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In praise of clear pronunciation.
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In praise of clear pronunciation.


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Yolanthe Smit, English speech & presentation coach: In Praise of Clear Pronunciation, …

Yolanthe Smit, English speech & presentation coach: In Praise of Clear Pronunciation,
This slide showpoints out why a clear pronunciation is worthwhile and why it pays to invest in optimizing your pronunciation.
What are your obstacles? Watch this short humorous slide show. Enjoy!

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  • Welcome dear Toastmasters and guests. You just heard a 9 yr old Dutch girl practising a tongue twister to practice her English pronunciation. She was moving to America and wanted to get a head start. How many of you realized she was Dutch? How many of you thought she was a native English speaker? How many of you are native English speakers? As Toastmasters we are all interested in public speaking. We all know how much there is to it. We have to think about many things: message, structure, choosing the right words, vocal variety, body language and so on. What we can do to improve our English pronunciation? We rarely think about matters of clear pronunciation even though it is important for communication in this global world where English has become the Lingua Franca. I hope the native English speakers will find it interesting.
  • Most non-native speakers learned to speak English later in life, Adolescence or beyond. When you learn English at that stage it is sometimes difficult to produce some of the typical sounds. The Articulatory Settings of our native language are different from the Articulatory Settings necessary to produce the typical English sounds. Articulatory Settings are the way we work with our organs of speech; the muscles in the throat, the mouth, the tongue and the lips and the way they shape the air that gives voice to our sounds. There is also the much neglected issue of our sense of Self, our sense of National Identity which is closely related to the way we speak. To what degree do we ‘betray’ our identity when we lose our national accents?
  • Some examples of the pronunciation challenge people from different backgrounds face. Take a moment to think about the sounds or combination of sounds that are tricky for you. Dutch, French, German, Chinese, Spanish etc.
  • The ability to produce correct English sound greatly improves our communication Even though native English speakers are appreciative of non-native speakers speaking their language with a strong accent, they are really impressed when you speak English well. Research has shown you have more status A relatively small investment in improving our pronunciation creates a big return in terms of prestige, business- career- and social opportunities.
  • The lizard brain, - old part of the brain kicks in when we feel threatened. Sees every thing in black and white. In matters of life and death. These are erroneous beliefs. They inhibit learning, practising and creativity.
  • Outdated beliefs left-over from our childhood conditioning and misguided educational systems. What to do with the out-dated beliefs, like old furniture in your living room, just throw it out the window, burn it give it to the recycling store.
  • Outdated beliefs are left-over from our childhood conditioning and misguided educational systems. Outdated beliefs are like old furniture in your living room, just throw it out the window, burn it give it to the recycling store.
  • Let them go, every time they rear their ugly head. Empty your mind. Cultivate a beginners mind.
  • Get familiar with the various positions of your tongue and all of the speech organs located in your head and throat. From the flow of air from your lungs to the throat through vocal folds Be aware of the placement of your tongue in your mouth and the shape of your lips.
  • Some recent mistakes I have recorded at TMOTH; Disciple - disipel, Entrepreneur-antprerner, Renewal - Renual
  • Clear articulation and proper pronunciation are just one of the elements we as non-native speakers should be practicing. Their are other elements to clear speaking such as word stress, sentence stress, linking and thought groups to guide your intonation.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Fuzzy Wuzzy a Tongue Twister for you!
      • Fuzzy Wuzzy
      • Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear
      • Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair
      • Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn't very fuzzy
      • Was he?
    • 2. Oh, Pronunciation, Pronunciation.......
      • English usually learned later in life
      • English sounds are difficult to pronounce for non-native speakers
      • Pronunciation is deeply connected to our sense of identity and sense of Self
    • 3. Pronunciation Challenges
      • Dutch - th becomes du or zu -dat, dose, smootie, smoezie, blue toot, bucks in the system
      • French - th becomes ze - zhe, zhat, zhose
      • German - th becomes zie - ze, zat, zose
      • Chinese - r becomes l - loom, led
      • Spanish - v becomes b - bocal bariety, bibacious, my bunny ballentine. Also m becomes n Roon
    • 4. Benefits clear English Pronunciation?
      • Improves communication
      • Increases status
      • Brings more money
    • 5. What keeps us?
      • Shame
      • Embarrassment
      • Fear
    • 6. Check your Beliefs
      • If I get it right.....
              • I am a GOOD person
      • If I get it wrong......
              • I am a BAD person
      Some Erroneous Beliefs
    • 7. Check your Beliefs
      • If I get it right......
      • I am LOVABLE
      • If I get it wrong....
      • I am DESPICABLE
    • 8. Check your Beliefs
      • If I get it right.....
              • I am a SUCCESS
      • If I get it wrong......
              • I am a LOSER
    • 9. Check your Beliefs
      • If I get it wrong...
      • I will DIE
      • If I get it right......
      • I will SURVIVE
    • 10. Your particular belief
      • If I get it wrong......
      • If I get it right...
    • 11. Check your Outdated Beliefs
      • Outdated beliefs!
    • 12. Let go of outdated beliefs!
    • 13. Start having fun with your tongue & lips
      • Adopt a playful attitude to learning and practicing difficult or unfamiliar sounds
      • Have fun with the sounds, the mouth and tongue & lip exercises
      • Enjoy the process of acquiring new Articulatory Settings.
    • 14. Anatomy of Speech Articulatory Settings 1 GUTTERAL — the back of the tongue 2 PALATAL — the flat of the tongue against the roof of the mouth 3 CEREBRAL — the tip of the tongue against the roof of the mouth 4 DENTAL — the tip of the tongue 5 LABIAL — lips
    • 15. 4 Actions you can take
      • Analyze: record your speech patterns; make an inventory of the sounds that are difficult for you; which sounds challenge you?
      • Study the Articulatory Settings for those sounds
      • Always check the pronunciation of new words and repeat them. Use th Merriam Webster Dictionary or The Visual Thesaurus
      • Practice words with similar sounds but subtle differences
    • 16. English Word Pairs sand - scent neat - need fade - fate rug - rock hat - head life - live dead - debt ruthless - roofless phase - faze ship - sheep walk - work lettuce - letters face - faith very - weary bug - buck fan - vane
    • 17. Resources
      • Starfall
      • Visual Thesaurus
      • Merriam Webster Dictionary
      • Articulatory Settings
    • 18. Other elements of clear speaking
      • Word stress
      • Sentence stress
      • Intonation
      • Linking
      • Word groups
    • 19. Remember the Benefits!
      • Clear Communication
      • More Time
      • More Prestige
      • More Money
    • 20. How Much Wood?
      • How much wood
      • would a woodchuck chuck
      • if a woodchuck
      • could chuck wood?
      • He would chuck
      • as much wood
      • as a woodchuck could
      • if a woodchuck could chuck wood