I am a Brazilian speaker, and I'm having trouble understanding the difference between the pronunciation of the words cheating and teaching.
In English, cheat /tʃit/ and teach /titʃ/ are pronounced differently.
For one thing, the first syllable phoneme in each word is aspirated:
- teach /titʃ/, phonetically [tʰitʃ]
- cheat /tʃit/, phonetically [tʰʃit]
Why this might be a problem for some learners has to to with at least two things
- /tʃ/ is an automatic pronunciation for /t/ in some languages when it comes before /i/
(Italian or Japanese, for instance)
- final /t/ in some languages is automatically converted to /ti/, and then to /tʃi/
(Brazilian Portuguese, for instance)
That means that speakers of languages with these features will have difficulty hearing
-- and therefore in producing -- these words. Similar phenomena occur with all English palatal consonants: /ʃ, tʃ, ʒ, dʒ/.