One of the most popular lessons in my ESL is the “Relaxed Pronunciation” lesson.
In this lesson, we review a blog post from Dictionary.com and then make a list of words that are truly “American.”
From the post:
Pronunciation is defined as “the conventional patterns of treatment of the sound and stress patterns of a syllable or word.” Relaxed pronunciation, also called word slurring or condensed pronunciation, happens when those syllables are phonetically melded together to create a shortened form of a word or phrase.
The biggest complaint that I get from students who work and attend class is that the grammar, vocabulary, and readings we learn don’t help when they are waiting on the average American.
Americans DO speak a certain way. It’s called “Relaxed English”. We talk fast, we drop endings, we blend words. In the Philly area, three people can say the same thing and sound completely different! The Teen and The Boy speak really proper, but know how to speak ‘hood if we happen to get lost in West Philly. Likewise, if mi gemela (twin) calls, I’m sure to the observer, I don’t sound like myself, but an animated, fast talking blur. Some students get so frustrated they shy away from speaking English because they just don’t understand what is being said.
So far I’ve compiled the following list:
- Did you –Didja
- Could you – Couldja or Couldya
- Would you – Wouldya or Wouldja
- Want to – Wanna
- Going to – Gonna
- Give me – Gimme
- Let me – Lemme
- Should have – Shoulda
- Would have – Woulda
- Could have – Coulda
- Have to – Hafta
- Got to – Gotta
- What a – Whatta
- And by special request, from Jerry Springer, “Who is she? Who is she?”
So my ESL class will continue to love me, what other words can you think of that I can share with the class?