An important thing to watch out for is clear and proper pronunciation. Students should avoid speaking too quickly, mumbling, or trailing off at the end of their sentences.
They should also pay attention to how they pronounce word endings. Leaving out end sounds, e.g. the ‘s’ in ‘students’; ‘t’ in ‘paint’ and ‘ed’ in ‘cooked’, is a common mistake.
It is important to remember the different ways of saying ‘the’. When ‘the’ comes before words beginning with a vowel sound, it should be read as /thee/ and not /thuh/. It is the sound that matters, not the letter used in writing the word.
Examples when we pronounce ‘the’ like /thee/:
- ‘the ant’ = /thee ant/
- ‘the egg’ = /thee egg/
- ‘the HDB flat’ = /thee aich-de-bee flat/
Examples when we pronounce ‘the’ like /thuh/:
- ‘the boy’ = /thuh boy/
- ‘the car’ = /thuh car/
An easily corrected mistake is to be unaware of commonly mispronounced words. Some of these include:
- children (chil-dren, not chew-ren or cho-dren)
- women (wim-in, not woo-men)
- calendar (kal-en-der, not ka-lan-der)
- photography (fuh-taw-gruh-fee, not foh-toh-grah-fee)
- film (fil-m not flim)
- sword (sord, not sword)
- salmon (sam-uhn, not sal-mon)