For a while, I taught the beginnings of English language to kids at the village school, as well as a couple of private students. I’m not trained to teach language, so I realised that the best thing I could pass on was not grammar, but pronunciation. I have something close to a BBC accent – a standard English sound, not a regional accent – so everyone agreed this was of some value.
Here’s one of the little scripts I wrote to help kids learn the various different ways you can spell the vowel sound <ai>. Complete nonsense, of course, but the kids liked them.
I spy with my little eye
As I lie by the Wye drinking nice dry white Rhine wine, a guy in a nylon tie comes by.
‘Hi! Can I buy you a Mai-Tai? You caught my eye. I’m Dai, by the way. Dai Bligh from the Tyne.’ The guy slapped his thigh.
I reply, wryly: “I’ll have a rye over ice…..”
Along the same lines, here’s the A-D of Arabella’s Alphabet:
A is for Angel, for Archer and All
B is a Bicycle, Blue, Bat and Ball
C is for Cinema, Corkscrew and Chess
D is for Duckling and Darling and Dress