Click here to listen to this post. [Link to today’s handout is below.]
In an effort to help a learner master the consonant sounds in English, I recently decided to rename the traditional consonant groupings based on the manner of articulation. Why? I question if the textbook terminology has real value for a student who has no background in linguistics and no intention of becoming a language teacher. “Affricates” and “Approximants” are words that are difficult to remember. To give you an idea of my alternative labels, I started referring to The “Chain” Group, which includes /tʃ, dʒ/, and The “Railway” Group, which includes /w, l, r, y/. Using a key word seemed more logical.
In addition, on all my materials I’m color coding these groups to help the student remember the manner of aticulation. We’ve also spent time on distinguishing sounds within a group based on place of articulation. I feel this approach has gone well so far, so I’ve decided to share a handout based on my user-friendly terminology. Click here to view my Categories of Consonants_handout. I hope it makes pronunciation concepts related to consonant sounds more accessible for your students, too.