What can EFL students learn from Stephen Hawking?
It's not often discussed in course books, but one of the most fascinating things about languages is the question of rhythm.
Some languages - such as Spanish, French and Japanese - tend to be syllable-timed, where syllables have similar length and similar stress. Other languages - such as English, German and Arabic - tend to be stress-timed: here, syllables have different lengths and different stresses.
(Note: this is a complex area, and languages do not fall neatly into one category or the other. It's better to think of syllable-timing and stress . . .
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