The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabetic system of phonetic notation that was devised in the 19th century as a standardised way of representing the sounds of speech in written form. The British English IPA chart consists of 44 symbols representing the pure vowels (monophthongs), the gliding vowels (diphthongs), and the consonant sounds of spoken British English. The Britlish Library contains a wealth of Activities to help you to learn, remember, and use the British English IPA symbols efficiently whether you are a student or a teacher.
No matter how good your English grammar and vocabulary may be, if your pronunciation is so bad that nobody can understand a word you say, then your English won't be much good as a means of communication. You might be good at grammar, have a broad vocabulary, and be able to explain all the aspects and tenses of English, but it's not much good if you can't be understood when you speak. I have designed these Activities to help you to improve your pronunciation, as well as other areas of your English.
Some students like to sit back and listen to some interesting English. It doesn't get much more interesting than some of the old classics from English literature. These Activities have been created to help you get the best from the vocabulary found in some of the old classics. As you listen and read your way through these Activities, you will also broaden your understanding of English culture.
Did you know that there are over 600,000 words in English? That's a lot of words, and far more than any human being could ever manage to learn. Even Shakespeare only used around 55,000 different words in all of his works. Mind you, he did actually invent quite a few of them. To get a good mastery of English, you do need to expand your vocabulary as much as possible. The more words you know, the better your English will be. The Activities here will help you to quickly develop your vocabulary.
Reading is the easiest way to take in English. Listening is a much harder skill and one that has to be developed as you study the language. There are lots of speech features that arise when native English speakers speak English. These speech features, such as elision, simplification, intonation, stress, and rhythm, and the way in which speakers may miss out sounds or whole words, are important to understand if you are to be able to listen to and fully understand spoken English. These Britlish Library Activities will help you to develop you listening skills.
The Dog and His Reflection
A Dog, to whom the butcher had thrown a bone, was hurrying home with his prize as fast as he could go. As he crossed a narrow footbridge, he happened to look down and saw himself reflected in the quiet water as if in a mirror. But the greedy Dog thought he saw a real Dog carrying a bone much bigger than his own.
If he had stopped to think he would have known better. But instead of thinking, he dropped his bone and sprang at the Dog in the river, only to find himself swimming for dear life to reach the shore. At last, he managed to scramble out, and as he stood sadly thinking about the good bone he had lost, he realized what a stupid Dog he had been.
It is very foolish to be greedy.
/ ðə dɒɡ ənd ɪz rɪ.ˈflek.ʃn̩ /
/ ə dɒɡ / tə ˈhuːm ðə ˈbʊtʃ.ə həd ˈθrəʊn ə bəʊn / wəz ˈhʌ.rɪ.ɪŋ həʊm wɪð ɪz praɪz əz fɑːst əz hi kəd ˈɡəʊ / əz hi krɒst ə ˈnæ.rəʊ ˈfʊt.brɪdʒ / hi ˈhæ.pənd tə ˈlʊk daʊn ənd ˈsɔː hɪm.ˈself rɪ.ˈflek.tɪd ɪn ðə ˈkwaɪət ˈwɔː.tər əz ɪf ɪn ə ˈmɪr.ə / bət ðə ˈɡriː.di dɒɡ ˈθɔːt hi ˈsɔːr ə rɪəl dɒɡ ˈkæ.rɪ.ɪŋ ə bəʊn ˈmʌtʃ ˈbɪ.ɡə ðən ɪz əʊn /
/ ɪf hi həd stɒpt tə ˈθɪŋk hi wʊd həv nəʊn ˈbe.tə / bət ɪn.ˈsted əv ˈθɪŋk.ɪŋ / hi drɒpt ɪz bəʊn ənd spræŋ ət ðə dɒɡ ɪn ðə ˈrɪv.ə / ˈəʊn.li tə faɪnd hɪm.ˈself ˈswɪm.ɪŋ fə dɪə laɪf tə riːtʃ ðə ʃɔː / ət lɑːst / hi ˈmæ.nɪdʒd tə ˈskræm.bl̩ ˈaʊt / ənd əz hi stʊd ˈsæd.li ˈθɪŋk.ɪŋ ə.ˈbaʊt ðə ɡʊd bəʊn hi həd lɒst / hi ˈrɪə.laɪzd ˈwɒt ə ˈstjuː.pɪd dɒɡ hi həd biːn /
/ ˈɪt s ˈver.i ˈfuː.lɪʃ tə bi ˈɡriː.di /
Aesop’s Fables have been retold numerous times and added to over the centuries, and many of the fables’ morals have become so well known that they have become part of the English language. The lessons in this course are based on a 1919 version of Aesop’s Fables chosen because the language is suitable for learners of English yet is rich and varied enough to cover all aspects of British English pronunciation when coupled with the British English phonetic transcripts. Translated into British English IPA transcripts, these phonetic Aesop lessons will help students improve their pronunciation and teachers of English as a second or foreign language who want to work on pronunciation in the classroom.
This lesson, The Ass and His Driver, is a cautionary tale about the dangers of stubborn pig-headedness and the rejection of wise advice. These Phonetic Aesop English language lessons will help you to master the 44 British English IPA symbols, and hopefully learn some new vocabulary.
This lesson, The Boy and the Hazelnuts, warns us not to be too greedy or to try to do too much at one time. These Phonetic Aesop English language lessons will help you to master the 44 British English IPA symbols, and hopefully learn some new vocabulary.
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