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Ros Watson's picture
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4 hours 2 min ago
Ros Watson's picture

Hi Ariel

Lovely to hear from you.  Why not write...

4 hours 13 min ago
Aliakbar Majidi's picture

Hi again, Aitor. Great job! As Ed and Ros have mentioned...

Saturday, May 18, 2019 - 22:32
Aliakbar Majidi's picture

Hello, Aitor. Hope you are doing well. Unfortunately, I...

Saturday, May 18, 2019 - 21:44
BeckyGreenBeans's picture

Hi! Thanks or Anairis!

I agree that travelling is...

Thursday, May 16, 2019 - 04:07

Challenge 3: Fat, Greedy Dogs!!‏

Fat Labradors give clues to obesity epidemic

The Labrador retriever, known as one of the greediest breeds of dog, is hard-wired to overeat, research suggests.

The dog is more likely to become obese than other breeds partly because of its genes, scientists at Cambridge University say. The gene affected is thought to be important in controlling how the brain recognises hunger and the feeling of being full after eating. The research could help in the understanding of human obesity. "About a quarter of pet Labradors carry this gene [difference]," lead researcher Dr Eleanor Raffan told the BBC. "Although obesity is the consequence of eating more than you need and more than you burn off in exercise, actually there's some real hard-wired biology behind our drive to eat," she added. Researchers screened more than 300 Labradors kept as pets or assistance dogs for known obesity genes in the study, published in the journal Cell Metabolism. The international team found that a change in a gene known as POMC was strongly linked with weight, obesity and appetite in Labradors and Flat-Coated retrievers. In both breeds, for each copy of the gene carried, the dog was on average 2kg heavier. Other breeds of dog - from the Shih Tzu to the Great Dane - were also screened, but the genetic difference was not found.However, the variation was more common in Labradors working as assistance dogs, which the researchers say might be because these dogs are easier to train by rewarding with food.

Undefined
Accent: 
4.5
Pronunciation: 
3.5
Intonation: 
3
Accuracy: 
4.5
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CategoryAdequate to goodGood to ExcellentNeeds work
Accent

The learner's ability to pronounce words shared by the people of a particular country or region of the language they are learning.

Good effort at accent. Quite close to that of a native speaker
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Excellent effort at accent. Extremely close to that of a native speaker.
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Limited effort at accent. Definitely a non-native speaker
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Fluency

The learner's ability to speak continuously by chunking and linking words together. For example, instead of saying very slowly, "I - am - poor. I - have - no - money" like a robot, a fluent speaker would say, "I'm poor because I don't have any money."

Speech is relatively smooth; some hesitation and unevenness caused by rephrasing and searching for words
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Smooth and fluid speech; few to no hesitations; no attempts to search for words; volume is excellent
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1
Speech is frequently hesitant with some sentences left uncompleted
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Intonation

The learner's ability to understand the relative emphasis that may be given to certain syllables in a word, or to certain words in a phrase or sentence

Able to identify and produce correct intonation, word stress and rhythm patterns with 50-90% accuracy.
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1
Able to identify and produce correct intonation, word stress and rhythm patterns with 90-100% accuracy.
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Able to identify and produce correct intonation, word stress and rhythm patterns with < 50% accuracy
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Pronunciation

The learners' ability to enunciate the various consonants, consonant blends, vowels, and vowel blends in words, words linked together, and words in sentences.

The pronunciation contained some individual word pronunciation errors. Around 3-4 errors
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The pronunciation is exceptional and mirrors a native speaker. Shows a clear understanding of word stress and intonation. Only 0-2 errors
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The pronunciation is inconsistent and made it difficult to understand. 5 or more errors
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Juan A. Abellaneda's picture
I learn : English (Advanced) French (Advanced) Swahili (Beginner)
8

I am not happy with the result of my reading, so Edmund don't worry to be severe in your assessment

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edhutchins88's picture
I learn : Chinese (Beginner) French (Beginner) German (Beginner) Portuguese (Beginner) Spanish (Beginner) Arabic (Beginner)
3860

Hi Juan, that was honestly a fantastic reading. Very well done. You should be very pleased with yourself. There are so few mistakes / areas where I think you can improve that I am beginning to feel I am out of a job haha. Please see below a few points you should take into consideration.

