Wednesday, 16 December 2015


This song was written  by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in reaction to television reports of the 1983–85 famine in Ethiopia. It was first recorded in 1984 by Band Aid , a group of British and Irish  singers who got together to raise money for Ethiopia. Diphthong sounds are exploited this time in this song /aɪ/  /eɪ/  /əʊ/  /ɪə/  /ɒɪ/. 
-  Watch and listen to Do they Know it's Christmas and fill in the         gaps with  the missing words.
-  Can you guess who the singers are?

Thursday, 9 April 2015


Listen to Pure by Liverpool band, The Lightning Seeds,  to help you identify some vowel and diphthong sounds  /ɑː/  /e/  /ɪː/  /ɪ/  /əʊ/   /aɪ/  and /uː/ and  also to celebrate the birth of a new pure and growing webpage  Habla Idiomas EOI intended to gather and share information and material for teachers and students at the State  School of Languages in Spain, EOIs (Escuelas Oficiales de Idiomas).

As you listen to the song,  fill in the gaps by clicking on the clue buttons which help you identify the vowel or diphthong sounds the missing words contain.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

PAST OR PRESENT? /s/, /d/ or /t/? RUN BABY RUN

Here's a song, Run Baby Run, by Sheryl Crow to  help you identify present and past verb forms from the pronunciation of final consonants /s/,  /z/,   /d/  or  /t/.  Also to homage a good friend.

Listen to the song and fill in the gaps with the correct verb form, present or  past, according to what you hear. Click first on the clue, the infinitive of the verb written phonetically.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013


Hi there. Be ready to sooth your ears and read some phonetic transcription to identify the vowel sounds   /ɑː/  /æ/  /ʌ/  /e/  /ɜː/  /ɪ/  /iː/  /ɒ/  /ɔː/ /ʊ/  /uː/   through the lyrics of the song Splitter by Calexico   transcribed phonetically with the programme PhoTransEdit.

Listen to the song  and do the gap-fill exercise while listening and reading the phonetically transcribed lyrics. Click on the clue button to get a vowel phoneme  /ɑː/  /æ/  /ʌ/  /e/  /ɜː/  /ɪ/  /iː/  /ɒ/  /ɔː/ /ʊ/  /uː/ the missing word contains. Write the word in ordinary English spelling.

Friday, 20 April 2012


(By Rosa Maté Ibáñez and Ana López Pozo)

It's the little things that make the difference.

In this song, Littlest Things by Lilly Allen (made popular by the viral power of the net), you can learn to identify and practice glottal stop, represented in the International Phonetic Alphabet as /ʔ/. This is produced by obstructing the airflow in the vocal tract. In certain positions  it may be used as an allophone of the phoneme / t/; This is known as glottalling or glottal replacement of 't'. See tutorial on glottal stop .
T Glottalisation is one of the features of Cockney English. See Cockney rhyming slang. The term Cockney has both geographical and linguistic associations. Geographically and culturally, it often refers to working class Londoners, particularly those in the East End. Linguistically, it refers to the form of English spoken by this group. It used to be looked down on by some people but today it is becoming more common and accepted. Due to the influence of  television series and some presenters, Cokney has spread. This has led to the adoption of a mock Cockney (Mockney) accent by some celebrities  looking for street credibility.
  • Listen to the song and do the gap-fill exercise while listening. Click on the clue button to get a phonetic transcription of the missing words. The clues in the gap-fill exercise for this song, Littlest Things, focus on the t glottlalisation

  • Can you find any more words containing glottal stop in the song apart from the gapped ones?

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

COMMUNICATION. Linking consonants to vowels

Not understanding can be  a good reason to disconnect, both in daily communication and in life.

The clues in the gap- fill exercise for this song, Communication by the Cardigans, can help you  recognise linking features of connecting consonants to vowels and identify flap or tap t, /ɾ/, in order to understand  speech better, so that you don't have to disconnect!
  • In General American, International English and colloquial British English/t/ can be pronounced as the so-called flap or tap t, /ɾ/which sounds like a short d or, more precisely, like the quick, hard r sound heard  in Spanish pero. So letter  can be heard as /leɾə/.
    Within words/ɾ/ must be followed by a weak unstressed vowel, i.e.  /ə, i /. The /t/ is tapped    in átom  /ˈæɾəm/but not in atómic /əˈtɒmɪk/.

    In connected speech, across words, this stress-sensitivity ceases to exist, and  /t/ followed by any vowel undergoes this t- to- r process; not only do we find tapping in get alóng  /ˈɡeɾəˈlɒŋ/ , where the next vowel is unstressed, but in get úp /ˈgeɾʌp/ too.
    • Listen to the song and do the gap-fill exercise while listening. Click on the clue button to get a phonetic transcription of the missing letters. Be aware that in the gap you have to write the ending of a word, a space and the  next word or beginning of  it.