Have you ever been in a store and overheard someone say to the cashier, “receipt, please?” and realize that he or she pronounced the “p”? It is a little startling – until you realize: how would you know that the p is silent? Unfortunately, our language is full of pitfalls – with words that have spelling that barely resembles their pronunciation.
Once, while teaching an advanced class, I could not understand what one of my students was saying regarding cookies and cakes. He was saying “bisquit” – so I thought he was referring to the brand of pancake and cake mix called Bisquick. I finally realized that he was trying to say biscuit!
Spanish is my second language, so one would think that I should have known what he was trying to say. After all, I know the spelling and pronunciation rules for my second language. However, when I am speaking in one language, I tend to think in that language.
If you have had situations like this and would like to know more about improving pronunciation by ESL learners, please consider attending my workshop at 9 a.m., Thursday, May 6, during the Florida Literacy Conference.
See you there! Enjoy the conference!