Exercise: Tongue Twisters• Let’s take a dip in the deep sea• You’ll see sheep if you peep in the hold of the sheep ship• Sit on the cheap seat and sip your drink• Keep a stiff upper lip – don’t weep if you’re whipped
Common Consonant Problems• V words: invite, live• N words: night/light• Thin/tin/fin/sin• This/dis/zis• Z: rise/rice• L and R: fried rice/flied lice• Final consonants: duck/ducke wife/wifu• Final L: bill/beer, school/schoor
Consonant Clusters• Initial consonant clusters are lacking in Chinese• A small vowel is introduced e.g. spoon pronounced ‘sipoon’• Final clusters are even more troublesome• Additional syllables sometimes added e.g. dogs is pronounced ‘dogez’• Sometimes the cluster is simplified e.g. crisps pronounced ‘krisipu’
Consonant Cluster Exercises• Initial clusters: drip grass prison splash squeeze spots track• Final clusters: effect left silk melt stamp songs thanks student script task wisp trust forest• Tongue twisters: The sixth twisty crisp• He asked whether desks were used in the tests
Rhythm and Stress• Reduced Syllables are less frequent in Chinese• Learners give weak syllables full pronunciation and stress• Fish and chips• The capital of Ireland is Dublin
Intonation• Chinese intonation changes the meanings of words but sentence intonation doesn’t vary much• English intonation affects the meaning of the whole message, not just the words• Chinese learners can sound flat, jerky or sing- song to English ears
Intonation Practice• I’m so sorry to hear that you haven’t been well• The weather is terribly hot this summer• I’ve told you before that it’s not acceptable to cut and paste!• What did you say? I can’t believe it!• No, I won’t go if you arent going.
Juncture• Because Chinese is monosyllabic…• …Chinese learners separate English words as well, so they sound staccato• In English, a ‘stream of speech’ is required• Considerable practice is required to sound less staccato
Spelling• Chinese writing is non-alphabetic• English is non-phonetic• Chinese students have great difficulty learning how to spell in English• Spelling errors are very common
Common Spelling Mistakes• Spelling conventions are not applied diner/dinner eliminat/eliminate• But there are few rules docter/doctor patten/pattern liv/live anser/answer• Mistakes from incorrect pronunciation aroud/around swallen/swollen• Omission of syllables studing/studying determing/determining
Parts of Speech• In Chinese the same word may often have different functions• The set classes of English words can be hard to remember• Related words confused difficult/difficulty• Wrong class of word used ‘She likes walk’ ‘It is difficulty to convince him’
Part of Speech Function Example WordsVerb describes action or (to) be, have, do, like, state work, sing, can, mustNoun describes thing or dog, work, music, person London, teacher, JohnAdjective describes a noun a/an, the, 69, some, good, big, red, wellAdverb describes a verb, quickly, silently, well, adjective or adverb badly, very, reallyPronoun replaces a noun I, you, he, she, somePreposition links a noun to another to, at, after, on, but wordConjunction joins clauses or and, but, when sentences or wordsInterjection short exclamation oh!, ouch!, hi!, well
Articles• There are no articles in Chinese• Students find it very hard to use them correctly• They omit necessary articles: Let’s make fire• Insert unnecessary articles: He was in a pain• Confuse definite and indefinite: She is a tallest girl in the class
Gender• No gender distinction in Chinese• He, she and it all share the same sound• Chinese learners often fail to differentiate them, with comical results• I have a brother. She works in a factory.• Look at that actress. He is beautiful!• Ann is a good teacher. His lessons are very interesting.
Number• Plurality is rarely expressed in Chinese.• Hence –s tends to be dropped in English• Especially in spoken English, because of the final consonant clusters• I’ve been to many place in China• How many English film have you seen?
Countable/uncountable• This English concept can be hard to grasp for Chinese students• In Chinese, furniture, luggage, news etc. can all be counted• Hence errors like this:• Let me tell you an interesting news• She brought many luggages with her
Pronouns• English uses pronouns much more than Chinese• In Chinese the pronouns tend to be left out when they are understood• He carried a book in right hand• No distinction in Chinese between subjective and objective cases (I, me) adjectival and nominal (my, mine)• I am like she• The book is my
Word Order In Questions• Chinese uses the same word order in statements and questions• In English the word order is inverted• When she will be back?• What was called the film?
Word Order In Indirect Questions• Chinese uses inset direct questions in indirect questions• If this is done in English it leads to errors• He asked me what does she like• She wondered where was her friend
Postmodifiers• In Chinese, words, phrases or clauses used as modifiers come before the nouns• English postmodifiers can cause problems• This is important something• It’s a difficult to solve problem
Position of Adverbials• In Chinese, adverbials usually come before verbs and adjectives• Chinese learners tend to do this in English as well• Tomorrow morning I’ll come• Tonight at seven o’clock we are going to meet
Conjunctions• In Chinese, conjunctions usually appear in pairs• Chinese students tend to duplicate conjunctions in English too• Although she was tired, but she went on working• Because I didn’t know the answer, so I kept quiet
Prepositions• The use of English prepositions is highly idiomatic• Chinese students find the correct use of prepositions very difficult to learn• I’ll go Yunnan in July• She’s going to home for the holiday• It is too difficult to me• What will you do in this evening?
Verbs: Forms• Chinese is a non-inflected language• But English changes the verb forms• Subject-verb agreement: Everybody are here• Irregular verbs: He hurted me very much• Complex verb forms: The window was breaking by the wind
TENSES PAST PRESENT FUTURE I/we walk, s/he SIMPLE I, s/he, we walked I, s/he, we will walk walks I am walking, s/he is I, s/he was walking, I, s/he, we will be CONTINUOUS walking, we are we were walking walking walking I, s/he, we had I/we have walked, I, s/he, we will have PERFECT walked s/he has walked walked I, we have been PERFECT I, s/he, we had been I, s/he, we will have walking, he has CONTINUOUS walking been walking been walking
Problems With Tenses• I have seen her two days ago• We found that the room is empty• She will go by the time you arrive• Present tense doesn’t indicate present time. There is a film tonight talks about the future• Progressive (continuous) tenses cause problems: I sit here for a long time waiting for you
Auxiliary Verbs• Chinese does not use auxiliaries to form questions and negatives• Do/don’t present problems• How many friends you have?• Question tags in Chinese are converted to ‘Chinglish’• You don’t read much, isn’t it?
Modal Verbs• Modals play an important part in being polite in English• Chinese students often can’t use modals correctly, so avoid them, and can sound rude• You come and sit here, please• Shades of meaning are difficult to appreciate: Can you do me a favour? and Could you do me a favour?
Vocabulary: False Equivalents• English and Chinese words overlap a great deal in meaning• However they rarely produce exact equivalents• Incorrect selection from dictionaries can lead to ‘Chinglish’ such as I am allergic to grammar mistakes
Vocabulary: Small Verbs• Small verbs such as be, bring, come, do, get, go, have, make, take and work have a range of meanings• They also combine easily with other words to make special expressions (verb phrases) which are highly idiomatic• No equivalents in Chinese and difficult to handle• So Chinese students tend to avoid them
Textbook vs Colloquial English• Please continue with your work• Please carry on with your work• He finally yielded• He finally gave up• Please inform me• Please let me know• He returned from England last week• He came back from England last week
Cultural Influences• Rote learning vs communicative skill• Fear of ‘losing face’• The Stone Face• Education: qualification or ability?
Idioms Are Hard To Translate• You have come.• Have you eaten?• Where are you going?• Please eat more• (Would you like a little more?)• Don’t be polite• (Make yourself at home)