domingo, 7 de noviembre de 2010

Something to say about: Reduced forms

Another common feature of spoken English is the use of contractions and reduced forms (for a useful short list click here and for an academic view, visit this link ). We, more often than not, find ourselves “attacked” by strange reductions that put us off. They are everywhere! Listen to a song… you´ll get them. Watch a TV show…there they are. Talk to a native English speaking friend… you betterkeep your ears wide open. And yet, we don´t have them in our textbooks (haven´t I said this before?), except for some heroic exceptions (the book I am using now has a lesson on three of these key features of spoken English: wanna, gonna and have to, pronounced /hafta/ -sorry about the “symbols”), reduced forms are literally reduced to zip.

Now, how many of these do you actually know and use? OK, OK, don´t you worry, this is not a test. On the contrary, I invite you to listen/ read this Voice of America –VOA program that I just found on the web. It´s an interview with Nina Weinstein, author of the book “Whaddaya say?” about… you got it! Reduced forms. The program features a printer friendly version and an MP3 audio file for your enjoyment.

Comments below, please.

Cesar Klauer

1 comentario:

giurag dijo...

Great articles. I believe we should be very much aware of the way we teach. We normally tend to articulate the language to make it easier for the students to understand. I guess that works fine with the low levels. However, we should speak in a more "relaxed" way with students of higher levels. We could also challenge them by using these reduced forms. Not only to train their "ears" but also to sound more real. As the author recommends, teachers could dedicate from 5 to 10 minutes of the class to transfer this. To my opinion, however, these forms shouldn´t be "taught." Teachers should introduce them in informal conversations with students. If they note the change (most of them would), we could simply say that we are introducing more real language to class.
Giuliana L. Raggio