The world that we live in has over seven thousand languages. Each language has its own alphabet, and learning a new language starts with the alphabet. This is followed by syllables, words, phrases, clauses and sentences. Grammar is also a part of the language-learning process. Getting to know the rules and how to apply them in sentences can be mastered only through practice.
There is no one way to learn a language. The methods you choose can be based on what suits you best. Among the languages of the world, the English language is one that is used widely by people of all age groups. It is used as the medium of instruction in many schools and the language for all sorts of communication in professional setups. Just like other languages, learners of the English language are also introduced to the English alphabet at first. There are, however, some who start with phonemes. There are twenty-six letters in the English alphabet and forty-four phonemes.
Traditional instructional methods, association techniques or play-way methods can be used to teach new learners. Let us look at some fun ways to learn the language in this article.
Exercise 1 – Guess the spelling
Go through the following phonetic transcriptions and guess the spelling of the words.
Answers for Exercise 1
- /ˈlæŋɡwɪdʒ/ – language
- /əˈfɪʃl/ – official
- /fɑːst/ – fast
- /ɪˈməʊʃn/ – emotion
- /θruː/ – through/threw
- /ˈeərəpleɪn/ – aeroplane
- /flaɪ/ – fly
- /ˈdʒəʊviəl/ – jovial
- /ˈhæpi/ – happy
- /ˈəʊpən/ – open
11./ˈfrendʃɪp/ – friendship
- /jɜːn/ – yearn
- /səˈpraɪz/- surprise
- /ˈlaɪtnɪŋ/ – lightning
- /wɜːd/ – word
Exercise 2 – Decode the paragraph
Go through the following, decode the phonetic transcription and rewrite the paragraph. Remember that the two slashes mark the beginning and end of the transcription.
/maɪ/ /ˈkʌznz/ /ənd/ /aɪ/ /riːtʃt/ /ɑː(r)/ /ˌdestɪˈneɪʃn/ /əˈraʊnd/ /faɪv/ /ɪn/ /ðə/ /ˈiːvnɪŋ/. /wi/ /ˈfreʃnt/ /ʌp/ /ənd/ /həd/ /ɑː(r)/ /ˈdɪnə(r)/. /ˈleɪtə(r)/, /wi/ /went/ /ˈwɔːkɪŋ/ /θruː/ /ðə/ /wʊdz/ /ənd/ /sæt/ /ðeə(r)/ /wɒtʃɪŋ/ /ðə/ /stɑː(r)z/. /wi/ /pleɪd/ /sʌm/ /ˈmjuːzɪk/ /ənd/ /sæŋ/ /əˈlɒŋ/ /wɪð/ /ɪt/. /ɪt/ /wəz/ /kəʊld/, /səʊ/ /wi/ /lɪt/ /ə/ /ˈfaɪə(r)/ /tu/ /kiːp/ /ʌs/ /wɔːm/. /wi/ /spent/ /ðə/ /həʊl/ /naɪt/ /ˈlaɪɪŋ/ /ˈʌndə(r)/ /ðə/ /stɑː(r)z/ /ənd/ /tɔːkɪŋ/ /əˈbaʊt/ /ɑː(r)/ /ˈtʃaɪldhʊd/, /ɔːl/ /ðə/ /taɪm/ /wi/ /həv/ /spent/ /təˈɡeðə(r)/, /ənd/ /ðə/ /ˈmeməriːz/ /wi/ /həv/ /meɪd/. wɪð/ /mi/ /ˈɡetɪŋ/ /ˈmærid/, /wi/ /wə(r)/ /ə/ /ˈlɪtl/ /ɪˈməʊʃənl/ /æz/ /wel/. /ɪt/ /wʊd/ /bi/ /ə/ /naɪt/ /wi/ /wʊd/ /rɪˈmembə(r)/ /fə(r)/ /ðə/ /rest/ /əv/ /ɑː(r)/ /laɪvz/.
Answers for Exercise 2
My cousins and I reached our destination around five in the evening. We freshened up and had our dinner. Later, we went walking through the woods and sat there watching the stars. We played some music and sang along with it. It was cold, so we lit a fire to keep us warm. We spent the whole night lying under the stars and talking about our childhood, all the time we have spent together and the memories we have made. With me getting married, we were all a little emotional as well. It would be a night we would remember for the rest of our lives.
Learning the English alphabet will include learning the vowels and consonants. There are five vowels and twenty-one consonants. The letters a, e, i, o, and u are the five vowels in English; the rest are considered consonants. However, the consonant ‘y’ is sometimes considered a vowel because it takes a vowel sound when it appears at the end of the word. Learning words that start/end with vowels or have vowels in them) and words with no vowels at all are ways to build your vocabulary. Just like we did with phonemes, you can play various word games to learn words with vowels and consonants. The spelling bee, word building, jumbled letters and crossword puzzles are some of the games you can try.
In English, you would have noticed that multiple words have the same pronunciations and words with the same syllables have different pronunciations. It is not just this; the English language has a lot more to give. So, what are you waiting for? Have fun learning English.