ACQUIRING PROPER PRONUNCIATION: AN OVERVIEW OF A SET OF EXERCISES FOR IMPROVING ENGLISH LONG /i:/ AND /u:/ VOWELS
Acquiring proper pronunciation is crucial to improving speaking as a skill. Regardless of lexical and grammatical errors, students with understandable pronunciation are still able to communicate efficiently. One of the problems for Macedonian EFL students is their poor quality of English long vowels as the Macedonian language contains only short vowels. Long vowels are not completely new to Macedonian native speakers since the plural of some verbs in Macedonian is formed with geminated vowels - two short vowels of the same quality one next to the other (for example, the verb ‘search’ in Macedonian is ’пребарува‘in the singular and ‘пребарувААт‘in the plural form). Even so, students seem to be mostly unaware of them. Therefore, such mispronunciation leads to miscommunication. This paper presents an overview of a set of exercises, mainly focused on improving two long English vowels /i:/ and /u:/,which according to the author’s research were shown to be one of the problematic areas in English pronunciation among Macedonian students. These exercises were presented to two groups of students majoring in English Philology and Tourism and Business Logistics at Gotse Delchev University of Shtip, Macedonia.