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The Importance of Phonemes in ELF (English as a Lingua Franca)

The Importance of Phonemes in ELF (English as a Lingua Franca)   Back in graduate school, way back in graduate school, I learned of the importance of supra-segmentals. The idea was that supra-segmental features, things like stress, rhythm, and intonation, are more important for improved intelligibility than segmentals, the individual phonemes. It made sense and […]

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Phonemic Awareness and Word Learning My earlier posts give an overview of the research in phoneme acquisition and discuss the best way to teach phonemic awareness. I believe these posts offer a basic understanding of the what and the how of phonemic training. My next posts will focus on the why. They will answer the […]

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Phonemic Awareness and Phonics Phonics is the method of teaching beginning readers to connect the sounds of spoken language with letters. Children are taught the letters and the sounds the letters “stand for.” This is NOT the same thing as phonemic or phonological awareness. The terms are not interchangeable.  To be clear, phonological and phonemic awareness are not […]

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I presented at a recent ETJ Expo on phoneme acquisition, which is what I’ve been posting about in this blog. One of the questions that arose was about the Native Language Magnet Theory (NLM). I have already written on the topic, and in this post I will say a bit more. I will briefly place […]

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The Best Technique for Phonemic Training  The last two posts pointed out that before children speak their native language, they create a sound map which requires a perceptive shift from distinguishing all sounds to only distinguishing the sounds of their native language.  This is not to say that children cannot learn L2 sounds. On the […]

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The Native Language Magnet Theory In the last post, I discussed the research showing that children lose the ability to hear non-native sounds at 1-year of age. And as I said in the post, a video demonstrating this can be found in the Theory section at aka-kara.com. In this post, I will discuss one of […]

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At One-year of Age People, a lot of them anyway, do not want to believe what I am about to say: Children lose the ability to hear L2 phonemes at around 1-year of age. (Werker & Tees, 1983).  This is fact, but when I point it out, reactions range from skepticism to outright denial. People […]

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My name is Jim Jensen. I am the President, CEO, and only employee of Aka-Kara English. This is my first blog post and, as stated in the title, this blog will focus on the sounds of English. My hope is to provide readers with valuable information and a place to share ideas. That said, while […]

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