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  1. #1
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    Default Pronounciation review - reading

    I posted a qustion in 'ask a teacher' section, and the attachment is basically reading part of it.

    I'm pretty sure you'll say things like "excellent pronounciation" if you think I'm an ESL student.

    Well, I am, but take this into consideration also: I want to teach English in Japan in about four years.
    Ok let's pretend I plan to go to Japan to teach English RIGHT NOW, with this pronounciation I have. Most of you will have something to say then. I know the recording is missing that 5% edge needed to sound like a native. (And in daily conversations I make more pronounciation mistakes... this is probably my best shot) I can't quite pinpoint what, but it sounds certainly different compared to a native spaker.

    Could you be, ur, ruthless and point out every single part with pronounciation mistakes, and provide suggestions to fix it? I had to encode the attachment in such low sound quality to fit the max file size requirement. I can send higher quality sound file if you're willing to do this for me. This would mean a lot to me... thank you very much.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by HaraKiriBlade; 01-Jun-2005 at 00:26.

  2. #2
    Steven D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pronounciation review - reading

    Quote Originally Posted by HaraKiriBlade
    I posted a qustion in 'ask a teacher' section, and the attachment is basically reading part of it.

    I'm pretty sure you'll say things like "excellent pronounciation" if you think I'm an ESL student.

    Well, I am, but take this into consideration also: I want to teach English in Japan in about four years.
    Ok let's pretend I plan to go to Japan to teach English RIGHT NOW, with this pronounciation I have. Most of you will have something to say then. I know the recording is missing that 5% edge needed to sound like a native. (And in daily conversations I make more pronounciation mistakes... this is probably my best shot) I can't quite pinpoint what, but it sounds certainly different compared to a native spaker.

    Could you be, ur, ruthless and point out every single part with pronounciation mistakes, and provide suggestions to fix it? I had to encode the attachment in such low sound quality to fit the max file size requirement. I can send higher quality sound file if you're willing to do this for me. This would mean a lot to me... thank you very much.

    Your pronunciation does sound very North American to me. It does sound like someone whose first language is American English. As you said, the sound quality could be better. I agree with that. If the sound quality were a bit better, maybe I'd find something to be critical about. However, the sound is good enough to form an opinion.

    You spoke about hesitating and stuttering. I think many people sometimes have a tendency to hesitate when they speak. The words don't always come easily. Sometimes we have to give some thought to what we say. So, I'm not sure just how much of a concern this should be. Do you find that your hesitating and stuttering is excessive? Does this happen far too often in your opinion?

    Can you please tell me some of the things you did to practice pronunciation?

  3. #3
    HaraKiriBlade's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pronounciation review - reading

    Take a look at my thread 'How do I improve oral English?' in Ask a Teacher section of the forum, and you'll know what I mean. Yes if I have to say umms several times per a sentence that's a problem. Almost 7 years of living in an English-using country (8 years if I count my 1 1/2 year in Australia but there's a reason I don't count it), and my English processor in my brain is still quite... crappy.

    My pronounciation, although not quite as good as that of native speaker, is something I take pride in, because, believe it or not I've acquired 90% of this pronounciation back in Korea.

    I was lucky to go through a very systematic English phonetic program - I won't reveal the name of the program (I'm not allowed to endorse products of any kind, aren't I?) but basically casette tapes, books and a short daily morning phone call in English comprised it. The books explained how lips and tongue should move to pronounce just about every English sound.

    For example, to pronounce 'A's in words, try putting one finger between your teeth, and that's just about how much you should open up your mouth... kind of thing. (note I forgot how many fingers you actually need to put in... I'm just improvising here based on my fading memory) And the explanation is accompanied by casette tapes with native English speakers' pronounciation.

    The result was quite impressive. In two years I was able to pronounce words quite like North American. It's funny though because I still couldn't form even the simplest "This is..." sentence in English. But hey, I pronounced single words like "Cat", "Dog" and "Girl", and all my classmates looked at me in awe.

    Almost a decade has passed from that point, and I still seem to be where I was back then; If I was asked to pronounce a single word, I bet I can fool anyone into thinking that I'm a North American native. Sentences, however, is a different story. Words connect to each other and some sounds change, get omitted or added, and I still haven't fully grasped the whole thing yet.

    And that's just the pronounciation part of my English problem. Not being able to lay out words in the right order and come up with the intended words in time when speaking, is far bigger issue I have. Trust me, my 'reading' and my 'speaking' sounds very different for that reason.

    OH and would anyone be kind enough to receive the higher quality version of my little reading thru E-mail and analyze it for me? it's slightly longer, too.
    Last edited by HaraKiriBlade; 01-Jun-2005 at 05:26.

  4. #4
    Steven D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pronounciation review - reading

    You should know that if anything is going to make you sound like English is not your first language, it's going to be a sentence like this:

    Almost a decade has passed from that point, and I still seem to be where I was back then; If I was asked to pronounce a single word, I bet I can fool anyone into thinking that I'm a North American native.

    Almost a decade has passed from that point, and I still seem to be where I was back then; If I were asked to pronounce a single word, I bet I could fool anyone into thinking that I'm a North American native.

    Some would use "was" there, but I suggest "were". Definitely use "could" or "would" with "was" or "were" in the "if" clause. - unreal - imaginary - unlikely - unlikely but possible - completely impossible - Context would tell us which one applies.

    Use "am" with "can" or "will". - real conditional - possible - more likely. I find that hypothetical/conditional language is difficult to learn for some ESL/EFL speakers. Grammar exercises can be easy, but when it comes to speaking and writing, it's not always as easy as grammar exercises.


    How big is your sound file?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Pronounciation review - reading

    Just under a megabyte in total... I forgot about zip folder you mentioned and just sent them as mp3 files... Should I send it again?

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    Default Re: Pronounciation review - reading

    Quote Originally Posted by HaraKiriBlade
    Just under a megabyte in total... I forgot about zip folder you mentioned and just sent them as mp3 files... Should I send it again?
    I haven't been able to check my email because it's down at the moment. So, I'll have to wait for a little bit.

    Until then,

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    Default Re: Pronounciation review - reading

    Quote Originally Posted by HaraKiriBlade
    Just under a megabyte in total... I forgot about zip folder you mentioned and just sent them as mp3 files... Should I send it again?
    I listened to your file. I still find it difficult to be critical. Maybe if you were speaking and not reading, I'd have a suggestion to offer. Your pronunciation sounds North American to me.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Pronounciation review - reading

    I present the most sincere gratitude to thee...

    Thank you very much X, for taking time to review the reading.

    Hmm I guess I can take your response as a confirmation of some sort. If I can fool you into thinking I sound like a native I can probably later impersonate a native speaker when applying for a teaching job in Japan. But that wouldn't happen before finishing 4-year course on lingustic plus alpha. Hopefully by then I can fool just about anybody.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Pronounciation review - reading

    Quote Originally Posted by HaraKiriBlade
    I present the most sincere gratitude to thee...

    Thank you very much X, for taking time to review the reading.

    Hmm I guess I can take your response as a confirmation of some sort. If I can fool you into thinking I sound like a native I can probably later impersonate a native speaker when applying for a teaching job in Japan. But that wouldn't happen before finishing 4-year course on lingustic plus alpha. Hopefully by then I can fool just about anybody.

    You're welcome.



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