The Reading / Listening - Pronunciation - Level 4

Broadcasters at Ireland's national broadcaster RTE are angry at being told to use the Queen's English. RTE staff were given an A-Z of words they had to pronounce in the Queen's English to make sure they are clearly understood. The A-Z has audio clips on how to "properly" pronounce the "problem" words. RTE said the producers issued the guide to keep up standards. It said RTE got complaints from people about how some words were mispronounced.



An Irish linguistics expert called the RTE's actions "internalized colonialism". 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…accepted worldwide." He said Irish people don't pronounce the TH in 'birthday' like the English do. He added that the Irish pronunciation of 'news,' "is and always has been 'nooze'".

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Pronunciation - Level 5 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. angry at being told to use
  3. make sure they are clearly
  4. audio
  5. the producers issued
  6. keep up
  7. RTE got complaints
  8. some words were
  1. understood
  2. standards
  3. broadcaster
  4. mispronounced
  5. the Queen's English
  6. from people
  7. the guide
  8. clips

Paragraph 2

  1. linguistics
  2. internalized
  3. RTE expects its staff to speak as
  4. We have our own
  5. fully accepted
  6. Irish people don't pronounce the
  7. like the English
  8. the Irish pronunciation
  1. if they were English
  2. worldwide
  3. colonialism
  4. do
  5. expert
  6. of 'news'
  7. form of English
  8. TH in 'birthday'

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Broadcasters at Ireland's national broadcaster RTE (1) _________________ being told to use the Queen's English. RTE staff were (2) ___________________ of words they had to pronounce in the Queen's English to make sure (3) ___________________ understood. The A-Z (4) ___________________ how to "properly" pronounce the "problem" words. RTE said the producers (5) ___________________ to keep up standards. It said RTE (6) ___________________ from people about how some words were mispronounced.

An Irish (7) ___________________ called the RTE's actions "internalized colonialism". He said: "The (8) ___________________ RTE expects its staff to (9) ___________________ they were English. Why? We have our own form of English, which is different but (10) ___________________ worldwide." He said Irish people don't pronounce the TH in 'birthday' (11) ___________________. He added that the Irish pronunciation of 'news,' "(12) ___________________ has been 'nooze'".

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

BroadcastersatIreland'snationalbroadcasterRTEareangryatbeingtol
dtousetheQueen'sEnglish.RTEstaffweregivenanA-Zofwordstheyha
dtopronounceintheQueen'sEnglishtomakesuretheyareclearlyunder
stood.TheA-Zhasaudioclipsonhowto"properly"pronouncethe"prob
lem"words.RTEsaidtheproducersissuedtheguidetokeepupstandards
.ItsaidRTEgotcomplaintsfrompeopleabouthowsomewordsweremisp
ronounced.AnIrishlinguisticsexpertcalledtheRTE'sactions"internaliz
edcolonialism".Hesaid:"ThebasicissueisRTEexpectsitsstafftospeaka
siftheywereEnglish.Why?WehaveourownformofEnglish,whichisdiffe
rentbutfully…acceptedworldwide."HesaidIrishpeopledon'tpronounc
etheTHin'birthday'liketheEnglishdo.HeaddedthattheIrishpronunciat
ionof'news,'"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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