I SINK YOU’RE LIGHT

2011年11月、私は「全国中学高校教員による英語弁論大会」に出場し、 “I SINK YOU’RE LIGHT” と題して、発音の大切さを訴えた。以下はそのスクリプトである。

“I sink you’re light.” More than half of my students say this when they want to agree with me. They don’t mean to say, “I go down below the surface of the water, but you float because you aren’t heavy.” Japanese people are notoriously unable to pronounce the dental fricatives, namely the [th]-sounds, and distinguish the alveolar lateral from the retroflex, in short, [l] from [r]. My students are no exception. As a result, some of them are reluctant to speak English in front of others. Particularly, those in their late adolescence tend to be too self-conscious and shy to speak up. With their affective filters so high, they’d rather say nothing than risk embarrassment. Perhaps, they too will become typical Japanese ‘wallflowers’ at international gatherings. To improve this situation, I have tried various strategies to encourage my students to read aloud. In my class I ask my students to repeat after me instead of after recorded materials because they read with more spirit when they read with me. Also, I make it a rule to praise my students every time I notice even a slight improvement in their pronunciation. This is probably what most English teachers do in their classes. One other thing I have been practicing these past few years is what I call a “Reading-Aloud Test.” Let me explain what I do. Two weeks before every mid-term and final exam, I choose a sentence or a passage for my students to practice. For example, one I use for my seventh-graders is: My phone number is 345-7891, which contains a dental fricative, labio-dentals, and nasal-vowel liaisons. Another example is the first stanza of Robert Frost’s “Stopping By Woods On a Snowy Evening.” In addition to its renowned beauty and profundity, I tell my students to pay attention to the first line that goes: Whose woods these are I think I know, because many students have difficulty pronouncing the [hu:]- and [wu]- sounds of the first two words. To remedy this, I advise my students to practice it until they can say it naturally. On exam day, I write the sentence or passage on the board in large letters and record my students’ readings. They listen attentively to their peers while getting ready for their turn. After that, I always have the students listen to their recorded performances. When they hear their own voices, they get excited and embarrassed, but they never fail to say, “Please let us try again!” And I never fail to allow them to try again. This is a really fun activity and my students love it, partly because they are curious to listen to recordings of themselves and their peers, and partly because I give them better scores on this test. Here’s the trick. By giving my students higher scores on the Reading-Aloud Test than on the written test, I can push them to be more confident in themselves. More often than not, I’ve encountered negative opinions or “so-what” attitudes among Japanese teachers of English toward teaching pronunciation. Some of them might argue that no one is free from first language interference, which I admit is true. I, for one, am a living example of it. And then there’s the scary second language acquisition theory called the critical period hypothesis, which formidably discourages late starters’ efforts. Others might insist that, even without specific pronunciation teaching, many students sooner or later acquire serviceable pronunciation in the course of their studies, and as long as their pronunciation is intelligible enough, they can communicate. All of these arguments are plausible and I’m not dismissive of their importance. However, I have seen that those students who develop confidence in pronunciation start to improve other skills such as reading and writing. Teaching pronunciation is nothing to be made light of. On the contrary, it can make a tremendous difference. By helping your students acquire better pronunciation, you can motivate them to like English more. It may well improve your students’ holistic attitudes toward their school lives, and eventually I hope more and more students will be able to say with confidence, “I think I’m right.”

次の記事『たかが発音、されど発音』もご覧あれ。

巷の日本語

インポあまりattractiveな店名とは言えない...

錦玉羊羹普通の味だった

さかなを喰わせるすごい店(Went Bankrupt Soon)「すごい」と思えないのはなぜか

においも敏感匂い“に”も敏感

訓令式ローマ字は読みづらい訓令式とヘボン式が混ざってしまっている(豊橋市)

先端大acromegalyかと思いきや...

奈良先端大大学だった

二盗を成功二盗“に”成功とすべきか

入力を失敗→入力に入力“に”失敗とすべし

お送りさせていただきます「お送りさせていただきます」は過剰敬語か

並び替え

docomo携帯画面。天下のdocomoが「並“び”替え」とは...

豊田不妊センター不妊“治療”センターとしたい

未満な「未満」に付くのは「の」ではないか

夢と希望と選挙権.....

