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English Pronunciation for Communication A Practical Course for Students of English By Wang Guizhen Faculty of English Language & Culture Guangdong University of Foreign Studies. Consonants of the English Language & Chinese EFL Learner’s Difficulties in the Learning Process.

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English Pronunciation for CommunicationA Practical Course for Students of EnglishByWang GuizhenFaculty of English Language & CultureGuangdong University of Foreign Studies


Consonants of the English Language


Chinese EFL Learner’s Difficulties in the Learning Process


Why use phonemic symbols?

  • The alphabet which we use to write English has 26 letters but (British) English has 44 sounds. Inevitably, English spelling is not a reliable guide to pronunciation because
    • Some letters have more than one sound
    • Sometimes letters are not pronounced at all
    • The same sound may be represented by different letters
    • Sometimes syllables indicated by the spelling are not
    • pronounced at all
  • Questions:
    • How do you pronounce gh in 'enough', 'through' and
    • 'ghost'? (like f in fun, not pronounced, like g in got)
    • How many syllables are there in 'chocolate'?
  • Linguists classify the speech sounds used in a language into a number of abstract categories called phonemes. English, for example, has 44 phonemes, although the number varies according to the dialect of the speaker and the system of the classification. Phonemes are abstract categories which allow us to group together subsets of speech sounds. Even though no two speech sounds, or phones, are identical, all of the phones classified into one phoneme category are similar enough so that they convey the same meaning.
description of the english consonants
Description of the English consonants

English consonants can be classified according to

1. the points of articulation

2. the manners of articulation

3. the state of the vocal cords

points of articulation
Points of articulation
  • 1.bilabial (two lips)
  • 2.labio-dental (top teeth/bottom lip)
  • (tongue tip/top teeth)
  • 4.alveolar (tongue tip/tooth ridge)
  • alveolar (tongue tip or mid/hard palate)
  • 6.palatal (tongue mid/hard palate)
  • 7.velar (tongue back/ soft palate)
  • 8. glottal
manners of articulation
Manners of articulation
  • 1.Stops (or plosives)
  • 2.Fricatives
  • 3.Affricates
  • 4.Nasals
  • 5.Lateral
  • 6. Approximants

English Consonants

  • 1. Stops/Plosives - English has six bursts or explosive sounds produced by complete closure of the vocal tract followed by a rapid release of the closure - 'p', 't', 'k', 'b', 'd', 'g'.
  • 2. Fricatives - English has nine fricatives - weak or strong friction noises produced when the articulators are close enough together to cause turbulence in the airflow.
  • 3. Affricates - English has two affricates - plosives released with frication - "church" and "judge".
  • 4. Nasals - English has three nasals in which the airflow is blocked completely at some point in the oral tract, but in which the lowering of the velum allows a weak flow of energy to pass through the nose.
  • 5. Approximants - English has four approximants - the 'w' in "won", the 'l' in "like", the 'r' in "red", and the 'y' in "yes." In these phonemes, there is more constriction in the vocal tract than for the vowels, but less than the other consonant categories below.
english consonants and their description
English consonants and their description
  • /p/- voiceless bilabio stop
  • /b/- voiced bilabio stop
  • /t/- voiceless alveolar stop
  • /d/- voiced alveolar stop
  • /k/- voiceless velar stop
  • //- voiced velar stop
  • /f/- voiceless labiodental fricative
  • /v/- voiced labiodental fricative
  • //- voiceless dental fricative
  • //- voiced dental fricative
  • /s/- voiceless alveolar fricatives
  • /z/- voiced alveolar fricative
english consonants and their description1
English consonants and their description
  • //- voiceless post-alveolar fricative
  • //- voiced post-alveolar fricative
  • /h/- voiceless glottal fricative
  • /t/- voiceless post-alveolar affricate
  • /d/- voiced post-alveolar affricate
  • /m/- voiced bilabial nasal
  • /n/- voiced alveolar nasal
  • /n/- voiced velar nasal
  • /l/- voiced alveolar lateral
  • /w/- voiced bilabial approximant
  • /r/- voiced post-alveolar approximant
  • /j/- voiced palatal approximant


  • 位于词首且是重读音节中,送气:poke,tape,keep.
  • 位于词尾失去爆破:top tea, rob the man, sit still, take three, lag behind.
  • 两相同辅音相连,不爆破,延长发音时间:stop Pete, rob Bob, let Tim (比较let him), sad Dave, take Kim (比较take him), big grapes.
  • /s/后辅音连缀不送气:spot, stop, sky.
  • 受相邻辅音影响:eighth, width(齿化), clock, padlock, glad (共发音舌侧爆破), keen,geese (发音部位前移).
I.Learning of English consonants

II.Frequency of occurrence of English


ex 1 write down the english consonants according to the description
1. _______________

2. _______________

3. _______________

4. _______________

5. _______________

6. _______________

7. _______________

8. _______________

Ex. 1 Write down the English consonants according to the description
Ex. 2 Materials for reading aloud
  • Americans eat breakfast and lunch quickly unless it is a social, business or family occasion. The evening meal is usually longer and a time for families to gather together. Rushing through daytime meals is part of the fast pace in America. Another reason for rushing through daytime meals is that many people eat in restaurants that are usually crowded with people waiting for a place so that they can be served and return to work at the proper time. So each one hurries to make room for the next person. As with busy people everywhere, there is a real difference between meals that are eaten in a hurry and those that can be enjoyed slowly with friends.


  • 在网络上完成教材Unit 2练习题。
  • 每天坚持朗读语音教材。