my other favorite thing is asking students "how many vowels are there in English?" and then they all say "five" and then I write on the board "beet, bit, bet, bait, bat, bought, boat, boot, but (also book)..."
@aparrish So you're trying to introduce them to the phonetic definition or just confuse them? I took the trouble many years ago to memorize an alphabet with different characters for each of those letter groups, but I haven't seen it catch on yet.
@tudza I teach a graduate-level class about using natural language processing techniques in creative writing. I am in fact introducing them to phonetics and phonology (so they can do things like produce texts with meter and rhyme)
@aparrish@tudza This is so cool. When I was learning English my teacher did the same thing. She made us think about how our sentences would sound when read in our minds and out loud. It made me a better writer :)
@aparrish well, the other problem is that the question is ambiguous - "in English" could mean orthography (five, sometimes six) or phonology (ten or eleven or something like that) and without distinguishing the question doesn't do very much for you