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View Full Version : My Chinese students are having trouble with "add" vs "and" pronounciation.



Bartholomew
09-14-2011, 11:34 AM
I wrote them a tongue twister for it, to give them something to practice beyond "add and add and" ad nauseam, but I really need a way to help them overcome this.

Basically, they are all adding "nd" to any word that ends in "ad" no matter what. Sad becomes Sand. Add becomes And. Bad becomes Band.

Sandy Saddles Sad Sand while Andy Anne Badly Adds is the tongue twister (more or less), but I don't think practice here will help. They hear the difference, they're just having trouble articulating it themselves. We worked on it to the point of frustration today!

(They're also teaching me Chinese. I cannot, for the life of me, pronounce the pinyin .)

Snitchcat
09-14-2011, 03:28 PM
Have you tried vetoing them to write their own tonguetwisters using those endings? They might tell you a little more about their interests which you can use. Btw, are you interested in the MMORPG, Three Kingdoms? Maybe something related to that?

And instead of tongue twisters, how about limmericks?

Have you tried using pinyin to help them get around this problem? E.g., you had ice cream vs you hand ice cream, that is, ni shou le bing qi lin vs. ni chi le bing qi lin. You can have them translate what they said / pronounced back into chinese. Also, you could do this for the rhymes / limmericks. Fun and a method to try.

Regarding the chinese "u": if you are familiar with French or German, think of it as "ew" and "oo!".

Hope this helps some.

Rufus Coppertop
09-14-2011, 04:07 PM
We get a lot of Chinese psych nurses in Australia and a lot of them have trouble with gender distinctions in personal pronouns.

They often say "she" when they're talking about a male.

slcboston
09-14-2011, 06:06 PM
We get a lot of Chinese psych nurses in Australia and a lot of them have trouble with gender distinctions in personal pronouns.

They often say "she" when they're talking about a male.

This is a result of there not being a gender distinction in the Chinese third person pronoun, and in my experience the only way to overcome that is with practice.

Which, by the way, is my only advice for the pronunciation issue in general. Having taught English in China for a number of years - and then teaching Asian students here in the US - I have often found that these issues of pronunciation are vexingly difficult to overcome.

If you're having a specific issue, I think you're doing the right thing in creating exercises that address it. You may just want to orally review (using a class response and then indivisdual responses) a list of these problem words.

I found that helpful, for example, when trying to get them not to turn the "ed" ending into its own syllable.

In the long term, integrate the issue into your curriculum, so that it becomes something you fix as you go along, while continuing to teach them the other concepts they need to learn. You don't want to get hung on one problem.

As an additional, outside support venue, encourage your students - if possible - to find and make friends with any native speakers. Sometimes there are "English corners" in the community where people gather to soacialize and practice, though in my own experience those are only as useful as the number of native speakers who participate.

Exposure and use are the keys.

Bartholomew
09-14-2011, 07:48 PM
Have you tried vetoing them to write their own tonguetwisters using those endings? They might tell you a little more about their interests which you can use. Btw, are you interested in the MMORPG, Three Kingdoms? Maybe something related to that?

And instead of tongue twisters, how about limmericks?

Have you tried using pinyin to help them get around this problem? E.g., you had ice cream vs you hand ice cream, that is, ni shou le bing qi lin vs. ni chi le bing qi lin. You can have them translate what they said / pronounced back into chinese. Also, you could do this for the rhymes / limmericks. Fun and a method to try.

Regarding the chinese "u": if you are familiar with French or German, think of it as "ew" and "oo!".

Hope this helps some.

I was actually considering short D&D sessions, to encourage narrative, but I'm not sure.

I like the limmerick idea. =)

~

Is there a Chinese word that has the same "AD" sound as Sad, Add, etc?

Snitchcat
09-14-2011, 09:16 PM
Lol, I've been trying to think of one for the last couple hours since I saw your post. Still looking. :)

If your students are into D&D, that would be a good way to go, since the campaigns are available in text. I don't know if Three Kingdoms has the full range available in English. On the other hand, if you get them to translate a passage or several, or even just the marketing description of the game, it might be a way to get your students to use more English and really consider their pronunciation, particularly if you pretend (in this instance) you're not a speaker of English either. And the only way to communicate is through English.

ETA:
AFAIK, there are no hard ending sounds to Putonghua words, but plenty in Cantonese. Perhaps the most effective one in Putonghua might be, 哑的 "ya(3) de" (muted, adj) or similar. Then, if that example doesn't work, ask the students to help you out (they get to learn the pronunciation for 'ad' at the same time).

In Cantonese, you could go for something like 压 "ngah(t/d)" (pressure, n., vb.). The student question applies here, too. :)

If I think of any more, I'll post again.

Good luck!

C.J.Lindsay
09-15-2011, 12:06 AM
I used to teach Chinese kids, and in that type of situation I'd teach the phonetic sounds of short 'a' and 'd', and say 'a,a,a, d,d,d, a,d,a,d, ad', which worked well with them. Then to contrast, you could do 'a' with 'n', then 'an' with 'd' in the same way. Takes time sometimes, but might be worth trying.

Mutive
09-15-2011, 12:59 AM
I can't speak for the opposite, but when I was working on Mandarin pronunciation (I'm an English speaker) I found this trick really helpful:

1) Get a recording of something said correctly by a native speaker
2) Record yourself saying it
3) Play them back at the same time

A lot of the time it's really, really hard to figure out that you're even saying something incorrectly, and that helps.

Mouth positions are also kind of useful. The tongue flicks a bit differently between "and" and "add" (it's a bit more stacatto on "add", and the vowel is less drawn out). Paying close attention to lip and tongue movements, as well as timing, can also help with a lot of this. But I still found (for me), that the recorder method was the best.

KellyAssauer
09-15-2011, 01:12 AM
T-o: To

D-o: Do

G-o: Go -figure.


-Good Wuck-

Bartholomew
09-16-2011, 05:44 AM
The real trick is separating the bunch of them so that they don't speak Chinese for their entire sojourn here. x_x

Snitchcat
09-16-2011, 12:18 PM
IME, that's not going to happen. x_x

You might, however, consider having your students do some homework they wouldn't normally:

Depending on how many students you have, get them to go make friends with one different teacher or librarian, or someone, each. Oh, and they're not allowed to copy from each other, and neither are they allowed to make up anything.

You might spread this one over a week, and tell the entire class they will each get an individual question they have to answer within the scope of this assignment. That question will be emailed to them, or somehow provided separately. And completing this assignment is easy: they must mingle with people other than those of Chinese / Eastern / Asian ethnicity to get the answer to their individual question.

The "twist" is, of course: they all get the same question. But with the variation that means the individual must speak to someone who is, say, German, or someone who teaches chemistry, etc. This should help prevent them all from working together to complete the assignment.

Not sure how well this will work for your group, though. Again, depends on the number of students you have.