巷の英語(海外編)

The Flamboyant Writer
Oscar Wilde の肖像、あくまでもflamboyantだ。
Dublinにて

Oscar Wilde lived here
Dublinにて

keys cut
「合鍵作ります」といったところか。
次の“BOOKS BOUGHT”と同じ構文。
Dublinにて

古本買い取り (London)
「古本買います」
“We buy used books”より簡潔だ。
Londonにて

DSCF3634
「健康第一」、Dublinにて

Ha'penny Bridge
ha’penny = halfpenny。
halfpennyを正しく読めるNSがどれほどいるだろうか。
twopenceも同様。
Dublinにて

Valley of the wind
Ayers Rock, Australia
「風の谷のナウシカ」の舞台はここをモデルにしたと言われる。

Indulge yourself
Ayers Rockにて

sushi-go-around, Bondi Beach
Sydneyの回転寿司屋

Stand behind the yellow line
「(~の)内側に」は “behind”

Nightsafe area
同じプラットフォームにて

No one thinks big of you
「誰も偉いなんて思わないわよ」
Sydneyにて

opening august
“in”の無い方が簡潔でインパクトがある。
Sydneyにて

Father's day in Australia
父の日は国によってまちまちである。母の日も。
Sydneyにて

Kobiashi
Sydneyにて、“小林”が訛ったもの。

Yamashta
30年前、ロサンゼルス五輪で金メダルをとった山下泰裕五段(現八段)を報じる英ガーディアン紙。”Yamashita” でなく“Yamashta”と表記している。なるほど、-shi-の“i”を省くことで「ヤマしータ」とならず、-ma-に強勢が置かれ、日本語に近い響きになる。

hokka hokka sushi
ほっかほかの寿司はあまりinvitingではないが...
Sydneyにて

Design your own salad
Sydneyにて
DYO salad = Design your own salad.

eat or be eaten
Sydneyにて

CIMG0732
Sydneyにて

CIMG0733
Sydneyにて

photo sent by George (Jan. 2015)
Westminster, London。
誤りを正してみよう。

Men Have G-spots too. (London)
そうだったのか!

Lift (London)
Londonにて

CIMG1259
Londonにて

CIMG1140
Londonにて

Early Bird (NY)
さしずめ日本語の「モーニングサービス」か。
(“モーニングサービス”は中京圏に盛んな喫茶店の風習)

NY construction graffiti
NYにて

Haart is where your home is
イギリス人は言葉遊びがお好き。
Cambridgeにて。

London Tube
これも言葉遊び。
Londonの地下鉄にて

CIMG2089
London、Tooting Broadwayにある果物屋。

Lick'n Chick'n (London)
Londonにて

BA (London)
イギリス人は掛け言葉がお好き。

London (2)
Londonにて

Cairns (2)
オーストラリア人も言葉遊びがお好き。
Cairnsにて

Cairns (3)
Cairnsにて

Surfish cafe
Sydneyにて

something fishy
Sydneyにて

flutterbys
Sydneyにて

sejuiced
オーストラリア人は駄洒落がお好き。
Sydneyにて

巷の英語

niman-yen doh正しい表記法に感心した。

CIMG2062日本語は「リフォーム」

CIMG2063英語は”alteration”。Scarsdale、NYにて

B.S. (Okonomiyaki Restaurant)BSはbullshitを意味してしまうことを
お好み焼き屋のおばさんには伝えてない。

Ban Boo「文句は言わせないぞ!」ってか。
「竹宗」というビジネスホテルの看板。

Arigatou京都にて
Free care cause to become me zoo note.
To be, to be, ten made to be.と同じ類の言葉遊び。
逆(英語→日本語)の語呂合わせに、”揚げ豆腐”(=I’ll get off.)などある。

P1030668Trustの誤りかと思いきや...

P1030664そういう意味だったんだ。

CIMG5073英語でもない、日本語でもない...

Yes, I Like Pan.私の最もお気に入りの一つ。京都にて

Nature & Creature Village - Nature Centre単に”Nature Center”でいいと思うんだが...
COBUILDの定義から: You can refer to any living thing that is not a plant as a creature, especially when it is of an unknown or unfamiliar kind.People also refer to imaginary animals and beings as creatures.

Everyone Toyohashiすごい英語だわ。

CIMG2040正しくはこう言う。NYにて

間違いをさがせ!(上級編)

Tissue Paper Boxティシューボックスの宣伝文

Mischievious (USA TV)NYのテレビ放送から

May be used also次の写真参照

may also be usedSydneyにて

CIMG2045某語学書出版社のカタログ

CIMG2065G = gasoline / D = direct / I = injection らしいが、英語の語順としてはDGI(あるいはDFI (direct fuel injection) が正しい(三菱自動車)。

IMG_0445

We Love Safety誤りと断じては失礼かもしれないが、
We prioritize safety. の方がやや良いか。

Halfpenny

Halfpennyスペリングから読み方が分かる。Dublinにて。

Crocodile T-shirtこんな恐ろしい英語見たことない。