Posted by: energyblogwalter | December 23, 2008

Re: New guideline calls for high school English classes to be taught in English :: JapanToday Dec 23rd 2008

http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/new-guideline-calls-for-high-school-english-classes-to-be-taught-in-english

Japan is going to up the hours and words used for English.  Oh boy..

Whenever I run into English students, I remind them that English letters are themselves given a vowel shape before being said. So R is AR and L is EL. You can go through the alphabet and find key letters that are broken up like this.

Since R is an A shape, and L is an E shape, after this understanding there is no reason to ever confuse pronouncing these sounds again. What always surprises me is that no teacher ever notices this.

We all’ve got our theories, so here’s mine in a bit more detail.  If I continue this theory, we touch each letter with a vowel to see what shape it takes to determine if any special attention is needed.  I look for letters which need a vowel in front not behind, for example:

AA, BE, CE, DE, EE, EF, GE, AH, AI, JAY, KAY, EL, EM, EN, OU, PE, QU, AR, ES, TE, UU, VE, WYOU, EX, WY, ZED

From my Canadian accent special attention to F, H, I, L, M, N, R, S, X, Y can be helped along by the student in this manner.  I think I’ll call it the Vowel Shape Law.  Sounds nice 😉  Notice that there are no vowels in this list, although Y is present.  Also the key R and L are here and lucky are of different shapes (A and E).  I would wager that this is the same no matter the accent, or if the accent is particularly pronounced, then these opening Vowel Shapes are different.

Better teaching quality beats quantity every day of the week. I have my doubts about increasing a quantity and workload when the student can’t even get what they do now.  This will just magnify incompetence not remove it.

I have to conclude that the effect will not be to learn a language, since most people under dedicated study can do this in a few years, but continue to merge English with Japanese until both are completely unintelligible.  This was surely not the objective?

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