Blog posts in November 2016

Here we've got ideas, observations on ELT, including Mark's Pronunciation Blog and loads of conference and speaker reports...

Long and short; tense and lax

Posted by: 
 - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/archive/201611

Following last weeks post featuring a box set on the price/prize minimal pair, here's a box set on the bean/bin distinction. Again, one person is the speaker and says one of the phrases. His/her partner is the listener and says which they understood - A, B, C or D.

Vowels and voicing, belt and braces

Posted by: 
 - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/archive/201611

This image is a minimal pair, squared - what I call a box set. One person says one of the phrases. The other has to listen and say A, B, C or D. The minimal pairs in this instance involve /s/ and /z/ - these are a pair of related consonants, the first unvoiced and the second, voiced.

Someone called Anne

Posted by: 
 - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/archive/201611

This pair of sentences could almost be phrasal homophones (oronyms), except for the differences in punctuation. They play with the fact that the sound bite 'call Dan' is identical to the sound bite 'called Anne'. There are also two meanings of 'called' (to phone or shout out to someone or to be named), which make the pair of sentences rather confusing!

Sick Spies or Six Pies?

Posted by: 
 - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/archive/201611

Look at the pictures. Are the two pictures: a. a minimal pair, b. homophones, c. whatever?

Acoustic Drills and Audio Concordances

Posted by: 
 - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/archive/201611

There is something missing at the heart of the listening component in most ELT course materials. They fail to dig deep into the actual raw material of the skill – what Richard Cauldwell calls the ‘sound substance’.