Pronunciation: Get Better In Another Language

Pronunciation can affect how we communicate. Many people, who have had a go at learning a foreign language, have experienced that sinking feeling when they try a well-constructed sentence in another language only to be met with a blank face.

Why is this?

Languages are built on sounds. If I speak English and live in an English-speaking country I expect a speaker to say sounds in a particular way. In French or Spanish I would expect to hear different sounds. When we can’t recognise the sound we try and adjust how we are listening, a bit like tuning a radio, but if we can’t guess the sound, the chances are we won’t understand what is being said.

The Blocks of Pronunciation

Pronunciation has two main aspects to it, physically producing it and the sound that is produced from it, the hearing of the sound. As we get older the ability to do both of these, i.e. physically work out how to make the sound and recognise it, can diminish. This doesn’t mean we can’t continue to learn new languages but we need some extra tricks to help us.

Let’s look at some ideas on what we can do when we learn a new language.

How am I saying it?

Try saying the letters. Notice how your mouth is working. If you don’t know how a sound is physically made you may find it harder to say it.

What sounds are the same?

English has many more sounds than other languages but it also has a lot of sounds in common with other languages. Good dictionaries in a new language will usually offer an English sound or word to compare with. Use it to check what sounds are similar.

Which sounds are hard to say?

Go through the alphabet of the new language and mark out the ones you find hard to say. Give them some attention. Try and physically make the sound and see how your mouth works. Say the alphabet. Look at how children use the alphabet song in English to help them remember the alphabet, doing the same in a new language will also help memorise the letters and sounds.

Read out loud.

Find some reading form your course book or any other book. There are two advantages here. One you get to say the letters and words. Secondly you get to practise sounds that you expect to hear and you become accustomed to the sounds of the language.

How good do I need to be?

There is much discussion on this. For many of us the ability to get by in other languages is good enough. If we can say what we want, simply, slowly and the person we are speaking to, can understand us, then our pronunciation is probably good enough. After that it is a matter of choice. Some people become very good at other languages and get to very good levels of pronunciation. Not many of us are such gifted linguists but there’s no reason why we can’t make the words so that people can understand us.

Video Games Becoming Addictive To Children

Parents, teachers, and adults are beginning to wonder with all the research being done on video games if children are not becoming obsessive even addictive to video games. Most of the research that has been complete have focused on video games that have more of a violent theme due to the behavior now appearing in children.

Researchers do feel that there is a connection between violent video games and violent behavior in children. It is felt that when these violent video games are played repeatedly then the children will have aggressive thoughts and become less helpful to others and less sociable as well. In video games where the goal is to kill as many characters as you possible can, then the objective turns into the violent the kills are the more points that they will collect. While a child is playing such a game ninety-nine percent of the time their heart rate will increase dramatically due to the affect the game is having on them.

A study was done by three teenagers and was put on observation at an International Science and Engineering Fair in Cleveland, Ohio that showed how video games affected children who played them. The study showed that people, not only children, or all ages had a rise in blood pressure and heart rate after they played a super violent video game. However, when the same person played a nonviolent video game did not have the the same effect as the violent video game.

Children all over the world play these violent video games every day and some play for more than three or four hours a day. There will always be a debate as to whether violent video games can actually make an individual have behavior that is of an aggressive and violent nature, but the fact is that these video games are addictive to children. It is true that playing video games can help children develop their visual skills while learning about computers, which may help them in school. In fact, studies are now showing that video games can be helpful for children.

The fact is that video games are proving to help children that labeled ADD or ADHD learn how to focus their attention. Video games are often innocent bystanders to the problems in society. Video games have the potential to inspire children to learn if it is presented in the right manner to children. Video games have already proven to have the capability of improving the coordination and visual skills of children that play them.

Children tend to choose video games that have the combination of being challenging, entertaining, and complicated. Many of these video games can take up to one hundred hours of play to complete and most children will have their concentration focused on the video game the entire time. Children that are labeled with ADD and ADHD by teachers are those children that can not sit still in school, but this might just be because they find the school work boring, because the majority of these children can spend hours trying to make it to the next level of a video game.

These same children, who professionals feel can not pay attention, can play a video game for ten straight hours if given the opportunity simply because the game focuses their attention in a way school is unable to try, which is interactive. These children are not simply sitting and watching, but are participating in what is going on and solving problems.

How To Find Cheap Air Tickets While Travelling In India

The natural beauty, the myriad colours, the exotic food and the wonderful hospitality of the people are just some of the things that make India an incredible experience for tourists from all over the world. India has so much to offer that it can truly be called a complete package for travel, and this has made it one of the most popular tourist destinations on the planet. There is no shortage of places to visit and things to do in India. You can get a glimpse into the rich history and heritage of the land by visiting ancient monuments and buildings like the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort. If you wish to be close to nature, the awesome beauty of the Himalayan mountain range and the lush greenery of “God’s Own Country”, Kerala will leave you mesmerised. For those seeking pure unadulterated fun, the beaches of Goa is the place to party; while the palaces and forts of Rajasthan, the land of Kings, offer a truly regal experience.
India is a vast country – the seventh largest in terms of geographical area and the second largest in terms of population. It is a nation of variety, diversity and contrasts, all of which add to the uniqueness of the experience. It is a place where multiple cultures, languages, cuisines, customs and religions not only exist side by side but are inextricably held together, seemingly by some mystical force. India’s vastness also means that you cannot possibly cover all its destinations or even the most famous attractions in a few days. In order to really explore the country and discovers its many features, you will need to plan your trip for about two months. Touring India can be an intense and exciting experience, but does not need to be expensive. Travel, accommodation and food will all appear cheap for European and North American travellers and with a bit of planning you can get the maximum bang for your buck.
While planning your trip to India, do not forget to compare prices from different airlines and websites to get cheap air tickets to India. Most travel websites, including Airlines and Online Travel Agents offer discounted airfares on international and domestic flights. They provide you with a wide range of updated information not only on flight schedules and availability, but also destinations, cities, airports, the weather and many other things.
To make sure you get the best airfare deals, purchase your tickets well in advance, if you are sure of your travel dates. If possible, try and book your tickets 3-6 months in advance, to avail the most lucrative offers and discounts. The best deals are almost always available on the World Wide Web, so check the internet regularly and make sure your book online. Buying tickets on the internet is a completely hassle free experience which will save you a lot of money and time. With a bit of research you will also be able to find several attractive hotel deals that suit your budget and requirements.
Travel Tips for India Tours
Stick to these few basic tips and make your trip to India all the more enjoyable and hassle free.
Avoid travelling on weekends: Most Indian travellers choose to travel on a weekend, which makes it difficult to get tickets for those days.
Advance booking: If you can plan your trip to India three or more months in advance you will have a good chance of getting cheap tickets even during the peak months.
Weather in India: India is generally a hot tropical country but there are areas that get fairly cold during the winter. From March to August it is hot in most parts of the country and temperatures are known to exceed 40 degrees Celsius several places in Northern and Western India. A great way to beat the heat is to go to a hill station or resort in the Kashmir valley or Himachal Pradesh. September and November are ideal for trekking in the Himalayas. However, the best time to travel in India is between October and February, as the weather is cooler and much easier to bear. Visiting India at this time will be more comfortable and will probably allow you to cover more places. In general, the north of India is temperate, the centre is hot and dry, while the south has a sub-tropical climate.
Peak time in India: The most expensive air tickets to India are found during the peak holiday season in October as there are many Indian festivals that take place at this time. Ticket prices also rise in December and January on account of Christmas New Year.