phonetics

English vowel sounds: /ɑː/

This is video number four concerning English vowel sounds. This sound doesn’t usually involve many problems for Spanish speakers, but a little practice is necessary to avoid making the sound too long or sounding a final ‘r’. This vowel sound is a feature that distinguishes rhotic and non-rhotic varieties of English accents, meaning by accents, the different ‘englishes’ spoken in the world.

As any language that is spoken in many countries such as Spanish and French, for instance, there is a wide variety of different accents in English, such as the famous RP, Irish English or General American, just to mention a few. In RP making an ‘r’ sound in words such as car is frowned upon, while this is a typical feature of Irish English. As a teacher, I am not very worried about students pronouncing ‘rs’, but I do tend to correct this when it is too obvious or if that ‘r’ sounds a little too Spanish or it interfers in communication.

Serena’s blog

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