Sunday, June 7, 2009

Steve Martin and learning English pronunciation -- Somebody has to make a Korean version of this, lol.

Jason: Are you cold?
Student: Uh?
Jason: Are you cooooolllld?
Student: Uhhh?!
Jason: Are you c-o-l-d?
Student: AH! CORD! Are you CORD?! Hahahahahah . . . No, no cord.
Jason: (sigh) Good . . .

I think someone should make a video of the common pronunciation errors for Korean students, and make it a comedy. It could have the foreigner speaking Korean words, and then a Korean speaking English words to make things fair to both sides of the pronunciation fence . . .

Here's Steve Martin--as a Frenchman--trying to 'speak like an American' . . . something Koreans want to do too, and perhaps shouldn't want . . .


Catherine said...

That's hilarious and so accurate!

One of my middle school students asked me how to spell a certain word. The closest approximation I could come up with for what she was saying was "purple mints." That, of course, made no sense. After about five minutes, I finally realized she was trying to say "performance."

Likewise, Koreans, especially older people, have NO IDEA what I'm trying to say sometimes. It does definitely go both ways.

You should make a video and post it here.

Jeff said...

I think one of the biggest problems is that correct pronunciation techniques are not know by many language teachers. Steve Martin's teacher just asks him to repeat after her and say it more slowly. Sadly, I've seen a lot of teachers do the same thing. Where are the techniques? The explanations of voiced and voiceless constants? The linking?
This is why accent reduction specialists ( is one of the fasting growing fields.

Jason said...

Hi Jeff,

Good points . . . teacher training in EFL methods doesn't seem to happen often here for foreign instructors . ..

I'll check out the website later.

Thanks for putting it up.

Jeff said...

Thanks Jason.

I think pronunciation is overlooked everywhere. Like in all fields, it seems to depend more on the teacher and his or her skills and experience, than a piece of paper.