TIRUCHI: Ever wondered why each State has a different way of pronouncing English words? If you are one among those who wistfully imitate the witty exchanges featured in ‘Friends’ and dream of infusing the western accent without sounding synthetic, the theme on ‘Pronunciation’ in the Hindu’s NIE might be of good help.
In its fifth module ‘Clarity of communication,’ the theme has packed in ways to improve the accent and pronunciation of each word by introducing the concept of ‘stress.’ “Stress marks recommended for each word in the dictionary are perfect guide for right intonation,” Vidya Murali said, handling this module at Khajamian Higher Secondary School, recently.
She taught them ways to understand and pronounce the words as the stress marks indicate. To help them learn faster, the students were split into groups and provided with newspapers. They picked up hard-to-pronounce words and referred to the dictionary for the stress symbols. Ms. Murali helped them with the articulation with examples. “Words like ‘process’ and ‘develop’ have stress marks before the first letters, indicating that the words don’t need stress anywhere between. Look for the symbols for each word and pronounce accordingly,” she said. Each group competed with each other during the next activity on voicing words the right way. The groups were given a list of words to pronounce, while the other groups, armed with dictionary, ensure that the words are pronounced right. The group that comes out with a maximum of right pronunciation was declared the winner.
“Dictionaries, apart from helping you find the right meaning, perfect your language by adding information on stress and phonetics for each word. Make a conscious effort to observe these,” she told the students.