Friday, 14 Aug 2015 | Last updated 21 April 2016
ESSAYS and primers on various aspects of the English language and learning by the editors of Learn English or Starve.
Owing to copyright reasons, these articles are NOT for reproduction in whole outside of this site. Excerpts with attribution are freely permitted and welcomed at any time.
If you wish to have a topic written about, please use the Contact Form for suggestions.
Difficulties in learning and using the English language by Chinese speakers.
08 July 2012 | Full text
The IPA is a standard system of phonetic notation to represent the sounds of the oral language for linguistic analysis. It’s a way of making speech ‘visible.’ It enjoys widespread popular use worldwide. Yet it suffers from eight major defects as a tool for learning pronunciation.
21 Oct 2012 | Full text
Choosing the right language for the context is using the right language register. It’s a problem for any learner in any language, but the problem is a bigger one for Asians more than others because of the ‘pull’ of long history and learning atmosphere.
20 July 2014 | Full text
On this list are some hard-to-pronounce everyday words — or just badly said by native English speakers. For many native and non-native speakers, the main difficulty is in deciding the correct placement of stress and the length of vowels.
21 Oct 2010 | Full text
It’s a psychotic state of mind induced by years of formalised education of the type geared for passing examinations whose criteria are less to do with real-life application than with dragging out the learning process in order to milk the learner (or the parents).
Native Fluency 2
21 Oct 2011 | Full text
People have bizarre beliefs about native fluency (and how to acquire it), and those beliefs are almost religious in intensity and dangerously mislead by the conventional wisdom.
09 July 2012 | Full text
People are normally more comfortable with ‘make-do’ pronunciation respellings rather than use the IPA. The respelling retains the ‘flavour’ of the local speech and the conventional spelling. That helps learners make connections between the spoken and written English experiences.
Weird regional usages of English
20 Apr 2016 | Full text
A collection of unique English-language usages found in non-English-speaking places. Always under construction, always deconstructed, always hilarious.
© Learn English or Starve, 14 Aug 2015 | Last updated 21 April 2016.
First released 14 Aug 2015.
Updated 19 Apr 2016 (formatting).
Updated 21 Apr 2016 (formatting, images).