Are there any letter combinations that have as many different sounds as -ough in English?

As far as I know, the -ough grouping has the biggest pronunciation variation of any group in English. /ʌf/ enough, hough, rough, slough, tough (rhymes with stuff) /ɒf~ɔːf/ cough, trough (rhymes with off) /trɔːθ/ trough (by some speakers of American English rhymes with cloth) /aʊ/ bough, drought, plough (rhymes with cow) /oʊ/ dough, furlough, though Read More …

How can I speak English like a native speaker if I’ve already lived for years in an English-speaking country and have yet to reach this level of fluency?

I understand this question has been asked many times but what I want to know is a little different. I can carry on conversation pretty easily but feel I still have many lacking I want to improve. One major problem I have noticed from last 4-5 years that though practising and talking a decent amount Read More …

Do native English speakers learn the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) when they start to learn English as children in kindergarten or primary school?

The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is intended to represent pronunciation. When learning a new language, using the IPA allows learners to map spelling to new pronunciations. The IPA helps you pronounce words you have never heard. Native English learners learn pronunciation long before school. They learn to speak by listening to their parents, friends, TV Read More …

What is your methodology for teaching English as a foreign language?

Don’t try to teach English. At least for teenage and above who are past foundation level. Teach something interesting – art, history, simple science, geography, natural history, environmental issues, sport, etc. The English learning will happen along the way. The idea is to spark a lively discussion where the students are the ones asking the Read More …