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edhutchins88's picture
I learn : Chinese (Beginner) French (Beginner) German (Beginner) Portuguese (Beginner) Spanish (Beginner) Arabic (Beginner)
3860

When you say the word "Labrador", you pronounce it a little like this "L-a-b-a-r-a-d-o-r", as if there is an extra "a" in the word. Listen to me reading it and try saying it again -> /ˈlæb.rə.dɔːr/

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edhutchins88's picture
I learn : Chinese (Beginner) French (Beginner) German (Beginner) Portuguese (Beginner) Spanish (Beginner) Arabic (Beginner)
3860

When you said the word "known" the word stress was not quite right. Again, my suggestion would be to listen to me saying it a couple of times.

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edhutchins88's picture
I learn : Chinese (Beginner) French (Beginner) German (Beginner) Portuguese (Beginner) Spanish (Beginner) Arabic (Beginner)
3860

Perhaps just go over this sentence again "The Labrador retriever, known as one of the greediest breeds of dog, is hard-wired to overeat"

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edhutchins88's picture
I learn : Chinese (Beginner) French (Beginner) German (Beginner) Portuguese (Beginner) Spanish (Beginner) Arabic (Beginner)
3860

When you said the phrase "research suggests" I would recommend that you put more emphasis on the "s" at the end of the word.

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edhutchins88's picture
I learn : Chinese (Beginner) French (Beginner) German (Beginner) Portuguese (Beginner) Spanish (Beginner) Arabic (Beginner)
3860

When it comes to the word "obese" you are very nearly pronouncing it perfectly. But just take notice of how you can get even better at pronouncing it.

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edhutchins88's picture
I learn : Chinese (Beginner) French (Beginner) German (Beginner) Portuguese (Beginner) Spanish (Beginner) Arabic (Beginner)
3860

Similarly with the word "Cambridge", I think you should just practice saying it once or twice more. I know I am being picky here though haha -> ˈkeɪmbrɪdʒ/

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edhutchins88's picture
I learn : Chinese (Beginner) French (Beginner) German (Beginner) Portuguese (Beginner) Spanish (Beginner) Arabic (Beginner)
3860

With the word "exercise" the intonation was not spot on. Again, my advice would be to listen to me saying it and then practice. -> /ˈɛksəsʌɪz/

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edhutchins88's picture
I learn : Chinese (Beginner) French (Beginner) German (Beginner) Portuguese (Beginner) Spanish (Beginner) Arabic (Beginner)
3860

Same goes for the word "journal " -> /ˈdʒəːn(ə)l/

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edhutchins88's picture
I learn : Chinese (Beginner) French (Beginner) German (Beginner) Portuguese (Beginner) Spanish (Beginner) Arabic (Beginner)
3860

And for "Flat-Coated" -> /ˈkəʊ.tɪd/

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edhutchins88's picture
I learn : Chinese (Beginner) French (Beginner) German (Beginner) Portuguese (Beginner) Spanish (Beginner) Arabic (Beginner)
3860

With the breed (of dog) "Shih Tzu" even I am not sure of the correct pronounciation, as I have never heard of it! How embarrassing haha. I think it is best if I post a link so we can both learn :-) ----> http://www.dictionary.com/browse/shih--tzu

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edhutchins88's picture
I learn : Chinese (Beginner) French (Beginner) German (Beginner) Portuguese (Beginner) Spanish (Beginner) Arabic (Beginner)
3860

Overall, I want to congratulate you again. I had to be very picky with my analysis of your recording (and found it to be much better than your previous ones), so that just shows the progress you have made ;) Keep up the good work!

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edhutchins88's picture
I learn : Chinese (Beginner) French (Beginner) German (Beginner) Portuguese (Beginner) Spanish (Beginner) Arabic (Beginner)
3860

Like you have done for me (to help me improve at Spanish), please also find my reading of the text.

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Aliakbar Majidi's picture
I learn : French (Beginner) Persian (Expert) Spanish (Beginner)
3468

Hi, Juan. You have a fantastic job with the reading. Have you learned English on your own? Regarding your text, Ed's tips are very useful to have in mind and implement to improve your English skills. Here is my tip: When learning foreign languages, we must be aware that those languages might have a different sound system from our language. For instance, the word "full" in English has a short vowel and "fool" has a long one. Therefore, we should be aware of these differences and observe them when pronouncing the target language words. Good luck!

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