Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The problem with the English language

Curious George is playing a computer game to help him with Math skills. He can count to 10 without a problem, but up 20 it's a little shaky, especially 13 and 14. Mainly, that he pronounces them the same way. He has had this problem for a while and I remember mentioning it to Daddy, but he didn't think there's a problem. Now there is. Ha!

The 'th' sound on thirteen, and the 'f' sound on fourteen sounds too similar. The mouth shape is even the same. The only difference is the tongue placement. But how do you teach the subtlety to a 4yr old? My initial solution was teach him that the number 13 starts with a T and that he should pronounce it as such - "Tirteen". At this point my husband would look at me and tell me to ease off as he really is pronouncing it right by saying "thaaa".

Now it's really a problem. Because he pronounces them the same way, he also has a problem differentiating by recognition. Understandably, if he were given a verbal instruction to pick the number 13, he may pick either 13 or 14 if both are one of the choices.

My solution - to teach him the Filipino way of pronouncing "th", which basically means ignore the "h" and say it as a hard "t". Thirteen is now henceforth called "Tirteen". :)

Now he knows the difference by sound. It shall take practice, but problem solved. ;)

Me and my sometimes funny pronounciations can come in handy.

To Daddy, I say "TIEF" and not "THIEF"! We miss you!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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