The Wrong Way, The Right Way: Practice with /ŋ/

I still remember how years and years ago one of my brothers pointed out that I was not pronouncing “ringing” correctly. Oh, those troublesome Gs. Despite that early warning, I continued to fall into the pattern of making a “g” /g/ even when the combination of “ng” represented only one sound: /ŋ/.  It wasn’t until a student caught me saying a hard “g” when I should have said /ŋ/ that I began to self-correct.

It’s helpful for me to teach students the /ŋ/ sound now because it truly makes me aware of the mechanics needed for correct production. I like a balance between drills and meaningful practice. The drilling is equivalent to calisthenics for the articulators. The meaningful practice gives a fuller, more authentic context for the target sound.

Here’s a set of exercises to help learners correctly produce the /ŋ/sound. Please see The Wrong Way, The Right Way_handout.

Also, I’ve found Linda Lane’s and Gerald Kelly’s student-friendly explanations for /ŋ/ very helpful. Linda Lane is the author of Tips for Teaching Pronunciation (2010), and Gerald Kelly is the author of How to Teach Pronunciation (2008).

3 Comments Add yours

  1. sultan23c says:

    I am really thankful. You gave me your own vision, ideas, and I’m really enjoing your style of presentation.
    English pronunciation is always a big problem for English learners.
    My English pronunciation is not very good. Please give me some advice.
    How can I improve my pronunciation skills?
    As a Problem faced by Pakistani.

    1. I’m glad my ideas are helpful. For each reader, some posts here will be more relevant than others. I’m not able to comment specifically on the pronunciation difficulties faced by Pakistani learners, but I’ll give some thought in my next post to some general practices that can improve pronunciation.

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