+0
I have a student that cannot seem to pronounce the "g" at the end of a word, such as "pig". He pronounces it like "pick". I gave him a list of words that begin with a hard g (go, get, great) to "prove" to him that he CAN pronounce a hard g, but then when I gave him words with a "g" at the END of the word (pig, rug, bag) he pronounces them all like "ck" again (pick, ruck, back). Eiher that, or he forces the "g" so much, that he actually makes a new syllable (pigle, rugle, etc.). We've tried recording and using a mirror...and no results.

He also has the same problem with d/ th, so he pronounces mad and math exactly the same way. He also adds letters that aren't there, especially imaginary t's at the end of a word (car becomes cart, etc.).

Has anyone had a student like this or had this problem themselves? Any advice? As you can imagine, it is nearly impossible to undertand him, and we are both getting pretty frustrated...
+0
What native speaker is your student?

Some languages as e.g. German or Dutch, have a phenomen called "Terminal Devoicing" i.e. that usual unvoiced sounds as [b, d, g] sound unvoiced [p, t, k] and therefore harder in the end of words or syllables.
As this is a matter of special language characteristics, it'll be very very hard for someone whose native language is one that has terminal devoicing to pronounce these sounds properly.

Try this though: Tell him to say "pig" but not to pronounce the [g] in the end:
Tell him to lengthen the in pig a little bit as the in pig as well as the u in rug or the a in bag are usually a bit longer than their equivalents in pick, ruck or back.
Then he should bring his tongue into the position to pronounce the g sound, i.e. to close the larynx as you would usually do it BUT then DO NOT open your larynx but STOP pronouncing just after the -sound and after the closing of your larynx.
As a natural result, the larynx will open itself very soon after with a very soft [g]-sound instead of the hard devoiced [k].

The same is true for [d] instead of [t]:
Tell him to lenthen the preceeding vowel just a very little bit, to bring his tongue in position to pronounce a [d] sound, i.e. just behind the teeth, but do not let the [d] sound but sooner stop just before opening a gap between tongue and teeth - as a natural result again, the soft [d]-sound will be heard.

I hope I could explain it comprehensible for you and it'll help you out a bit. It's a bit difficult to explain this via internet Emotion: smile
Comments  
Hi Pemmican,

My student is a Spanish speaker. Your explanantion was really clear! I'm going to try it with him in our next class!

Thank you!
Alexanndra