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Sample Lessons from the SPEAK STANDARD, TOO text. Practice them yourself or with your students.
The following practice lessons are from the SPEAK STANDARD, TOO TEXT/CDs SET. This is a nationally-praised program for teaching Nonstandard English-speaking children and adults how to switch between primary dialects and Standard English, using whichever one is more situationally beneficial and appropriate.  The CDs cover 1/2 of each lesson in the text's Pronunciation Section as well as grammatical differences that are influenced by pronunciation differences. The cost of the set is $75, which saves you $5 off of the price of the CDs or text if either is purchased separately. This is our most popular and effective SPEAK STANDARD, TOO item!


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SPEAK STANDARD, TOO                                                                     

(Please note that SE stands for Standard English.)

Ask - Axe Contrast
The most common difference in the pronunciation of ASK is to pronounce it as if it
were AXE. The letter "x" is not a sound; it is the (ks) consonant cluster. When
pronouncing AXE, the (k) comes before the (s); when pronouncing ASK in the SE
style, the (s) comes before the (k). Try the following drills, making sure that you
hear and feel the (s) before (k) at the appropriate times.

ssssk    -    ssssk   -    kssss    -    kssss    -    ssssk    -    ssssk
sk   -   sk   -   ks   -   ks   -   eesk   -   aaks   -   oosk   -   eeks
baSK  -   riSK   -   task  -   bacKS   -   tacKS   -   disk   -   maSK
ASS-K       ASS-K       ASS-KS       ASS-KS       ASS-KT      ASS-KT

ask          (ASS-K)                          axe      (aks)
asks        (ASS-KS)                        axes     (aksiz)
asked      (ASS-KT)                        axed     (akst)
asking     (ASS-KING)                   axing    (aksing) 

Practice sentences with capitalized phonetic spellings.    
     1.   I'll ASS-K my mother if I can go.
     2.   You ASS-K your mother, too.
     3.   He ASS-KS to go to the movies every Saturday.
     4.   Janie ASS-KS for a cookie.
     5.   Dan ASS-KT if he could watch TV.
     6.   Ami ASS-KT if she could stay in Boston.
     7.   Stop ASS-KING so many questions!
     8.   I always ASS-K if he sharpened his axe.
     9.   Paul ASS-KS me about our new axes.
   10.   Yesterday, I ASS-KT him if the logs were axed.
   11.   If the answer is "no," he's ASS-KING for an axing!
   12.   He ASS-KT me for my axe.

Practice Paragraphs for ASK.
The following two paragraphs spell the ASK words phonetically. Try
reading them out loud without thinking about the familiar spellings so
that you accustom yourself
to the new SE pronunciation.
My mother ASS-KS my brothers the same questions that my father ASS-KS
them. Do you know what my parents ASS-K them? They ASS-K, "Did you
ASS-K permission to play with your sister's toys. And d
id you ASS-K for those
cookies?"  Then, my mother ASS-KS, "Did you take a bath and wash with soap?"
I always ASS-K my mother to stop ASS-KING those questions, because after
she ASS-KS them about the bath, she remembers to ASS-K me the same
question, and I hate to wash with soap!
One of the students ASS-KT the teacher a question. I didn't hear, so I ASS-KT
the teacher to ASS-K the student to ASS-K the question again. The teacher said,
"When you are ASS-KING a question, please ASS-K loudly so everyone can
hear what you ASS-K." So, the student ASS-KT loudly enough for everyone to
hear, and I didn't have to ASS-K what he ASS-KT.

Now, using SE pronunciation, read the same two paragraphs with the ASK words
spelled in the usual manner. Tape record your reading so that you can determine
which ASK words need more practice.
My mother asks my brothers the same questions that my father asks them. Do
you know what my parents ask them? They ask, "Did you ask our permission to
play with your sister's toys. And did you take a bath and wash with soap?" I
always ask my mother to stop asking those questions, because after she asks
them about the bath, she remembers to ask me the same questions, and I hate to
wash with soap!

One of the students asked the teacher a question. I didn't hear, so I asked the
teacher to ask the student to ask the question again. The teacher said, "When you
are asking a question, please ask loudly so everyone can hear what you ask."
So, the student asked loudly enough for everyone to hear, and I didn't have to
ask what he asked.


