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Do you have any questions?

This is your opportunity to ask any questions you still have and to watch the lead academic review some of the key points from the week.
Hello and welcome to the weekly video for  the first week of English for Academic Study.   So today I’m going to go through some  useful tips to help you review the content   from the first week based on the questions that  we’ve had over the previous runs of this course. So, the first thing we’re going to look  at is the learner dictionary and review   some of the information you can find. Then  we’re going to look at the phonemic chart,   because a lot of people have difficulty  understanding these symbols, so I’m going   to show you how you can quickly use the phonemic  chart to help you improve your pronunciation.
Then   we’re going to look at word stress,  okay, so how you stress individual words.   Then, we’re going to look at sentence stress,  so, how you place your stress in a sentence   versus how you stress an individual word. And  then finally, we’ll look at a very quick way   that you can practice your pronunciation  using your phone or a computer. Okay, so let’s get started. So, the first thing  we’re going to look at is how to find a word   in the dictionary. So maybe we’ve heard a new  word, or we read a new word, and we know we’re   going to need to use it in a seminar, a lecture or  just in a discussion.
So, the first thing we do is   search for the word. So, a really great dictionary  that we looked at before is the Cambridge   Learner’s Dictionary. So, you can search for  that in Google and then search for your term. So,   if we want to learn the word academic  we can just search for ‘academic’ and   it will give us the word, the type of word, so we  know it’s an adjective, and then we can quickly   listen to how the word sounds. We’re studying in  the UK, so we’ll listen to the UK pronunciation.  
This is a good example, but it’s very quick, so  it’s difficult for us to really understand the   pronunciation just from listening again and again.  We need to do more research so we can now use the   phonemic script. So, this is the exact way that  you should say this word, but it’s very confusing   for a lot of learners. So, what we can  do is break the word down by its sounds.
The first sound we need to look at is this  first part here, and we need to make a  decision about what this letter represents,  we could say maybe ‘/eɪ/cademic’,  ‘/ʌ/cademic’, ‘/æ/cademic’ but we need  to make sure before we start saying   it in front of other people. So, we’re  going to look for this symbol using the  phonemic chart. So, a good example of a  phonemic chart, an interactive phonemic chart,   here’s one from There are lots of  interactive phonemic charts on the internet that   you can search for but we’re going to use this one  to start with and we’re going to find that symbol.
So, we don’t need to learn all of  the symbols, we can listen to the   symbol by clicking on it… ‘/æ/’. So,  we know this first sound in our word is  
‘/æ/’ so we can practice that,  and then the second sound  
‘/K/’ so we’ve started off and we’ve got  ‘/æk/’. Then this sound, is it ‘‘/ækæ/’?  
Let’s check, so we’re going to check the sound.  
So, we can hear that it is not  ‘/ækæ/-demic’ it is ‘/ækə /-demic’,  
‘/ækə /’. So, we’ve already learned the first  part of this word, ‘/ækə /’ not ‘/ækæ/’ or  
‘əkæ’ so then we do the same thing for the second  part of the word – ‘/d/ - /e/ - /m/ - /I/ - /k/,   ok, so we’ve got ‘/ækə /- /demIk/, /ækə’demIk/.   So, by using these symbols and the interactive  phonemic chart we can really research how to   say the word correctly and make sure  that we are saying each part clearly. So, the next part we need to think about  is the word stress. So, for each word we’re   going to stress different parts of the word.
So,  to find out the stress of each word we’re going to   look for these tiny stress markers in the word and  we need to think about the syllables in the word.   So, which syllable should we stress for this  word? So ‘academic’ has four syllables. 1. /æ/ 2.   /kə/ 3. /de/ 4. /mIk/. So,  we could stress syllable 1   and we would pronounce it ‘/ˈækəˌdemIk/’. We  could stress syllable 2 ‘/ˌæˈkədemIk/’. We  
could stress syllable 3 ‘/ˌækəˈdemIk/’.  We could stress syllable 4 ‘/ˌækədeˈmIk/’.   But we can easily choose which syllable to stress  by looking at the stress markers on the word, so,   this is telling us this is a secondary stress, so  we put a little bit of power into this first ‘/æ/’   but all of our main power for this word  goes here for the ‘/de/’. So, the correct   stress for this word is ‘/ˌækəˈdemIk/’. So,  you should be able to hear that the main   power on the word is this /de/ sound. Ok so we’ll  listen again to check we got it right, ‘academic’.
So, we can see now that we have a real, exact  transcription of the word, we know how to   stress the word and now we need to  think about the sentence stress.   So, if we looked at our example  here ‘the stress in a sentence’  
that would be our stress marker. We’d have a  stress marker here and a stress marker here,   but what we need to decide for our sentence  stress, we can’t find this in a dictionary,   we need to decide which word,  or which words are the most   important. So, when you’re writing a script  for a presentation or maybe you’re practising   some phrases, you need to decide which words are  important, or the most important in your sentence.   So, usually it’s going to be the noun, or maybe  an adjective, maybe a verb. Words like this ‘in a’   we usually squash these words together. So,  we might say ‘/ðə ˈstrɛs ɪnə ˈsɛntəns/’ we   might stress both of these words.
