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Why Is English Complicated For ESOL Students

By Yann, published on 14/02/2019 We Love Prof - IN > Languages > ESOL (English) > Complex Pronunciation Rules In English

English is a universally known language that is spoken worldwide by native English speakers. According to babbel.com 1.5 billion people speak English (20% of the people on the planet) however only 360 Million of these speak English as their native language. People who speak English as a second language (ESOL), ESL students and people who use business English as their operating language are multiplying.

Often selecting to teach English abroad where there are many teaching opportunities and ESL programs. A teacher training certificate program is sometimes even included with a teacher job when the demand is high; native language skills are the primary requirement for being an ESL teacher.

For the English language learner who is serious about English proficiency, there are many options and the choice to hire an English language teacher or tutor for language instruction is popular. This is often in a group learning environment where students can master listening skills, reading skills, writing skills and most importantly speaking skills.

English language learner who is serious about English proficiency Studying can help English learners overcome the academic language challenges. Photo Source: Unsplash

Every ESOL English education program will work with the student to help them do well on their coursework and exams but in a group setting some students can struggle. Although the option for private tutoring could help English learners overcome the academic language challenges. There is a lot to learn English vocabulary, English grammar, English conjugation, or English expression.

It is essential to know how to master this beautiful and crazy foreign language. However, in in the learning journey, comprehension challenges can occur, for those with limited English and even for those language students with a more advanced understanding. Some parts of the curriculum, pronunciation or grammatical terminologies could block your language acquisition. This can be frustrating so let’s look at some complex English and how to overcome these challenges. Let’s go!

2 Basic Simple Rules For English Phonetics

  1. Sometimes there are no rules, just go with it.
  2. Every word must have a vowel.
  3. There are lots of rules which do work but also lots of exceptions which break the rules.

The only time a word doesn’t have a vowel is if it is actually an English abbreviation or acronym.

The Difficulty Of Pronunciation In The English Language

Whether it is British English, American English, or English from anywhere else in the world. Like all languages, English is just a matter of learning grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation and some context. With practice, you will know how to master it and take the road to fluency.

I have heard ESOL Student say that English could be one of the most complicated languages to learn in the world. But everything is relative, and everyone has their own point of view on it. Some learn quickly and give an endorsement for how easy the language is, and others struggle and curse the difficulty. But the fact remains that the English language does have many complexities and some small complex sentences, which should be learnt when studying the language.

One challenge comes from pronunciation because each English speaking country pronounces words differently and has a different use of vocabulary. With your pronunciation, you may or may not be understood depending on where you are. This is not just an issue for students it is also a difficulty for native English speakers. If you can bring a considerable focus to how to pronounce English and are able to focus on a target country such as British English. You will find this is a simple solution for this challenge.

English has many small complex sentences, The English language does have many complexities. Photo Source: Unsplash

The complex sentences to pronounce, are useful to learn because they prove to be outstanding examples of the originality that can sometimes show up in the English language. But it is important to understand especially when you have basic English that is not important to use complex sentence or phrases. English has over 600,000 words you can find the best way that you feel comfortable expressing yourself. However, you should be able to understand someone if these structures are used. You can do this with exercises of memorisation, syllables practice, English grammar quizzes and above all practising the pronunciation.

What Defines A Complex Sentence In English?

Words are what define complex sentences and how they are put together. The rhythm of the sentence and the length of the words can create some complexity and be difficult for the non native English learner to learn and for teachers to teach.

This language uses constructions that are sometimes foreign to us, especially when the structure of the phrase or linguistics are so different from our first language or how we create our daily and verbal communications. This is why it is important to be well focused when learning a language, and also aware of how to can communicate in your style using the vocabulary that you are learning.

No matter how hard you study, there are always abbreviations, words, sentences, terms, phrases and vocabulary. Which can appear to be very complicated to pronounce, not to mention reading writing or speaking. You can find these complexities whether you are bilingual or not.

Some Common Problem Words Used By English Speakers:

  • Although: This word is not said as it is read. It looks like it would be said Al-Thou-Guh. But in fact, it is said All-The-Oo-U. An example of this word in a sentence is ‘Although I like the red bag I find it too bright for the office.’ This is a word that is used very often is communication. The best way to learn this word is by ear and not by trying to read it. Ask your English teacher to say the word so that you can get the right pronunciation then practice repeating the word until you have the sound right. Try to pay special attention to the ‘TH’ and the ‘GH’ part of the word as these letter combinations are spoken the same way in other words too. So learning them could be a Key to freedom for you in respect to these combinations.
  • Throughout: Similar to Although, as you can see the TH and GH repeated in this word. This term, which could be translated as “during”, is difficult to pronounce for many reasons. But if you can Practice the TH and GH sounds it will quickly get more comfortable. This word breaks down to The-Ru-Oo-U-Aw-T
  • Colonel: This word seems so inoffensive and perhaps easy to pronounce in English, even those with basic skills could feel confident in how to read the word. But without learning how to speak, you will likely get this wrong because it is one of those terms that are not said how they look. Surprise! This is pronounced Ker-Nel, and it is an irregular pronunciation as Colo is not always said, Ker.

everyone has their own point of view about English What Defines A Complex Sentence In English? Photo Source: Unsplash

These words highlight the point that some English words are difficult to pronounce because you must first hear them to get the right pronunciation before you can know how to say them. If you are not used to them, even if you are linguistically gifted, have lived abroad in English speaking countries or are celebrated for your multilingual English skills.

You will one-day fall prey to these problems. When this happens just learn the word and file it to memory and move on. I can say this with certainty because even Native English speakers can pronounce words wrong too. The rule of having to hear the word before knowing how to pronounce the word is not just reserved for the ESL classroom. It is something that all English speakers face native or not.

English Sentences That Even Locals Struggle To Pronounce

Tongue Twisters are incredibly difficult sentences created to challenge and improve your pronunciation. They are notoriously tricky to pronounce, but they are fun and can genuinely help with your English. These are not used in normal conversation and are only a pronunciation exercise used to improve your speech. Here is a small selection:

  1. Used to Practice the letter P: Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers – Did Peter Piper pick a peck of pickled peppers? – If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers – where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?
  2. Used to Practice the letter B: Betty Botter had some butter – But, she said, this butter’s bitter – If I bake this bitter butter – it would make my batter bitter – But a bit of better butter– that would make my batter better – So she bought a bit of butter – better than her bitter butter -, and she baked it in her batter – and the batter was not bitter – So it was better Betty Botter – bought a bit of better butter.

Honestly, there are too many of these challenges in English to list them all, but these examples highlight a few of the issues that you may face. This is especially true if you travel abroad to different English speaking countries where different terminology and vocabulary are used to communicate. But be happy in the knowledge that all English speakers face this problem and not just ESOL students or people who are not native to the English Language. This is great because when you make a mistake or don’t understand something you will have everyone around you to help and not only that they will understand your struggle.

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