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When I was studying for my CELPIP exam I got material from them. Unfortunately, I can not put the PDF to the public because it has a watermark with my personal email. But I can put you here what it says.

CELPIP's twentieth-seventh error as they state:

Intonation is the most important aspect of English pronunciation because it directly conveys meaning. Intonation is the raising (↑) and lowering (↓) of the pitch at the end of an information unit. Information units are exactly what their name suggests: units of information or meaning within an utterance. When speaking, we need to pause briefly after each information unit. Look at the example below; it is one sentence, but there are two units of information.

The house at the end of the street belongs to my brother.

  1. The house is located at the end of the street.
  2. This house is owned by my bother.

English intonation is quite easy to learn because it is so predictable. With a few exceptions, we lower our pitch at the end of every information unit as shown in the example (/ = pause)

The house at the end of the street ↓ / belongs to my bother ↓.

The most common intonation error on the CELPIP Speaking Test is when speakers raise their pitch at the end of an information unit when they should be lowering it. This is very confusing for listeners because rising .intonation in English usually indicates a yes/no question. Even though you are making a statement, it sounds like you are asking a question, and this is confusing.

How Can I Learn English Intonation?

  • Read: Information units follow grammatical patterns, such as phrases and clauses, and are thus often, but not always, initiated by sentence punctuation.
  • Listening to the news in English, paying attention to where the announcers pause and to their intonation (rising and lowering of pitch). Once you can recognize information units and intonation patterns, it will be easier for you to reproduce them.

Beware

Pausing in the wrong location:

  • Lucy said / my boyfriend is late. (Here, the boyfriend is late.)
  • Lucy / said my boyfriend / is late (Here, Lucy is late.)
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