VII. Sibilants: Judging George. by Soraya Rodríguez - ESL for Spanish Students and Teachers - Barcelona

Soraya Rodríguez

ESL for Spanish Students and Teachers

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VII. Sibilants: Judging George.



/ˈdʒʌdʒɪŋ dʒɔːdʒ/


/tʃ/ vs. /dʒ/


The third pair of sibilants students are normally introduced to is /tʃ/ as in “chair” –for which you do not need your voice, as well as its voiced counterpart which is /dʒ/as in “juice”.
 

How and Why?

 

The way in which it is trained is by making sure students know that all they need to do is use their voice in order to replicate the one they find difficult, which is /dʒ/. /tʃ/ exists in Spanish and does not differ from the English articulation of /tʃ/.

By contrast, /tʃ/’s voiced counterpart (/dʒ/), together with /ʒ/ (https://oxinity.com/soraya.rodriguez/blog?post=552), will surely be an issue. It is also one of the most difficult consonant phonemes to articulate by a Spanish adult and it requires a lot of training as well as, of course, some encouraging. The way in which it is trained is by making sure students know that all they need to do is use their voice in order to replicate /dʒ/ from /tʃ/.

Training this phoneme could also be arduous and problematic for ESL teachers rather than challenging. In order to help this situation, it is main that students be constantly reminded that their mouths need to do /tʃ/ -as in chair- in order to do /dʒ/. Why? Because, otherwise, Spanish students will keep adapting that phoneme to what the closest sound in Spanish is to us, which is /ɟʝ/ as in “yema” /’ɟʝema/* –Spanish for “yolk”.

/dʒ/ and /ɟʝ/ are different in point and manner of articulation. Yet, it is our closest phoneme with voice and adapting by approximation is unavoidable language regardless. Therefore, in order to avoid it, you will need to remind them constantly that their mouths need to do /tʃ/ as in “chair” and add their voice onto it.

--> If you articulate /tʃ/ you do not need your voice. If you add your voice onto /tʃ/, you will articulate /dʒ/. Thus, we can say that both /tʃ/ and /dʒ/ are the same but one of them requires your voice (/dʒ/) while the other one does not (/tʃ/).
In short: /tʃ/ + voice = /dʒ/
 

Training

 

As in previous blog entries, the best way to train a phoneme that does not exist in the Spanish Phonetic Alphabet is by helping students replicate it by itself first given that they do not know it even if they hear it.

Once they know how to replicate it on its on, I would keep training it using one-syllable words that start by /dʒ/ just once.

--> You could try with just /dʒʌst/, gel /dʒɛl/, jam /dʒæm/ and June /dʒuːn/.

A very successful exercise even though it takes very long is the one in which they can replicate the phoneme twice in the same one-syllable word like "George". Having students articulate the last /dʒ/ is a real challenge as they tend to go back to /tʃ/ making it sound like “Georch”.

--> Try George, judge or change. Use one of them and help them replicate it accurately (/’dʒʌdʒ/). Once they have managed to do so, ask them to replicate the same word twice in a row (/’dʒʌdʒ/, /’dʒʌdʒ/). Once they have managed to do so, ask them to replicate the same word three times in a row (/’dʒʌdʒ/, /’dʒʌdʒ/, /’dʒʌdʒ/). Keep doing that and check how many times they can articulate the same word in a row accurately until they have to breath again.

Then, move on to words that include /dʒ/ and are recurrent like manager, management and manage as well as names like Jennifer or John.

--> You could try challenge /ˈ tʃælɪndʒ/, general /ˈdʒɛnərəl/, gender / ˈdʒɛndə/, courage /ˈkʌrɪdʒ /, Jonathan /ˈdʒɒnəθən/, Joe /ˈdʒəʊ/ and Julia / dʒuːlɪə/.

This one would take a lot of work and effort. Go for it and help them. Keep it up!


This is just a brief explanation of what Spanish ESL classrooms should have included in Pronunciation lessons, for more examples and suggested exercises, in my opinion, both teachers and students should get a hold of Ann Baker’s “Ship or Sheep” https://www.cambridge.org/elt/shiporsheep/default.asp, which has proven to be incredibly successful.



So… If you’d like to keep reading about it, wait for my next post or send me a message on LinkedIn /link-tin/ if you think you can’t wait! ;) linkedin.com/in/soraya-rodríguez-a49b3412a

*Spanish pronunciation of “yema” is very close to English “yolk” -/’jəʊk/, as in “Europe” /ˈjʊərəp/, “year” /’jɪə/ or “yogurt” /ˈjɒgəːt/. That’s why they are more likely to say /ˈmænɪjə/ instead of /ˈmænɪdʒə/ for “manager” and /’juːs/ instead of /dʒuːs/ for “juice”.

--> Please contact me too -teacher or student- if you think you can help these posts by adding extra info, issues and/or ideas. Help me make things better!

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