This is an 'English Pronunciation Exercise' by students in the Communication Skills Class at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities USSH, Ho Chi Minh City. Over the past six years the classes have attracted learners from various disciplines - including: engineers, lawyers, estate agents, civil servants, medics, economists, admin and bank staff, house wives, teachers, pharmacists as well as students from other universities, schools and colleges around HCMC. The letter 'S' is one of the most challenging letter in the English language for most Vietnamese learners. Not many names include the letter 's' and the letter 's' occasionally appears in the spoken language, while, hardly ever in the form of 'consonant clusters'. Of course there are consonant clusters in the Vietnamese language -- Many of my students' names demonstrate this fact e.g. Trang, Thien, Thuy, Tri, Nguyen, Thi, Thao, Khunong, Nga, Truc, Thieu, Khanh, Truong, Thanh, Phuong etc.
WHAT IS A CONSONANT CLUSTER? A consonant cluster is a group or sequence of consonants that appear together (in a syllable) without a vowel between them.
Here are some examples: clue, green, flood, fresco, street, probably, emphasise, clear, squats, stream, style, trots, stripe, fridge, trolley, sister, answer, driven, senses, sight, sound, smell, strategy, quick, track, climb, fry, fresh, stress, start, story, chronology, geography, exactly, six disks, extraordinary etc.
Please note: consonant clusters can appear at the beginning, middle or end of words.
The following Tongue Twister is designed to help learners have fun while learning English - this is also a vocabulary lesson!!
She sells sea shells by the sea shore
The shells she sells are surely sea shells
So if she sells shells on the sea shore
I am sure she sells sea shore shells
Text prepared by Jess Corrigan, Communication Skills Facilitator USSH 2012