Lecture 2 (Revision: December 11, 2012 at 05:36)


Opening Chat about our past week and answer any questions students have.

Topic This week’s lesson is about formal telephone English.

Goals Students write on board, “My goal today is _______.”


Alexander Graham Telephone in Newyork

Bell calling Chicago from New York the first time in 1892. Photo: Alexander Graham Telephone in Newyork. By Gilbert H. Grosvenor Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Formal Telephone English

VoIP Phone

Example of a VoIP phone, commen in many American offices in 2012. Photo by Towel401 (w:File:Cisco7960G.jpeg) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Language Talk[4]

+Teacher+.—What did you learn in the previous Lesson?

+Pupil+.—I learned that a spoken word is composed of certain sounds, and that letters are signs of sounds, and that spoken and written words are the signs of ideas.

This question should be passed from one pupil to another till all of these answers are elicited.

All the written words in all the English books ever made, are formed of twenty-six letters, representing about forty sounds. These letters and these sounds make up what is called artificial language.

Of these twenty-six letters, +a, e, i, o, u+, and sometimes +w+ and +y+, are called +vowels+, and the remainder are called +consonants+.

In order that you may understand what kind of sounds the vowels stand for, and what kinds the consonants represent, I will tell you something about the human voice.


Ligaments of the larynx. Posterior view. Gray952

Ligaments of the larynx. Posterior view. Gray952. Public Domain. Via the Wikimedia Commons

The air breathed out from your lungs beats against two flat muscles, stretched like strings across the top of the windpipe, and causes them to vibrate. This vibrating makes sound. Take a thread, put one end between your teeth, hold the other in your fingers, draw it tight and strike it, and you will understand how voice is made.




If the voice thus produced comes out through the mouth held well open, a class of sounds is formed which we call vowel sounds.

But, if the voice is held back by your palate, tongue, teeth, or lips, one kind of consonant sounds is made. If the breath is driven out without voice, and is held back by these same parts of the mouth, the other kind of consonant sounds is formed. Ex. of both: b, d, g; p, t, k.

The teacher and pupils should practice on these sounds till the three kinds can easily be distinguished.

You are now prepared to understand what I mean when I say that the +vowels+ are the +letters+ which stand for the +open sounds of the voice+, and that the +consonants+ are the +letters+ which stand for the sounds made by the +obstructed voice+ and the +obstructed breath+.

The teacher can here profitably spend a few minutes in showing how ideas may be communicated by Natural Language, the language of sighs, groans, gestures of the hands, attitudes of the body, expressions of the face, tones of the voice, etc. He can show that, in conversation, we sometimes couple this Natural Language of tone and gesture with our language of words, in order to make a stronger impression. Let the pupil be told that, if the passage contain feeling, he should do the same in Reading and Declaiming.

Let the following definitions be learned, and given at the next recitation.

+DEFINITION.—Artificial Language, or Language Proper, consists of the spoken and written words used to communicate ideas and thoughts+.

+DEFINITION.—English Grammar is the science which teaches the forms, uses, and relations of the words of the English Language+.

Tom Sawyer[5]

She did not finish, for by this time she was bending down and punching under the bed with the broom, and so she needed breath to punctuate the punches with. She resurrected nothing but the cat.

“I never did see the beat of that boy!”

She went to the open door and stood in it and looked out among the tomato vines and “jimpson” weeds that constituted the garden. No Tom. So she lifted up her voice at an angle calculated for distance and shouted:

“Y-o-u-u TOM!”

There was a slight noise behind her and she turned just in time to seize a small boy by the slack of his roundabout and arrest his flight.

“There! I might ‘a’ thought of that closet. What you been doing in there?”


“Nothing! Look at your hands. And look at your mouth. What IS that truck?”

“I don’t know, aunt.”

“Well, I know. It’s jam—that’s what it is. Forty times I’ve said if you didn’t let that jam alone I’d skin you. Hand me that switch.”

Please write 2 sentences with your opinion on what you just read.



Next Time Find out if there is anything specific the students want to learn about next week.

Extra Time Student questions, game or student directed activities.


Review what was supposed to happen.

Establish what happened.

Determine what was right or wrong with what happened.

Determine how the task should be done differently the next time.

Revision History: