In an earlier posting of mine, “Showing students how to pronounce English properly”, I wrote about how I showed a student of mine how to properly pronounce the sounds “er” (as in “waiter”) and “ir” (as in “birthday”), as well as “th” (as in “the”) using the Smith’s curriculum. You can read about it by clicking here.
A few days ago, I showed a student of mine how to properly pronounce “sh” (as in “she”) and “s” (as in “sea”). Although she can well pronounce some other sounds that can be quite challenging for students (such as “er”), she still needs work on her pronunciation of “sh” and “s”. I was using Smith’s curriculum with her (“The Baby”, changed into past tense), which had the word “she” in it. She pronounced it incorrectly, so I explained how to position her mouth and tongue to properly pronounce the “sh” sound, giving her a trick I’d found to help make it easier to pronounce. She asked me how the sound “s” is pronounced and I showed her the position of the mouth and tongue for that too. I then compared both, showing that they were very different. My student watched me, listened and repeated after me. The sound “s” was easier for her to get, but “sh” was quite challenging. Eventually, she got both sounds right, but “sh” was hard to get right everytime she tried to pronounce it. Hearing her get them right made me happy. She did a great job! I asked her to practice for homework. I think that with practice, she’ll eventually be able to always pronounce the sounds “s” and “sh” right. I applaud her effort!