Michael Buckhoff’s “7 Step System to Pass the TOEFL iBT

Exam!” “Give me a power-packed TOEFL lesson!”

Pronounce your vowels clearly.

Pronounce your vowels clearly.

Listen to this post: beach-and-bitch-sheet-and-shit

On Friday, I was giving back the exam results from unit test two, and, while doing so, I called the first and last name of each student. Then, she/he came to my desk to get his/her exam. I called the name Wente Zhou (pronouncing his name [wEnte] [zaw]. There were a few chuckles in the room from my Chinese students.

“What’s so funny?” I asked.

“You just called Wente,” Hao Wu said, “a bad name in Chinese.”

After some conversation, I discovered that I had called him “bastard” in Chinese because I had mispronounced his last name. Needless to say, I apologized to Wente and then turned a few shades redder due to embarrassment.

Obviously, during the TOEFL iBT, when you complete the six speaking tasks, you need to have clear pronunciation. Furthermore, like my situation, it is possible to mispronounce some words which are similar to other words.

Consider the words “beach” and “sheet,” both of which have the high front unrounded tense vowel [i]. Some languages do not have the [i] vowel, so quite often non-native speakers may pronounce these words as “bitch” and “shit.” Additionally, because “bitch” and “shit” use the high front unrounded lax vowel, the meaning is changed, resulting in two powerful swear words objectionable to many listeners.

Like I mentioned in some of my earlier posts, it is important to pronounce mono-syllabic words accurately. You can make improvements in this area!

For more information, go here:

Michael Buckhoff’s “7 Step System to Pass the TOEFL iBT

Exam!” “I want my lesson now!”

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