SPEAK STANDARD, TOO_______________________________

(th) Sounds:

Voiced (th) Sound
The voiced (th) sound is produced by biting down gently on your
tongue while 
humming. This results in a mild vibration or ticklish
feeling on your tongue. The most common difference in pronunciation
is producing a (d) instead of the voiced
(th) sound. First, test yourself
on the following word-pairs to see if they sound the same or different.
Practice them until you are sure that the voiced (th) words sound
feel like a (th), not a (d) sound.

den             then                                                                     fodder         father
duh!            the                                                                       mutter         mother
dare            there, their, they're                                               letter           leather  
day             they                                                                      wetter         weather
though                                                                  eater            either
than                                                                      kneader       neither 
(dat)            that                                                                      all dough     although   
doe             though                                                                  breed           breathe
(dem)          them                                                                     load             loathe
utter            other                                                                     bade            bathe
an udder     another                                                                 seed            seethe

Word-Pair Practice Sentences
1. She paused, and THEN she went into the DEN.
2. "DUH!" said THE dumb cartoon character.
3. THEY like the DAY, but they LOATHE to LOAD hay.
4. DAN likes the night better THAN the day.
5. ALL DOUGH should be refrigerated, ALTHOUGH some isn't.
6. DEE' S children are THESE kids.
7. DARE me to take away THEIR toys.
8. My MOTHER doesn't like us to MUTTER.
9. My FATHER takes care of the FODDER on the farm.
10. We'll get much WETTER in this WEATHER.
11. She BADE him to BATHE daily.
12. That BREED of dog does not BREATHE well.


____________________________________________CONSONANT SOUNDS

(j) and (y) Sounds

Practice the following word-pairs, making sure that you feel and hear the 
English sounds. Note that the English (j) sound is sometimes spelled with “g.



Dan, your ...

rain your
Jew (ish)
strain your
gray your
main your

Practice the following sentences with capitalized (j) and (y) words. Note that (y)
has various vowel-spellings, like “io” and “u.”

1.      JESS said, “YES!” when JAY’S club asked him to JOIN.
2.      YOU’LL be in no DANGER if the RANGER is YOUR friend.
3.      If YOU fly in a JET, YOU’LL have to YELL to be heard.
4.      JOHN JOKED that the MAYOR likes YACHTING, not JETTING.
The JUICE was not YET poured, the JAM was not YET spread, and
      the JELLO was not YET JELLED.

7.   Do YOU eat ONIONS with the YOLK of YOUR fried egg?
8.   The Los ANGELES DODGERS USED to play in Brooklyn New YORK, but
      the New YORK YANKEES are still in New YORK.

Chapter 3: Vowel Sounds

Vowel Sounds + (L)
There are several instances when the production of vowel sounds differs
from the Broadcast/Standard English style of pronunciation. A common
difference occurs when
follows a vowel. (See also page 36.)

(ihl) - (eel) Contrast
The first vowel-production contrast is between (ih) as in IT and (ee) as in
HE, when
they occur before (L). The most common difference from GA/SE
pronunciation is
the reversal of the two vowels, as in HILL for HEEL and
vice versa. If this is what
you hear and feel after reading the following word-
pairs, read them again, making
sure that when you read the (eel) words, you
feel yourself smiling as you produce
(ee); when you read (ih),
your lips will
feel neutral.


heal, he'll
(he ill)
(she ill)
(we ill)
peel, peal
(pee ill)
reel, real
(ree ill)
(fee ill)
(dee ill)
(me ill)
(see ill)
a pill


uh (pee  ill)

steal, steel
(stee ill)
 (ee ill)
 (key ill)


 (knee ill)   

Practice Sentences with Capitalized (ihl)-(eel) Sounds
1. HE'LL FEEL ILL, take a PILL, but not eat the MEAL.
3. NEIL WILL not SEAL the WHEELS from SHEILa's car.
4. SHE'LL STILL FEEL ILL but BILL WILL go without her.
5. We FEEL that ILLINOIS has REAL good DEALS for MEALs.

