What Is The IPA? An Introduction To The International Phonetic Alphabet
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If you hear the abbreviation IPA, do you think of beer? If you do, then this is for you. In the linguistics world, IPA stands for the International Phonetic Alphabet. It’s a very useful tool to have at your disposal in the EFL classroom, but you need to know what it is to be able to use it!
What is the International Phonetic Alphabet?
The IPA is a system of phonetic notation used to represent the different sounds of languages. It allows us to transcribe words in different languages and pronounce them correctly, no matter the language.
Who invented the International Phonetic Alphabet? It was created in 1888 by Paul Passy, a French linguist.
When we teach English as a foreign language we are concerned with the sounds, or phonemes, which make up the English language. While there are hundreds of phonetic sounds in the IPA, when it comes to English we are dealing with 44 phonetic sounds. These are all the sounds in English. The IPA is a useful tool when it comes to teaching pronunciation.
Read more: Pronunciation Terms You Should Know
What is the International Phonetic Alphabet chart?
The International Phonetic Alphabet can be translated into a chart. These charts can look confusing, but they’re not as difficult as you may initially think. The IPA chart is divided into sections:
- vowel sounds (Note: vowel sounds, not vowels)
- consonant sounds
There are also some diacritics which help us understand the pronunciation of the sounds. For example, the two dots which you can see on certain sounds show that that particular sound is a long sound.
Handy hint: This website allows you to copy and paste phonetic symbols in Word into your lesson plans.
How do I teach the International Phonetic Alphabet in the classroom?
There are different schools of thought on this. It’s not really necessary for your students to sit down and study the IPA. However, it can be useful for them to get to know what the symbols represent so you can utilise them when teaching pronunciation. To do this, simply introduce the symbols as they come up in the lessons and re-use them regularly to familiarise your students with them. It makes sense to do this with the most common sounds.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you don’t need to know the IPA. But again, you don’t need to spend your weekend learning all the different symbols. Instead, you should familiarise yourself with the sounds over time.
Handy hint: There are a number of free websites which show you helpful illustrations to help you remember the sounds correlating to the IPA symbols. You can also click on the sounds to hear them.
Read more: Pronunciation-Specific Pronunciation Problems For English Language Learners
How is the International Phonetic Alphabet useful for our learners?
The next obvious question is to ask why our students need to know the IPA in the first place.
Firstly, consider those sound-spelling correspondences are quite tricky in English. Being able to identify the sound that a particular spelling sequence corresponds to is invaluable. Sound-spelling correspondences are the cause of many spelling and pronunciation errors our learners make.
Then remember that any time a learner looks up a word in the dictionary they will find the phonetic transcription of the word. Knowing the IPA will help them be able to pronounce the word properly.
Knowing and understanding the International Phonetic Alphabet is one of the first steps a TEFL teacher should take to be able to teach English pronunciation well. Introduce it into your lessons and your students will benefit even in they’re learning outside the classroom.
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Processing of personal information you think is inaccurate
- You can tell us if you think the personal information we are processing about you is factually inaccurate. You can require us to restrict how we use your personal information until we can verify the accuracy of the information. We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the information is inaccurate, and may also ask that you provide some supporting evidence of the alleged inaccuracy.
- If we find that the personal information we are processing about you is inaccurate, we will take appropriate steps to correct the information.
Personal information is no longer needed by ELEARNING FUTURES LTD but needed by you in connection with a legal claim
- In most circumstances, we will securely delete or dispose of personal information when we no longer need it for our legitimate business purposes. Our approach to retention is outlined in our corporate retention schedules.
- However, if the personal information we no longer need would assist you in establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim, you can require us to keep the information for as long as necessary. We may ask you to provide an explanation and any available supporting evidence that a legal claim is ongoing or contemplated.
Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.