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Practical English Phonetics and Phonology for Cantonese Speakers


Are you struggling with the following?

  • You feel self-conscious when you speak English.
  • You feel that your Cantonese accent gets in the way when you speak English.
  • You often make pronunciation mistakes, but no one corrects you.
  • People don't understand you and often ask you to repeat yourself.
  • You want to improve your confidence and fluency when speaking English.
  • You find it hard to understand native English speakers despite learning English for much of your life.
  • You are already learning from a native English-speaking instructor, but feel that he or she doesn't understand the unique challenges you face as a native Cantonese speaker.
If you answered 'yes' to any of the above, then this course is for you! With the right guidance, you can acquire a native-like accent much sooner than you think.

What will you get out of this course?

You will be able to:
  • speak English more clearly, naturally, and confidently;
  • minimise the impact of Cantonese on your English accent;
  • understand native English speakers more easily (this will make watching English films on Netflix far more enjoyable!);
  • detect your own pronunciation errors and make continuous improvements independently.

What will you learn in this course?

This course uses the Standard Southern British English (SSBE) accent, otherwise known as Modern Received Pronunciation (Modern RP), as a model for instruction. It is divided into two parts.

Part 1: Pronunciation of single words

In the first part of the course, you will learn:
  • all of the English sounds—vowels and consonants—used in both the SSBE accent and General American, as well as their corresponding symbols in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA);
  • how to read IPA transcriptions (e.g., /prəˌnʌnsiˈeɪʃn/) and accurately produce the sounds they represent, including the correct use of word stress and weak forms;
  • how to pronounce past tense verbs ending in -ed;
  • about common pronunciation mistakes made by Cantonese speakers.
By the end of Part 1, you should be able to accurately pronounce every single word in a dictionary, in both SSBE and General American, instead of relying on a word's spelling to guess its pronunciation, which often leads to mistakes.

Part 2: Pronunciation of sentences

The second part primarily concerns fluency and intonation. You will learn:
  • the use of linking, assimilationelision, and liaison to enhance fluency;
  • the use of stress, rhythm, and intonation to convey meaning;
  • how to minimise the influence of your native language Cantonese on your English speech.
By the end of Part 2, you will be equipped with all the knowledge and skills that enable you to speak much more clearly, fluently, naturally, and—most important of all—confidently. In addition, you should be able to understand native English speakers more easily.

Who is this course for?

This course is suitable for anyone who loves the SSBE accent and wants to improve their pronunciation and listening skills. However, you will find the course especially helpful if you fall under any of the following categories:
  • You need to take an exam, such as the LPAT, the HKDSE exam, or the IELTS, where English speaking is assessed;
  • You are an English teacher and want to help your students improve their speaking and listening skills, but you lack the training in phonetics and phonology necessary to help them;
  • You are working, or intending to work, in a profession where English-speaking proficiency is taken seriously, such as law and finance;
  • You intend to move to an English-speaking country for study, work, or immigration purposes.

What sets this course apart from similar offerings on the market?

As one of a handful of teachers with native-level fluency in both English and Cantonese, I have created this course with the Cantonese speaker in mind. I use a targeted approach to help you acquire a natural English accent in the shortest possible time. Differences between Cantonese and English pronunciation are highlighted at various points throughout the course, allowing you to quickly identify weak points in order to acquire a natural English accent.

Course details

Number of lessons: 6 (one 2-hour lesson per week; 12 hours total)
Structure: The course is designed as an interactive workshop, with plenty of time for discussion and questions.
Platform: Zoom
Medium of instruction: Cantonese supplemented with English

If you have any questions that are not covered here, please feel free to contact me.

June 2022 Classes

Class

Day and Time (Hong Kong Time)

Start Date

Status

Class A


Tuesday 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

7 June 2022

Full

Class B


Wednesday 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

8 June 2022

Full

Class C


Saturday 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

11 June 2022

Full

July 2022 Classes

Class

Day and Time (Hong Kong Time)

Start Date

Status

Class A


Thursday 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

7 July 2022

Full

Class B


Friday 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

8 July 2022

Full

Class C


Saturday 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

9 July 2022

Full