 ________________________________GRAMMATICAL DIFFERENCES

Being Agreeable with SAY, DO, DON'T, HAVE
If it seems as though we keep returning to subject-verb agreement, we do.
It is important to develop some familiarity with this grammatical form if you
are going to
use SE with increased comfort and confidence.
This lesson helps you practice how to use SAY, DO, DON'T and HAVE in
SE style.
First, study the conjugation charts below. Notice which verb-endings
change to S
or ES.

I say, We say
I do, We do
I don't, We don't
I have, We have
You say, You say
You do, You do
You don't, You don't
You have, You have
He says, They say
He does, They do
He doesn't, They don't
He has, They have
She says
She does
She doesn't
She has
It says
It does
It doesn't
It has                      

Now, study the following sentence-pairs.  Which column contains
the SE sentences?  Check back with the conjugation charts to cofirm
your choices.

He always says that.
She never does it correctly.
It has three parts to it.
We do it all the time.
John has a big house.
They all do well.
The radio has static.
How does she do it?
It doesn't work.
He doesn't care.
She doesn't travel.
He always say that.
She never do it correctly.
It have three parts to it.
We does it all the time.
John have a big house.
They all does well.
The radio have static.
How do she do it?
It don't work.
He don't care.
She don't travel.

In the following sentences, IF NECESSARY, change
the capitalized verbs in order to make the subject agree
with the verb in the SE style. Refer to the conjugation
charts above if you need to.

 1. He SAY, "Please don't yell.
 2. That TV always HAVE a bad picture.
 3. She SAYS that she's very happy in her apartment. 
 4. It just DON'T seem right. 
 5. DO she always have to boss me around?

 6. DOESN'T she look beautiful?
 7. My mom DON'T allow me to stay out late.
 8. Terry always SAY that his feet hurt.
 9. That sign SAY, "Stop," so he HAVE to stop.
10. My sister never HAVE the "right" thing to wear.
11. I DOESN'T always know how to do my math problems.
12. They HAS to move to California.
13. We DON'T go out on the weekends anymore.
14. You DON'T seem to know where you're going.
15. My husband DON'T ask for directions when we're lost.
16. He SAY, "I DON'T HAVE to ask anybody for help."

Change the capitalized verbs so that they agree with their
subjects in SE style.

Every night my best friend SAY, "Let's go out." He DON'T go
to school so he
DON'T have to study. I SAYS to him that he
HAVE to forget about me going
out every night with him. He SAY,
"Dan HAVE lots of homework and he
DON'T stay home." I SAYS,
"I DOESN'T care about what Dan DO or what he
DON'T do -
guy only GO out on weekends."

Read the following story out loud; note the capitalized SE
subjects and verbs.
PHILLIP SAYS that HE DOESN'T want to be in the senior musical. HE SAYS
that HE HAS too many things to do. HE HAS homework, HE HAS a part-time
job, HE HAS to finish his college applications, and HE HAS a chance to make
the varsity basketball team. His FRIENDS SAY that HE DOESN'T have too
much to do, and if HE DOESN'T have the musical as a Senior Year memory,
he'll regret it. TONIE, his girlfriend, HAS the same opinion. SHE SAYS that if
HE DOESN't join the cast, THEY HAVE no chance to be together because SHE
HAS a part in it, too.

PHILLIP SAYS to himself that if HE DOES his homework at night, and if HE DOES
his college applications on the weekends, then HE HAS enough time to
after school. HE HAS to work 8 hours a week, but HE always HAS a
choice as to
when to work those hours. HE DOES want to play basketball, but
that tryouts start after the musical is over. So, PHILLIP SAYS to
his friends that
THEY DON'T have to worry because HE DOES have the time
to be in the musical.
HE SAYS, "I hope that I HAVE the lead role." "No way," THEY SAY, "YOU HAVE
a terrible singing voice, YOU DON'T know how to
dance, and YOU SAY lines as
though YOU HAVE stones in your mouth. WE
SAY that YOU HAVE to be in the chorus!"





Now, try a sample lesson from TST's SchoolTalk / FriendTalk with your students.
The following lesson is from Unit 2 of TEACH STANDARD TOO's  SchoolTalk / FriendTalk course. The Unit's focus is on the varying uses of Am/Is/Are in oral and written Standard English. Each lesson emphasizes the "conscious contrast" between the Nonstandard English usages of am/is/are and how they may differ from the Standard English usages. Try out the lesson by yourself and/or with your students.

