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PHONETICS IN LANGUAGE LEARNING?

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Abstract:

The present paper aims at finding out if Phonetics as a branch of study has got something to do with the manner we learn a language, English in this case. Attempts will be made to find out how various aspects of phonetics such as word stress, accent and rhythm, intonation etc. help one in learning English. It need not be stressed here that most of these aspects play a crucial role in how we pick up a language, especially the spoken part, for we need to be aware of how each syllable or a word or a group of words is pronounced. In order to learn English well, it is necessary that the learner understands the phonetic nuances of the target language because her or his mother tongue do not use the same stress pattern or the tones. It is therefore challenging to master all the stress patterns and tones of English. It is significant to note here that the manner in which a learner pronounces a word/phrase; or puts the stress/tone; or combines/substitutes one set of words/sounds tells us about the learner's social/geographical/literacy/economic/emotional status. We have tried to present only a cursory outline of the steps that may be taken to learn the sounds of the target language. We have not dealt with many other essential technical information on sounds, their combinations, the contexts in which 'similar' sounds could be grouped together and used as if the group is a single sound unit, etc.

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