The Reading / Listening - Pronunciation - Level 5

Radio and TV presenters at Ireland's national broadcaster RTE are angry at being told to use Queen's English pronunciation. An Irish newspaper says RTE's broadcasters were given an A-Z guide of words, which tells them how to pronounce certain words to make sure they are clearly understood. The A-Z comes with audio clips with lessons of how to "properly" pronounce the "problem" words. An RTE official said the producers issued the guide to keep up standards. It said RTE had received complaints from the public over how certain words were mispronounced.



An Irish linguistics expert called the RTE's actions "internalized colonialism". He was surprised that Irish speakers had to use words with an English accent. He said: "The basic issue is RTE expects its staff to speak as if they were English. Why? We have our own form of English, which is different but fully legitimate and accepted worldwide." He highlighted some of the words that had to be used with a British English accent. He said Irish people don't pronounce the TH in 'birthday' like the English. He added that the Irish pronunciation of 'news,' "is and always has been 'nooze'".

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Pronunciation - Level 4 or  Pronunciation - Level 6

Sources
  • http://www.irishmirror.ie/showbiz/irish-showbiz/rte-staff-forced-use-queens-11074384
  • https://www.thesun.ie/news/1457854/rte-blasted-for-pronunciation-style-guide-which-demands-broadcasters-speak-on-air-using-queens-english/
  • https://www.buzz.ie/news/rte-criticised-forcing-news-broadcasters-speak-queens-english-251830


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



Phrase Matching

Paragraph 1

  1. Ireland's national
  2. an A-Z guide
  3. how to pronounce certain
  4. audio
  5. how to "properly" pronounce
  6. keep up
  7. received complaints
  8. certain words were
  1. from the public
  2. broadcaster
  3. clips
  4. mispronounced
  5. words
  6. the "problem" words
  7. of words
  8. standards

Paragraph 2

  1. internalized
  2. use words with an
  3. The basic
  4. We have our own
  5. accepted
  6. a British English
  7. people don't pronounce the
  8. the Irish pronunciation
  1. worldwide
  2. TH in 'birthday'
  3. form of English
  4. of 'news'
  5. issue
  6. colonialism
  7. English accent
  8. accent

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Radio and TV presenters at Ireland's national broadcaster RTE are angry at (1) ___________________ Queen's English pronunciation. An Irish newspaper says RTE's broadcasters were (2) ___________________ guide of words, which (3) ___________________ to pronounce certain words to make sure they are clearly understood. The A-Z comes with audio clips with (4) ___________________ to "properly" pronounce the "problem" words. An RTE official said the producers (5) ___________________ to keep up standards. It said RTE had received complaints from (6) ___________________ how certain words were mispronounced.

An Irish (7) ___________________ called the RTE's actions "internalized colonialism". He was surprised that Irish speakers had to use words (8) ___________________. He said: "The basic issue is RTE expects its staff to (9) ___________________ they were English. Why? We have our own form of English, which is different (10) ___________________ and accepted worldwide." He highlighted some of the words that (11) ___________________ with a British English accent. He said Irish people don't pronounce the TH in 'birthday' like the English. He added that the Irish pronunciation of 'news,' "(12) ___________________ been 'nooze'".

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

RadioandTVpresentersatIreland'snationalbroadcasterRTEareangry
atbeingtoldtouseQueen'sEnglishpronunciation.AnIrishnewspapersa
ysRTE'sbroadcastersweregivenanA-Zguideofwords,whichtellsthe
mhowtopronouncecertainwordstomakesuretheyareclearlyundersto
od.TheA-Zcomeswithaudioclipswithlessonsofhowto"properly"prono
uncethe"problem"words.AnRTEofficialsaidtheproducersissuedtheg
uidetokeepupstandards.ItsaidRTEhadreceivedcomplaintsfromthep
ublicoverhowcertainwordsweremispronounced.AnIrishlinguisticsex
pertcalledtheRTE'sactions"internalizedcolonialism".Hewassurprise
dthatIrishspeakershadtousewordswithanEnglishaccent.Hesaid:"Th
ebasicissueisRTEexpectsitsstafftospeakasiftheywereEnglish.Why?
WehaveourownformofEnglish,whichisdifferentbutfullylegitimatean
dacceptedworldwide."Hehighlightedsomeofthewordsthathadtobeu
sedwithaBritishEnglishaccent.HesaidIrishpeopledon'tpronouncethe
THin'birthday'liketheEnglish.HeaddedthattheIrishpronunciationof'n
ews,'"isandalwayshasbeen'nooze'".

Student survey

Write five GOOD questions about this topic in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper. When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

(Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

Discussion — Write your own questions

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

(a) ________________

(b) ________________

(c) ________________

(d) ________________

(e) ________________

(f) ________________

(g) ________________

(h) ________________

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

(i) ________________

(j) ________________

(k) ________________

(l) ________________

(m) ________________

(n) ________________

(o) ________________

(p) ________________





Free writing

Write about this topic for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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Answers

(Please check your answers against the article above.

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