Welcome to class!
In today’s class, we will be talking about pure vowels, articles and writing skills. Enjoy the class!
Pure Vowels, Articles and Writing Skills
There are twenty vowel sounds in the English Language. You’ve probably heard of some of them. They are generally categorized into two groups: monophthongs and diphthongs. Monophthongs have just one sound each, they are pronounced with simplicity that requires no glide, and this is why they are referred to as Pure Vowels. There are 12 monophthongs in the English Language. Diphthongs, on the other hand, have two sounds each such that one sound glides into another. We have 8 diphthongs in the English Language. That makes 20.
Since our focus in this class is on the pure vowel, let’s delve straight into it.
These are the monophthongs (pure vowels) we have in the English Language. Notice that they are further subdivided into short vowels and long vowels:
/ sit, village, simple
/ book, could, butcher
bury, friend, many
/ novel, cough, impasse
/æ/ sang, anger, plait
/˄/ blood, colour, brother
/ə/ again, picture, labour
:/ police, machine, field
/ rude, through, crew
/ɜ:/ church, adjourn, courtesy
/ɔ:/ fork, mourn, daughter
/ɑ:/ branch, sergent, after
Today, try to master the 12 monophthongs above and learn to recognize them. Then look up 5 more examples in your dictionary for each of them and write them down.
We use Articles to modify nouns in the English Language. When you modify a noun with an article, the combination you have is called‘noun phrase’.
There are two types of articles, they are definite (the) and indefinite (a, an) articles.
We often use the definite article (the) to modify:
- singular count nouns: the room, the man, the book
- plural count nouns: the rooms, the men, the books
- mass nouns: the water, the air, the petrol
Indefinite articles (a, an) are basically used to modify:
- singular count nouns: a room, a man, a book
Note that we use the article ‘a’ if the noun after it begins with a consonant sound (not letter) and article ‘an’ if the noun after it begins with a vowel sound (not letter).
Writing is not as hard as it seems, but many students don’t know this. Today, I will tell you how to handle it better than before so your writing can go top-notch. That doesn’t mean after this class, the spirit of writing will jump on you and then you will automatically be able to write better. It only means if you master the tips I give you here, it will go a long way in pushing your writing skill to that up-level you’ve always wanted.
If you remember, I mentioned in your first class that being able to recognize parts of speech helps you to know how to join them together to form meaningful streams of syntax.
But to be able to create a good write up, you must cultivate the habit of reading such write-ups. No one wakes up one day and starts cutting cloths for sewing. They watch how others do it until they’ve learned all the rudiments of sowing, then they can now start doing the same. The same procedure applies to every other skill humans engage in. Always read the essay answers written by people who were once students like you and are printed in your Past Questions and Answers (for WASSCE, SSCE, NECO & GCE).
The next thing to learn is how to capture your thoughts and convert them into words. You have the ability to imagine, but most students don’t know how to track their imagination down or how to convert it to words. To do that, always pay attention to what goes on in your mind and never let it slip off without you penning it down, which leads me to the last point I want to mention under this topic.
Write always. You cannot be good at writing if you don’t write. Most students only write when their teachers ask them to write an essay in class or as an assignment. That should not be so. Now that you’ve learned how to capture your words and track it down, learn how to pen it down and keep doing that. If possible, keep a journal and document your daily experiences and activities in it. By doing that, you will be able to track the changes you are making as you increase your writing skill.
If you focus on doing those important points mentioned above diligently, you will increase your writing skills in no time.
In our next class, we will be talking about Conjunctions, Formal Letter and Poetry. We hope you enjoyed the class.
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