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  1. #1
    george_martin is offline Newbie
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    Default Best way to Learn pronunciation

    I want to improve my pronunciation and i have come across two different courses
    the first program is "Pronunciation Workshop" and the second is "American accent training"
    It seems they follow different training course:


    the Pronunciation Workshop Advocate :"Practice speaking VERY SLOWLY, out loud, in a strong voice and exaggerate the mouth movements.You will be retraining the muscles of your mouth and tongue to move in new and different ways while mastering your new pronunciation patterns.Theoretically, once you understand the concepts and have retrained yourself, eventually these new speech patterns will progress into your own spontaneous conversational rapid speech"
    in another hand the American accent training says something different, it says:
    Do not speak word by word.
    If you speak word by word, as many people who learned "printed" English do, you'll
    end up sounding mechanical and foreign.
    Connect words to form sound groups.
    This is where you 're going to start doing something completely different than what you ave done in your previous English studies. This part is the most difficult for many people because it goes against everything they've been taught. Instead of thinking of each word as a unit, think of sound units. These sound units may or may not correspond o a word written on a page. Native speakers don't say Bob is on the phone, but say [babizan the foun]. Sound units make a sentence flow smoothly, like peanut butter* never really ending and never really starting, just flowing along. Even chunky peanut utter is acceptable. So long as you don't try to put plain peanuts directly onto your read, you '11 be OK.
    staircase
    Let those sound groups floating on the wavy river in the figure flow downhill and you '11 get the staircase. Staircase intonation not only gives you that American sound, it also makes you sound much more confident. Not every American uses the downward stair* case. A certain segment of the population uses rising staircases-generally, teenagers on their way to a shopping mall: "Hi,my name is Tiffany. I live in La Canada. I'm on the pep squad."




    so what is your thought on these two courses, which one sound more practical to you?

  2. #2
    probus's Avatar
    probus is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Best way to Learn pronunciation

    I have never in my life said [babizan the foun], but I'm only 66 so I still have time to reform my pronuciation. Seriously, I wouldn't spend a dime on either of those courses.

    It will be rather difficult to sound like an American as long as you are living in the UK. The best way to acquire any accent is immersion in that accent, and obviously you are immersed in BrE. But if you want to learn AmE pronunciation, watch and record CNN. Then try to duplicate the pronunciation and record yourself. Compare the two recordings. The more you immerse yourself in the sound of AmE the more your pronunciation will tend in that direction.

  3. #3
    george_martin is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Best way to Learn pronunciation

    Hi pro,
    first let me say that I'm not living in the UK or any countries where English is an official language. However, I'm pretty well immersed in English.
    You said that I needed to watch and record CNN and then duplicate the words.but, according to what creator of "Pronunciation Workshop"who apparently is a speech-language pathologist says, ,"the problem is not with your duplication, but it's with the way you move your mouth and tongue."
    For example, when Arabs are watching CNN, they have very hard time to duplicate the word "WATER." .
    Because for you to be able to pronounce the letters "W" and "R" correctly, your mouth and lips have to come forward, like you are going to kiss, and your tongue moves back in your mouth, not forward.
    Arabs can't say the word "water" correctly even if they watch CNN hundred times. They pronounce it (vaderrrr) .I'm not Arab, but just said it as an example.
    I think you got the point. So what are you saying about that?

  4. #4
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: Best way to Learn pronunciation

    Your member profile says that your current location is the UK and that was the basis for much of probus' reply. If your location information is not correct, then we are being misled and that has wasted probus' time.

    Please edit your entire member profile to ensure that every part of it is correct.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  5. #5
    george_martin is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Best way to Learn pronunciation

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Your member profile says that your current location is the UK and that was the basis for much of probus' reply. If your location information is not correct, then we are being misled and that has wasted probus' time.

    Please edit your entire member profile to ensure that every part of it is correct.
    OK. I will correct that.


  6. #6
    RamonaMetallic 1971 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Best way to Learn pronunciation

    "Native speakers don't say Bob is on the phone, but say [babizan the foun]"

    This is fascinating. I'm from a south American country and I have experienced this first hand in my travel to the US. It is hard for non native speakers. I was in Boston where every one speaks with a AHH sound. (CAHH instead of CAR).

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Best way to Learn pronunciation

    Quote Originally Posted by george_martin View Post
    ...so what is your thought on these two courses, which one sound more practical to you?
    According to your description, I wouldn't chose either of them. If I were to seek professional help in such matters, I'd expect a reasonable balance between mastering separate sounds and whole utterances with stress, intonation and rhythm drilling. It could be something personal but I do appreciate more practice rather than pure theory and in reply to your 'Arab example', in my experience, self-study can work miracles despite any 'typical mistakes' caused by L1 interference. You might not consistently sound 100% native-like but very close indeed.

    It's commonly said that people hear the way they speak and good pronunciation does help to get tuned in but it's not as simple as that. You might find it helpful to understand what exactly you are working at - listening comprehension or pronunciation - and set yourself practical goals. Some accents, if natural and consistent, may sound very pleasing to the ear while understanding what people are talking about could be fairly crucial.

    Finally, it's plain easy to find someone (actor or anyone) with the AmE accent you like and copy him. I wish it were that easy with BrE.
    Good luck, anyway.

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