Christian A. Aguilar Valentín

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Phonetics for 12th Grade (Advanced Class)
My name is Christian Aguilar, I'm in the English Department and I am studying to be an English teacher in the University of Puerto Rico in Aguadilla. My desire is to become a secondary class English teacher, having as my goal to prepare children and adolescents for their university years and for life itself. I'm currently taking the online course TEED 4020 and in it I am learning how to teach a class online.
The subject I will be teaching is Articulatory phonetics, which is concerned with the articulation of speech: The position, shape, and movement of articulators or speech organs, such as the lips, tongue, and vocal folds. The skills I want to cover for this period is how to produce the correct pronunciation of consonants and teach them the corresponding phonetic symbols for each consonant sound.
In this module I will prepare the a advanced group of 12th grade students for college by successfully having them learn better pronunciation and have them leave the classroom with the knowledge they need beforehand.
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For me to see how much you know about the subject, please click on the link below and take the following pretest:

Here you will find some useful information in a interactive web application, PDF file, a educational video, a link to a educational website that cover the subject that you will be evaluated on, among other tools:
Interactive Learning Web Application:
PDF File:
Informational Webpage:
Educational Video:

These are the principal parts of the vocal tract:
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The following are the individual manners of articulation:

  • Plosive, or oral stop, where there is complete occlusion (blockage) of both the oral and nasal cavities of the vocal tract, and therefore no air flow. Examples include English /p t k/ (voiceless) and /b d g/ (voiced). If the consonant is voiced, the voicing is the only sound made during occlusion; if it is voiceless, a plosive is completely silent. What we hear as a /p/ or /k/ is the effect that theonset of the occlusion has on the preceding vowel, as well as the release burst and its effect on the following vowel. The shape and position of the tongue (the place of articulation) determine the resonant cavity that gives different plosives their characteristic sounds. All languages have plosives.
  • Nasal stop, usually shortened to nasal, where there is complete occlusion of the oral cavity, and the air passes instead through the nose. The shape and position of the tongue determine the resonant cavity that gives different nasal stops their characteristic sounds. Examples include English /m, n/. Nearly all languages have nasals, the only exceptions being in the area of Puget Sound and a single language on Bougainville Island.
  • Fricative, sometimes called spirant, where there is continuous frication (turbulent and noisy airflow) at the place of articulation. Examples include English /f, s/ (voiceless), /v, z/ (voiced), etc. Most languages have fricatives, though many have only an /s/. However, the Indigenous Australian language are almost completely devoid of fricatives of any kind.
  • Sibilants are a type of fricative where the airflow is guided by a groove in the tongue toward the teeth, creating a high-pitched and very distinctive sound. These are by far the most common fricatives. Fricatives at coronal (front of tongue) places of articulation are usually, though not always, sibilants. English sibilants include /s/ and /z/.
  • Lateral Fricatives are a rare type of fricative, where the frication occurs on one or both sides of the edge of the tongue. The "ll" of Welsh and the "hl" of Zulu are lateral fricatives.
  • Affricate, which begins like a plosive, but this releases into a fricative rather than having a separate release of its own. The English letters "ch" and "j" represent affricates. Affricates are quite common around the world, though less common than fricatives.
  • Flap, often called a tap, is a momentary closure of the oral cavity. The "tt" of "utter" and the "dd" of "udder" are pronounced as a flap in North American and Australian English. Many linguists distinguish taps from flaps, but there is no consensus on what the difference might be. No language relies on such a difference. There are also lateral flaps.
  • Trill, in which the articulator (usually the tip of the tongue) is held in place, and the airstream causes it to vibrate. The double "r" of Spanish "perro" is a trill. Trills and flaps, where there are one or more brief occlusions, constitute a class of consonant called rhotics.
  • Approximant, where there is very little obstruction. Examples include English /w/ and /r/. In some languages, such as Spanish, there are sounds that seem to fall between fricative and approximant.
  • One use of the word semivowel, sometimes called a glide, is a type of approximant, pronounced like a vowel but with the tongue closer to the roof of the mouth, so that there is slight turbulence. In English, /w/ is the semivowel equivalent of the vowel /u/, and /j/ (spelled "y") is the semivowel equivalent of the vowel /i/ in this usage. Other descriptions use semivowel for vowel-like sounds that are not syllabic, but do not have the increased stricture of approximants. These are found as elements in diphthongs. The word may also be used to cover both concepts.
  • Lateral approximants, usually shortened to lateral, are a type of approximant pronounced with the side of the tongue. English /l/ is a lateral. Together with the rhotics, which have similar behavior in many languages, these form a class of consonant called liquids.

Places of articulation

Movement of the tongue and lips can create these constrictions and by forming the oral cavity in different ways, different sounds can be produced.
When producing a [b], [p] or [m] articulation is done by bringing both lips together.
[f] and [v] are also used with the lips. They however are also articulated by touching the bottom lip to the upper teeth.
[θ] and [ð] These sounds are both spelled as "th". They are pronounced by inserting the tip of the tongue between the teeth. (θ as in think) (ð as in thy)
[t][d][n][s][z][l][r] These seven sounds are produced in many ways where the tongue is raised towards the alveolar ridge.
[ʃ][ʒ][ʧ][ʤ][j] With these sounds the constriction occurs by raising the front part of the tongue to the palate.
[k][g][ŋ] With these sounds, the constriction occurs by raising the back part of the tongue to the soft palate or the velum. They are generally the final or initial sounds of words. For example: bac[k] or ba[g].
[h][ʔ] the sound [h] is from the flow of air coming from an open glottis, past the tongue and lips as they prepare to pronounce a vowel sound, which always follows [h]. If the air is stopped completely at the glottis by tightly closed vocal chords the sound upon release of the chords is called a glottal stop [ʔ].
[ʀ][q][ԍ] these sounds are produced by raising the back of the tongue to the uvula. The the 'r' in french is often a uvular trill (symbolized by [ʀ]). The uvular sounds [q] and [ԍ] occur in Arabic. These do not normally occur in English.

The following are the symbols for transcribing English vowels and consonants, the column on the left are the symbols, the column on the middle show examples of words that show you how the symbol is pronounced, and the right column is how the whole word is written in symbols.

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Activities (Assignments)
  • Oral Assignment: For the first activity, you will be assigned a symbol. You will look up at least five words that match the pronunciation of the given symbol and create sentences with each word you choose. Then you will present it orally in class.
  • Pronunciation: In the second activity I will evaluate you by hearing you pronounce certain symbols, letters, words, and sentences.
  • Your Name: By now you should have the knowledge to write longer words and even short sentences in the phonetic language. The third activity is simple: Write your first and last name in the phonetic language.

Evaluation: Please click on the link below to take the quiz. (50 pts)


Name in
Phonetics Language

Teacher's Section
English Content Standards and Grade-Level Expectation

The student uses the English language to interpret oral input, construct meaning, interact with confidence both verbally and nonverbally, and express ideas effectively in a variety of personal, social, and academic contexts.

The student:

L/S.12.2 Listens and responds to synthesize, explain, describe, analyze, justify, and debate information; answers and formulates closed and openended questions.

L/S.12.4 Expresses thoughts and opinions to evaluate text, debate current events, concepts, and literary elements; makes predictions and inferences, as well as draws conclusions from listening to a variety of texts, performances, and multimedia sources; listens to sort and prioritize information.

1. Creativity and Innovation: Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology
2. Communication and Collaboration: Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.
3. Research and Information Fluency: Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.
4. Technology Operations and Concepts:Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations.