Archive | February, 2012

Pronouncing Contractions of Will: “It’ll be easier with this!”

22 Feb

After a recent private tutoring session with a student, I confirmed just how difficult pronouncing contractions of will (‘ll) and will not (won’t) can be for English language learners (ELLs), and more specifically perhaps for Korean learners of English.

I thought about giving a quick resource here for pronouncing the pronoun + will contractions.  This is by no way an official guide to pronunciation, but can prove helpful for those who are having some troubles as my student was.  If you’re looking for a quick go to pronunciation reference that includes an auditory sample, check out Dictionary.com.

Contractions of Will with Pronunciation Key:

I + will                   —> I’ll                        [ahyl]

She + will             —> She’ll                    [sheel; unstressed shil]

He + will               —> He’ll                     [heel/heal; unstressed eel, hil]

We + will              —> We’ll                     [weel; unstressed wil]

They + will          —> They’ll                 [theyl]

It + will                —> It’ll                        [ittle]

Jennifer + will   —>  Jennifer’ll         [-ul]

Contractions of Will Not with Pronunciation Key:

I + will not             —>   I won’t                     [wohnt, wuhnt]

She + will not       —>   She won’t

He + will not         —>   He won’t

We + will not        —>   We won’t

They + will not    —>   They won’t

It + will not           —>   I won’t

SungBae + will not   —> SungBae won’t

Using Contractions in Conversation:  I also like to remind all of my students that when speaking  in conversation, using contractions makes for more natural English.  For example, “I’ll see you later” rather than “I will see you later.”   Conversely, you shouldn’t use contractions when writing English unless you’re writing an informal communication to a close friend.

Learning English while doing Taekwondo?

14 Feb

My Korean husband and I started the English Kids Gym & TaeKwonDo here in Hwagok-Dong, Seoul, last October and we’re happy to admit to being really busy!  What a motivation.  Most parents who comes to us say, “What a fantastic idea!  I’ve never heard of learning English while doing play exercise, yoga and taekwondo.  How did you come up with this idea?”  Truth is, we are such a new concept in Language Learning here in Korea that most parents have difficulty understanding exactly what it is that we’re about.  (The business bureau didn’t even know how to classify us!)

And while it feels great to pave new paths in the often overly-strict, pressure-overloaded English language education system in South Korea, we are also proud to impart healthy, active lifestyles.

We feel our approach is essential to the future of English language learners in Korea, many who feel English is a subject and not a benefit with real-life applicability.

Our Teaching Approach and Methods

Our teaching approach is a blend of the Communicative Approach, Direct Method, and Audio-Lingual Method.

Our techniques to impart speaking and listening language learning include the use of situational English conversation exchanges, visual aids, pantomime, play, repetition of language patterns, modelling proper language habits, reinforcing correct responses, and using context to help induce meaning.   Our primary focus is on speaking and listening.  Some writing is encouraged for home study, but there is no homework or pressure from us to complete the work.

English Kids Gym and TaekwondoEach 50 minute class focuses on imparting real life, practical English expressions, vocabulary and phrases, that students come to understand through repetition and context, while at the same time doing physical fitness, play, sports, yoga, and taekwondo.  Grammar learning is inducive, meaning it’s something they’re learning without even realizing it, like a pattern they can later modify in new contexts because they’ve come to understand the grammar inductively.

In addition, and perhaps most importantly, we like to think we’re helping Korean children and students to learn English  in a fun and natural way, as a native speaker may acquire English as their first language.

Goals for our Students

  • To find English education enjoyable and to feel comfortable and confident using English in everyday settings – in the classroom, community and at home.  We feel this will help them in future English learning pursuits.
  • To learn and grow in a non-threatening, pressure-free environment.
  • To be introduced to native Canadian pronunciation, tone, colloquial expressions, vocabulary and slang.
  • To use English to communicate with teachers, community members and peers in a natural way.
  • To become more familiar with Canadian culture through.
  • To promote physical fitness, wellness, and nutritional health in a safe, encouraging environment.
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