We might say  ‘/ðə ˌstrɛs ɪnə ˈsɛntəns/’ because this word is   the most important. We might stress the word  ‘stress’ and say ‘/ðə ˈstrɛs ɪnə ˌsɛntəns/’.   It all depends on what you want your listener  to hear. What do you want them to hear the most?   So, are you emphasising this word,  or are you emphasising this word?   So, for sentence stress, you make the decision  about which word is the most important. But for   word stress, we use the dictionary  to find out which part of the word   needs to have the primary stress, and which  has the secondary stress. So, sentence stress,   you decide which word is important, but  for word stress, use the dictionary.
So, the last thing that we’re going to  look at in this video, very quickly,   sorry, last two things, is how can you  hear sentence stress and word stress? So,   we can use this site, ‘YouGlish’ to hear ‘how  do people say these words’? We can select ‘UK’   and then we can search for our word or you  could search for a whole phrase if you like. So,   this will now search the whole of YouTube for  the word ‘academic’ and you can then hear how   people say ‘academic’. We  can move to the next example.  
So, you can get a sense of how people stress  sentences, how people stress this word in videos. But then you can also practice saying it  yourself. So, a very, very quick way of doing it   is by using a site like Google, or you could  use Siri on your phone if you like, or you   can use some of the tools in Microsoft Word, the  ‘dictate’ tools. So, we’re just going to search   by voice by clicking on the microphone and we’re  going to try and say one of these sentences.  
So, we’ve got ‘after I left’ okay, we’re just  going to say ‘became an academic’ /bɪˈkeɪm ən   ˌækəˈdɛmɪk/ - /bɪˈkeɪmə-nækəˈdɛmɪk/. We would  listen to this and then we’re going to try and   say it, and if Google types the same thing that  we say, then we know that we’re ready to use this   new word, ‘became an academic’. Okay, so I didn’t  say ‘became’ clearly enough. ‘Became an academic’.  
Okay, so I can focus then on  correcting what I got wrong,   so now I’ve got it right, ‘became an  academic’. So now I feel confident. So now when we are delivering a presentation,  or we’re practicing some phrases,   we can use the tools to help us  prepare to speak. So, we might   write out part of our script or the phrase that we  want to practice, and then we identify which words   we think are key words, which words are difficult.  So, we can then add things to help us. So,   if we keep forgetting that ‘academic’ is stressed  here, we could add a little marker to help us   remember to say ‘this academic presentation  is going to focus on three key aspects’.
So   we might then decide that presentation is a  difficult word, people keep getting confused   when we say it, so we do the same thing, go to  the dictionary, find the phonemic transcript,   use the phonemic chart and then mark where the  stress is, or we could add some phonemic symbols   in to help us say the word after we’ve practiced  it. So, ‘presentation’ so we might copy our marker  
and decide that it is stressed ‘presentation’   not ‘presentation’ or ‘presentation’. Okay, so we  can add the word stress to our script but then,   like we said, we have to decide which word in  the sentence, or which words, are important. So,   we can practice it in different ways. We could say  ‘This academic presentation is going to focus on   three key aspects.’ And that would mean that this  word, ‘focus’, or ‘presentation’ was important.
But really, we need to think ‘what do the audience  need to know about this’? We want them to really   know that there’s going to be three key aspects.  So, we might decide that we’re going to stress   ‘three’. We really want the audience to  understand that what they’re about to listen to   is going to have three key aspects. So, you  could use a marker like this to stress the word,   or you could just underline the word to help  you focus on which words you’re going to stress.  
And then we really want the audience  to understand what the aspects are.   So, we’re going to stress  these nouns here, ‘technology’  
‘education’ and ‘society’. So, then  we’d say ‘‘This academic presentation   is going to focus on three key aspects,  technology, education and society.’ Okay, so by using the dictionary, focusing on  the key words that you want to make sure that   you’re saying correctly and then deciding which  words are important for the audience to hear,   you can make sure that you’re stressing your  words correctly, that you’re pronouncing your   words correctly and that your sentence stress is  appropriate for your message and your meaning. So please continue to add questions below in the  comments and we will do our best to answer all of   your questions.
Make sure you look at  the responses to the questions from other   users before you post a question  because you might find the answer there.   Other than that, have a great week and we will  see you for week two of English for Academic   Study and we look forward to continuing to  learn with you so, good luck and goodbye.

What did you find most difficult this week? Is there anything you’re still unsure about?

If you have any questions about anything we’ve covered this week, now is your opportunity to get some answers. Watch the video above to review some of the key points from the week.

If you have found anything difficult this week you are welcome to ask a question in the comments section below. You should also try to review the relevant steps and read through the comments carefully, especially the ones posted by the course hosts. This will help you to become an independent learner.

Your task

Think about any questions you still have after watching the video and the read through the comments section to see if another learner has already asked or answered your question.
If you still cannot find the answer you should post your question in the comments section below and the course team and other learners will do their best to answer your question as quickly as possible.
Also, if you think you can answer one of your fellow learners’ questions, why not write a reply?
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