Each TST manual is shipped with one complimentary copy of the accompanying Write Standard, Too Student Journal. TST is shipped in protective wrapping. The price for the manual is $65.

_____________________________________Be-Verbs as Copulas: Is/'s, Are/'re, Am/'m

LESSON PLAN 10.         I/He/She/It  Ain't/Not/No - Am not/Is not/n't

See SST text, page 84.
See Unit 11 in this manual.

DIFFERENCE:                 Many speakers of Asian, European and African-
derived English dialects use ain't. This lesson will focus on usage of ain't
as a negative copula with I/he/she/it (I ain' ready; he ain't ready), instead
of the standard copulas and negatives, am/'m not and is/'s not/n't (I'm not
ready; he isn't ready; she's not ready; it is not ready).

In addition, foreign language background students may omit the copula and
use no or not as the negator (I no ready; he not ready).

The following examples illustrate these differences:

              Friend Talk                                      School Talk
I ain' hungry now.                               I'm not hungry now.
              She ain't sick.                                      She is not sick.
              He ain't goin' with us.                         He's not going with us.
              It ain' too cold.                                    It isn't too cold.
              It not raining.                                      It isn't raining.
              I no happy.                                         I'm not happy.

GOALS:                        1. To hear the difference between the friend talk
of I/he/she/it  ain't/no/not and the school
usage of the am and is copulas and negatives.
                               2. To practice using I am/'m not and he/she/it
                               is/'s not/n't

METHOD:                   Story and fixed conversations.
MATERIALS:             Chalk/oil board and/or flip chart.


Last night, when my family sat down for dinner, my son said that he wasn't going to eat. I asked, 'James, don't you want any dinner?'  He said, 'No I ____________________.'  What do you think James said?

The following are examples of responses that the students may give:

Lesson-Related Responses                                             Other Responses
I ain't hungry.                                                   I wanna watch TV.
I'm not hungry.
I ain't gon eat.                                                   I feel sick.

I ain't sittin' down.
I'm tired.
I ain't feelin' so good.                 

I no hungry.                                                      I am not feeling so good.

I not hungry for dinner.                                     
I no feel so good.                                              

Yes, good! Those were all answers that my son could have given. All of you told me that you were not interested in eating dinner, but you told me in different ways. For example, do you hear a difference between:
I ain't hungry.
I'm not hungry.
I not hungry.
Yes, good! All of those answers told the same information, but the first answer used I ain't, the third answer used I not, and the second answer used I'm not. Which do you think is the school talk answer? Yes, good. I'm not is school talk, and I ain't and I not are friend talk.
Do you hear a difference between these three answers:
I ain't feeling so good.
I am not feeling so good.
I no feel so good.

Yes, good! All of those answers explained that the person feels sick, but the first sentence used I ain't, the second sentence used I am not, and the third sentence used I no. Which sentence do think is in school talk?

Yes, good! If you use I ain't, or I no, you are using the friend talk way of saying `no.' If you use I am not or I'm not, you are using the school talk way of saying `no.'
Now, I'm going to continue the story about last night's dinner. When Kendra, my youngest daughter, came to the table, she asked, `Why isn't James eating with us?' Aisha said, `Because, he_________________________________________ .' What do you think Aisha answered?

He ain't hungry.                                     He went to work.
He isn't feeling good.
James, he ain't hungry. 
He no hungry.
He not eating.
He's not hungry.
Those were all good answers. Do you hear a difference between:
                He ain't hungry.
                He's not hungry.
                He no hungry.

Yes, good! And, do you know which answer is the school talk answer? Yes, the school talk answer used he's not, and the two friend talk answers used he ain't and he no.

Now, I'm going to continue the story about dinner Whenever we eat dinner together, Kendra always brings Ami, her favorite doll, to the table and pretends to feed her.  After I told her why James wasn't eating with us, Kendra took her doll away from the table, and put her on the couch. I asked, 'Kendra, aren't you going to feed Ami her dinner?' Kendra
`No, she____________________ ' What do you think Kendra

          No, she ain't hungry.
      No, Ami, she ain't hungry. 
      No, she isn't hungry. 
      She not feeling good.
      No, cuz she not hungry tonight.

