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IELTS Preparation Series 2, Episode 22: Phonics

September 3, 2016

 

(Bấm vào đây để xem/nghe bài kế tiếp)

 

Xem lời thoại bên dưới:

 

0:13

Hello. I'm Margot Politis. Welcome to Study English, IELTS preparation.

0:19

Have you ever wished you knew more words when you were reading or listening? Well, today

0:24

we're going to show you how you can - just by guessing!

0:29

It will take a little bit of effort, but you can learn strategies to help you guess the

0:33

meaning of words you may not know.

0:36

One of the strategies is using context to guess unknown words.

0:41

But what is context? Well, context includes the words, phrases or sentences before and

0:50

after the unknown word, which helps make the meaning clear.

0:54

Let's consider an example. Today's story is about helping children learn to read.

1:01

Here, Chris Brooks is using the phonics method. If you don't know what the phonics method

1:07

is, can you work it out from the other words used by the reporter? Listen carefully.

1:20

Chris Brooks is teaching Ashley with what's called the phonics method, which was used

1:24

by most teachers til the '50s. It breaks words down into their individual sounds.

1:29

Well, as you've seen, Sonya, what we've done is we've worked with some letters that have

1:34

a variety of sounds, so the letter 'c' had two sounds, the 'k' sound and the 'ss' sound,

1:40

and you can see with our colour-coding, one's purple and one's black, and the same with

1:43

the letter 's', it has a 'ss' sound and 'zz' sound, so they're their common sounds.

1:49

The reporter uses the following words and phrases:

1:54

teaching

1:56

phonics method

1:57

used by teachers and

2:00

breaks words down into their individual sounds

2:05

So we can guess that phonics is a method used by teachers that breaks words down into their

2:12

individual sounds.

2:13

So using the context, the words surrounding the word phonics, we have some understanding

2:23

of it.

2:23

Let's now listen to Chris Brooks again. What other words or phrases help us with the meaning

2:31

of phonics?

2:32

Well, as you've seen, Sonya, what we've done is we've worked with some letters that have

2:36

a variety of sounds, so the letter 'c' had two sounds, the 'k' sound and the 'ss' sound,

2:42

and you can see with our colour-coding, one's purple and one's black, and the same with

2:45

the letter 's', it has a 'ss' sound and 'zz' sound, so they're their common sounds.

2:51

Chris uses the phrases:

2:54

some letters that have a variety of sounds

2:57

the letter c had two sounds

3:03

the k sound and the ss sound

3:06

colour-coding

3:07

the letter s

3:08

a ss sound and zz sound

3:15

So we can guess that the method focuses on letters that have a variety of sounds, for

3:21

example letter c, which has two sounds - k and s.

3:28

We also know that colour coding is used to help recognise common sounds, and that the

3:35

letter s has an ss sound and zz sound.

3:41

So, we have quite a bit of information about phonics now. From the various contexts we've

3:47

listened to, can you guess the meaning of the word phonics? How would you define it?

3:54

Here's a possible guess:

3:55

Phonics is a method that teaches people to read by learning to recognise the sounds that

4:03

letters represent.

4:06

Remember, you don't always need a dictionary to find the meaning of a word. Using the strategy

4:12

of guessing the meaning of a word from the context helps with your ability to understand,

4:17

partly because you stay focussed on what you're listening to.

4:23

It also helps build your vocabulary because you're more likely to remember the word. This

4:29

skill is very helpful in the IELTS Listening test because you won't have a dictionary to

4:34

assist you.

4:39

Here's a quick test to try out your skills.

4:43

Can you guess the meaning of the highlighted words from the context?

4:46

Statistics show that over one-eighth of the adult population in developing countries is

4:55

illiterate. Governments have set up educational centres to teach this group to read and write.

5:05

What does illiterate mean?

5:08

We know that it's an educational matter related to teaching people to read and write, and

5:14

that it's a large problem in developing countries.

5:19

Illiterate would mean not able to read or write.

5:24

Here's another one.

5:26

John loved singing, so he auditioned for all the musicals. The directors liked the way

5:34

he sang.

5:37

What does auditioned mean?

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We know that John loves to sing, and he sang for directors, the people directing the musicals.

5:46

So from this we can guess that auditioned means performed a song for directors to judge

5:54

whether someone is good enough to be in their show.

5:57

OK, now we're going to have a look at the verb to be. To be usually functions as an

6:08

auxiliary verb.

6:11

But sometimes the verb to be can function as the main verb. That's when it links the

6:17

subject and an expression that describes the subject. For example, look at the sentence:

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Chris is a phonics teacher.

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Is here is the main verb because it links the expression phonics teacher to the subject

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Chris.

6:36

OK. The reporter quotes children's author Mem Fox on literacy. What does she say about

6:45

Australia's literacy rate?

6:50

Internationally acclaimed children's author Mem Fox says the crisis is a myth and Australia's

6:55

literacy rate is second only to Finland.

6:59

Mem Fox says: The crisis is a myth.

7:03

When the verb to be is used as the main verb in a sentence, what follows is called the

7:10

complement. This complement defines the subject.

7:16

The structure of these linking verb clauses or sentences is:

7:21

subject + to be + the complement

7:25

So we have the subject, the crisis, the linking verb, is, and the complement, a myth.

7:36

The crisis is a myth.

7:40

Listen to the clip again.

7:44

Internationally acclaimed children's author Mem Fox says the crisis is a myth and Australia's

7:49

literacy rate is second only to Finland.

7:52

Australia's literacy rate is second only to Finland.

7:59

Let's look at the structure of the sentence.

8:02

The subject is Australias literacy rate.

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We have a form of the verb to be - is

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and then the complement - second only to Finland.

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Second only to is an interesting expression that means, in this sentence, Australia has

8:24

the second best literacy rate in the world. Finland is number one.

8:30

Let's look at another clip. Can you find another example where a complement is used?

8:37

She says we've achieved that by using a range of reading techniques, including phonics,

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but phonics alone isn't a magical cure for reading problems.

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She says: Phonics isn't a magical cure.

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The subject is phonics.

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The verb to be -isn't, short for is not

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and the complement - a magical cure.

9:03

And that's all for today's study English.

9:05

Let's review what we've looked at.

9:08

We talked about looking at context to guess the meaning of words.

9:14

And then we looked at using the verb to be to link subjects and their complements.

9:20

Don't forget to visit our Study English website to find out more - it's at abcasiapacific.com/studyenglish.

9:30

That's all for today. I'll see you next time for more IELTS preparation. Bye bye.

 

 

 

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