Struggling with the past tense: Verbal acquisition of -ed forms following monophthongs in verbs
By Beth Crumpler
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This is the third in a series of three articles about struggling with past tense -ed and instructional techniques to help.
We are continuing the series on ELL pronunciation struggles with the past tense -ed. The articles published in this series: Part 1: Struggling with the past tense: Verbal acquisition of -ed forms of verbs and Part 2: Struggling with the past tense: Verbal acquisition of -ed forms following monophthongs in verbs. In this third part of the series, we are addressing verbal fluency of past tense -ed following monophthongs, one vowel sound in one syllable. Using -ed after a monophthong is much easier than when it comes after a diphthong. Regardless of which type of vowels -ed follows, students need to still understand how to pronounce them.
The pronunciation for the -ed added after any monophthong is pronounced the same as it is for verbs that end in diphthongs or in voiced consonants. It is pronounced like the [d] in the word "did" (as discussed in Parts 1 and 2 of this series). Look at the verb "wave" that ends in the voiced consonant sound "v." When -ed is added after the voiced "v," this word is pronounced "wavd" even though it is spelt "waved."
The same -ed pronunciation concept applies to verbs that end in vowels. For example from Part 2 of this series, when the -ed is added after the verb "play" that ends in the vowel diphthong "ay/ey," the -ed is pronounced "playd" although the spelling of the word is "played."
With frequent pronunciation practice and reinforcement, ELLs will gain fluent acquisition of the various vowel sounds. As with adding -ed to any verb, students must understand the basic pronunciation rules and understand how to pronounce the ending sounds of the verbs before they can add -ed. Once this is acquired, -ed can be added through practice in whole group, pairs and individual tasks and exercises. Refer to Part 1 and Part 2 of this series to review practice techniques and exercises for adding -ed after voiced and unvoiced consonants and following diphthongs.
Instructional note: Monophthongs happen when one vowel sound is made within one syllable, which is different from the two vowel sounds in one syllable of diphthongs. Pronunciation of various monophthongs is listed in the chart below. After students learn how to adequately pronounce the monophthongs, then practice can transition toward pronouncing verbs ending in monophthongs followed by -ed.
A few of the monophthongs in the chart below have more than one spelling for the vowel pronunciation. For this reason, there are numerous examples included for practice purposes. You can have students practice these vowel sounds with the same practice techniques and exercises indicated in the instructional notes of Part 2 in this series. Also, please note that it is important to have students memorize the spellings to these vowel sounds so that when they read them aloud, they will recognize them and know how to pronounce them.
Other instructional techniques that can be used for pronunciation practice when adding -ed to vowels (diphthongs and monophthongs) or consonants (voiced and voiceless) include:
Beth Crumpler is an ESL Instructor for ELS (English Language Services), a freelance curriculum writer and an e-learning course developer in various areas of TESOL. Beth has written content for CTY-Online Johns Hopkins University and Pearson. She is a certified teacher of ESL and music. Beth enjoys studying technology for teaching ESL, and in her spare time studies Spanish.