About Pronunciation Training
What to Expect
Pronunciation training is very physical in nature. You are changing sounds that you speak. You are changing the way you move your mouth, for instance, your tongue and your jaw.
We can compare pronunciation training with running. If you are just starting to run, and you have never run before, it is painful. You feel clumsy and silly-looking as you run in your neighborhood. Sadly, you do not even feel good afterward–your body hurts. You persevere, and slowly, you start feeling better. You begin to sense that there are many little problems in the ways you are using your muscles. As you sense those problems, your brain begins working, both consciously and unconsciously, to solve them. You continue to run, and it becomes easier and easier, better and better. In time, you look forward to your daily practice. And of course, you benefit from the exercise.
Here is how this translates in terms of pronunciation training.
1. It is going to feel awkward and hard at first. Expect this! Speaking with new sounds can be funny, though, so I recommend having some fun with it. I laugh a lot with my students, and trust me, I am not laughing at their sounds. I laugh when a man from Spain or a woman from Russia says a word like box with an American O sound, and then looks at me, very confused, and asks if that is actually right. And I say, yes it is!
2. When you begin improving, you will do well with the lesson materials, but you will not be able to speak spontaneously with the new sounds. Some people feel frustrated here but be patient. The sounds will sink in.
3. You will hear the mistakes in your own speech and know which sounds you mispronounced. This is good! Now your brain is really absorbing the material and changing. This is a necessary step in development, and it means that your brain is working toward your improvement consciously and unconsciously.
4. You begin to speak with American pronunciation. Almost all of my students have reported getting compliments from coworkers, family or friends. They also report feeling more successful when giving presentations, meeting new clients, and in other aspects of life, such as parent-teacher conferences. In short, they feel a great increase in confidence.
Now that you know what to expect, get started with your pronunciation training. Approach it with a healthy sense of humor, and know that you will ultimately succeed.
|750 Business Words||Assessment Main Page|