TOEFL iBT Pronunciation– “F” and “V” Consonant Sounds: Practice Exercises

Listen to this post: f-and-v-sounds

Having clear pronunciation makes you understandable to those you speak to, including the TOEFL iBT human raters who will score your six speaking tasks. Two consonant sounds you should clearly distinguish between are the [ f ] and the [ v ] sounds. Consider “off,” the final sound of which is pronounced as an [f] and “of,” the final sound of which is pronounced as a [v].

You should not confuse the pronunciation of these two sounds, a problem which will affect your intelligibility of English. However, if you can accurately pronounce these and other consonant and vowel sounds of English, you will be able to score higher on TOEFL iBT speaking.

Still, many TOEFLers have trouble with the [f] and [v] sounds, perhaps because these two sounds are not meaningfully distinctive in their own language or because one or both sounds may not exist in their first language. Morever, it may be difficult for some English learners to learn the sound spelling patterns associated with the [f] and [v] sounds. These are two challenges that must be overcome.

Articulation tip for the [f ] sound:

The [f] is a labiodental fricative consonant.

Make this sound WITHOUT vibration of the vocal folds. For example, when you say [f], place your index and your middle finger on your throat. You should not feel any vibration of the vocal folds when you produce this sound.

Articulation tip for the [v ] sound:

The [v] is a labiodental fricative consonant.

Make this sound WITH vibration of the vocal folds. For example, when you say [v], place your index and your middle finger on your throat. You should feel vibration of the vocal folds when you produce this sound.

Voice Recording 1

In this exercise, you will read some sentences aloud. It is suggested that you read the sentences silently for meaning. Then you will make a digital recording as you read the sentences aloud. Make sure that you speak directly into your microphone so that you can get a clear recording of your pronunciation. Pay particular attention to the [f] and [v] consonant sounds in each word. After you finish, compare your recording to a sample native speaker recording.

1. Half of the thieves have turned off the faucet that leads to the fine wine.

2. The vines and fans were left in the van and will be banned from further use.

3.A few very large ferries are believed to have transported berries and leaves to be used as compost.

4. Due to his failure to save his friend from a lifetime of illness, Fred finally figured to let the doctors operate but to no avail.

5. It is safe to save veal and wafers until one decides to give a waiver to those who feel like they do not want to eat it.

Voice Recording Exercise 2

In this exercise, you will read a paragraph aloud. It is suggested that you read the paragraph silently for meaning. Then you will make a digital recording as you read the paragraph aloud. Make sure that you speak directly into your microphone so that you can get a clear recording of your pronunciation. Pay particular attention to the [f] and [v] consonant sounds in each word. After you finish, compare your recording to a sample native speaker recording.

What is interesting is that researchers have continued Pavlov’s experiments with classical conditioning using other subjects such as people. They discovered humans are conditioned to very similar methods. For example, after a sound was continually combined with eating potato chips, college students came to salivate in reaction to the sound alone. Researchers have learned that many different organisms can be conditioned to respond to practically any stimuli-such as lights, sounds or tastes. 

Next, listen to a native speaker read the same paragraph and try to determine what words/sounds you are having difficulty pronouncing. Finally, listen to the voiced recording during which you will read along with the speaker. You have successfully completed this exercise when you are able to read along with the speaker at the same pace without too many stumbles or stutters.

For more information, go here: http://onlinetoeflcourse.com

Michael Buckhoff, mbuckhoff@aol.com

6 thoughts on “TOEFL iBT Pronunciation– “F” and “V” Consonant Sounds: Practice Exercises

  1. Hi administrator, I’ve a little request. I’d been just simply searching for information on the subject you wrote and located this post. Some really nice material you posted right here. Can I please talk about this post on my own latest web site I’m creating? This would be wonderful :). I will check back yet again afterwards to see how you replied. Thank you, Kennith Mccormick

    Kennith:

    Sure. Go right ahead.

    Michael

  2. It is already embedded in the blog post. Right click on “listen to this post” to hear the native speaker. Many of my blog posts, if they are not videos, have to option to listen to the post as you read. Practice tracking, the process of reading with me as I read. Tracking will greatly help you to improve your pronunciation. And, if you have good pronunciation, you will get a high TOEFL iBT speaking score. Notice that I have hyper-linked text, which, if clicked on, will send you to other pronunciation-related blog posts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.