Hello, I'm Cleona.
Do you know how to pronounce my name?
I live in a small village in Spain where I am known as 'Clio'. My real Irish name 'Cleona' is unusual here (Maria, Isabel, Marie Carmen or Asuncion are common.) Some people can't remember 'Cleona' though most can pronounce it correctly when I take the time to help them..
My name has 3 syllables. Clap your hands 3 times as you say it.
But you need to stress the middle syllable. It goes up and it is long.
cle -O- na
To avoid complications, I often just end up introducing myself in Spanish as:
'Me llamo Clio, como el coche'.
This means 'I'm Clio, like the car'
(Clio is a popular Renault car, so this always gets a laugh.)
When I was teaching international EAP students at Macquarie Uni. in Sydney, I often struggled with the pronunciation of their names. Despite having traveled extensively in Asia, I couldn't produce the sounds that names from these countries require to say them correctly or at least in a recognisable way. Sadly, many students use English names such as 'Harry' or 'Nancy' to avoid such problems.
Read this article by Ed Week about how pronunciation matters.
'Good teachers would never want to do anything that makes a student feel ashamed or embarrassed. They would never want to do anything that leads students to distance themselves from their backgrounds. But if teachers don’t put in the necessary effort to pronounce students’ names correctly, that might be exactly what they are doing.'
There are two types of syllables:
1. unstressed - short
2. stressed - long and they go up!
I made this video to help you.
In the IELTS Speaking Test, it is worth 25%.
Check out my e-Course to prepare you for Test day!
Advanced English Step-By-Step!