Lesson 1 (from Preface to Pygmalion. A Professor of Phonetics)
Preface: As he states in his Preface to the play, Shaw believes that phonetics is one of the most important areas of study being explored in his time. In fact, Pygmalion is a play about phonetics. The objective of this lesson is to explore the study of phonetics.
1) Warm-up Exercise: Have students look in their dictionaries to find examples of words that are not spelled the way they sound (e.g., through, knife, would, were). Write such words on the board. Ask students to come up with simplified spellings of these words (e.g., thru, nif, wud, wir). Are these simplified spellings easier to pronounce, or might they still be confusing? How could the spellings be refined to avoid confusion? Have students compare their simplified spelling examples with the phonetic spelling for the words given in the dictionary.
2) Class Discussion: Why does Shaw believe that...
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