “a” sound and those with a long “a” sound.

ant, bag, cake, cat , grapes, hat, lamp, crab, rain, eight, skate, fan, snail, flag, snake, train, gate

Short “a” sound
Long “a” sound




Actividades

Trabajo: Vowel length

Length is a feature which is very present in English vowels, yet a feature unknown for Spaniards.  There is a series of factors such as the point, and tension of articulation, which determine the length of a vowel sound.

For this task you are required to state which the five pure long English vowels are (not diphthongs or triphthongs), and also elicit the similar pairs of short vowels.
You will therefore, create a list of similar pairs of long and short vowels (for example /i/ and  /i:/), and describe them in detail, providing examples. You will have to explain differences in quality, tongue position, and lip position.

Finally, you shall design a couple of exercises, to be carried out in class with young children, that would help solving these difficulties when it comes to distinguishing short and long vowels.

Format: Times New Roman 12; spaces 1,5
Length: 1-3 pages.

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