Those were all good answers. Do you hear a difference between:
             She ain't hungry.
             She isn't hungry.

Yes, good! And, which answer is the school talk answer? Yes. Again, friend talk uses she ain't and school talk uses she isn't.

Now, I'm going to finish the story about our dinner. When it was time for dessert, a strange thing happened. All of a sudden, James appeared at the dinner table! He asked, `Is it time for the apple pie and ice cream yet?' I answered, `It's apple pie time for Aisha, and it's apple pie time for Kendra, but it_______________ !'  What do you think I said?

It ain't apple pie time for you! 
      It isn't apple pie time for you!
      It not dessert time for you.
      It ain't pie time for James.
      It's not apple pie time for you.

Those were excellent answers. Do you hear a difference between:
             It ain't apple pie time ...
            It isn't apple pie time ...
It not dessert time ...

Yes, exactly. And which of those three answers is in school talk? Yes, it isn't is in school talk, and it not and it ain't are the friend talk ways of saying, `no.'

You told me three school talk ways of saying `no' with he/she/it. Do you know what they are?

he/she/it                           is not
he/she/it                          isn't
he's/she's/it's                   not

You told me two school talk ways of saying `no' with I. Do you know what they are?

I am not
I'm not

You told me at least three friend talk ways of saying `no' with I/he/she/it. Can you say them?

I/he/she/it                        ain't
I/he/she/it                        not
I/he/she/it                        no

Now, let's have some conversations so we can practice the school talk way of saying a `no' sentence. I'll ask you something about yourself, another person, or about some place or thing, and you will try to remember to use the school talk way of telling me in a negative or `no' sentence. We'll all help each other remember what we need to do to use school talk
in our conversations. Are you ready?

In order to give everyone the maximum oportunity for practice, after one students answers a question, ask the entire class to answer together.  Also, remember, because you have introduced usage of copulas with all the pronouns, it is now acceptable - not randomly intrusive - to point out friend talk omission of copulas, use of emphatic subjects and any other differences that have been introduced, contrasted and practiced in previous lessons.

If a student uses a friend talk response, remember to engage that student, and the entire class, in a contrasting exercise, so as to reinforce conscious awareness of the difference between the friend talk and school talk features.

  Teacher's Questions                                 Student-Responses
Are you a girl?                                           No, I'm not a girl.
Are you four years old?                              No, I'm not four, I'm seven!
Are you standing up?                                 No, I am not standing up.
Are you in 7th grade?                                No, I am not in 7th grade.
Is Kenisha standing up?                            No, she is not.
Is Maria taller than you?                           No, she isn't.
Is your little sister here?                            No, she isn't.
Is Lai ten years old?                                  No, she is not.

Is Donald here, today?                              No, he isn't.
Is your daddy sick?                                   No, he isn't sick. 
Is Rasheed in eighth grade?                      No, he is not.
Is Mr. Jones our principal?                       No, he isn't.
Is our rug green?                                      No, it isn't green, it's gray.
Is this snack time?                                     No, it isn't.

Is this a second-grade class?                    No, it isn't.
Is this a blue shoe?                                   No, it isn't blue.

Are you Olga?                                          No, I'm not.
Are you Donnell?                                     No, I am not Donnell.

Are you walking to school?                      No, I'm not.
Are you doing homework?                       No, I'm not.
Is Letitia crying?                                      No, she's not crying.
Is Chris playing ball?                              No, he's not.
Is your mama at home?                           No, she's not at home.
Is Derrick at home?                                 No, he is not at home.
Is your sweater yellow?                           No, it isn't yellow.
Is your desk green?                                 No, it is not green.
Is Sondra waving?                                  No, she isn't waving.
Is our School Talk lesson over?              No, it isn't.

Yes it is!  Tomorrow we’ll play more school talk games.

Please Note: Those students who use ain't and/or other nonstandard forms of negation may also use nonstandard emphatic (double) negatives (no, he ain't no cab driver) instead of standard  - single - negatives (no, he isn't a cab driver). Remember - one feature at a time is the rule. You can certainly  model the standard style in hopes of indirectly stimulating nonemphatic negative usage. I suggest, however, that you wait until you get to the unit on Negation, Unit 11, before you intrude any further.


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