Saturday, November 17, 2007

List of Reduction Sentences for ESL

"Reductions" are those reduced forms of words that native English speakers use when speaking. They are a major reason that non-native speakers say that American English is so difficult to understand, or that we talk too fast.

I try to help help my students become familiar with common reductions. I have a list I found online called, "WEINSTEIN'S (1982) HIGH-FREQUENCY REDUCED FORMS." Even though it's from 1982, it's still the same way native American English speakers speak. In addition to the list that we go over, I also write some sentences in this "nonsense" language (how American English is really spoken) and ask them to tell me how they would be said in Standard American English. Here's a list of sentences I use for one of my exercises.

Yer gonna wanna give ‘er ‘er medicine before ya leave.

Didja wanna hava glassa wine with dinner? (this is also useful for teaching the concept of "distancing" by using a past tense for a present situation)

I dunno.

I hafta go-ta work tomorrow.

Willya go-ta the store fer me?

Whatcher name?

Whadja do last night?

Whaddaya doin’?

Whacha doin’?

Does ‘e love ‘er?

Teaching ESL students about reductions particularly helps them in improving their listening skills.



ctdweller said...

Hi there,

I am very interested in learning how to teach online ESL but short of funds to pay tuition for formal classes. I was wondering how I could learn this for free. Or its possible at all.

Thanks and


Stephany said...

You may learn English inexpensively by looking for the right teacher and files.. This one is helpful though theoretical approach may help more.. when do we reduce a certain sound? Such questions like this will be answered by the linguists theories.