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Accent reduction by Justin Murray @ REAL LIFE English

ELT MOOC by Jason R. Levine on WiziQ.

This is a professional development massive Open Online Course in listening and pronunciation techniques.

MOOC team organisers:

Dr. Nellie Deutsch

Sylvia Guinan

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Accent reduction by Justin Murray @ REAL LIFE English

  1. 1. • • •
  2. 2. Overview of This Presentation • • • • • • • • • • Introduction About me & RealLife English Pronunciation Awareness A Few Techniques Sound Morphing, Shrinking & Linking Content vs Function Words The Mimic Method Reverse Accent Mimicry Listening Strategies Bringing it Together
  3. 3. Knock Knock Jokes
  4. 4. Knock Knock Jokes Warning: Knock Knock Jokes Are CHEESY Humor (CHEESY & CORNY = poor quality, poor taste, cheap)
  5. 5. More Cheesy Knock Knock Jokes Me: Knock Knock You: Who’s there? Me: Police You: Police who? Me: Police let me in. It’s cold out here! Please let me in. It’s cold out here!
  6. 6. Me: Knock Knock You: Who’s there? Me: Harry You: Harry who? Me: Harry up, It’s cold out here! Hurry up, it’s cold out here!
  7. 7. Me: Knock Knock You: Who’s there? Me: Nana You: Nana who? Me: Nana your business! None of your business!
  8. 8. Me: Knock Knock You: Who’s there? Me: Scold (name) You: Scold who? Me: Scold enough to go ice-skating out here! It’s cold enough to go ice-skating out here!
  9. 9. Me: Knock Knock You: Who’s there? Me: Orange (name) You: Orange who? Me: Orange you gonna let me in? It’s cold out here! Aren’t you gonna let me in. It’s cold out here!
  10. 10. Me: Knock Knock You: Who’s there? Me: Claire You: Claire who? Me: Claire the way. I’m coming through! Clear the way, I’m coming through!
  11. 11. Me: Knock Knock You: Who’s there? Me: Jenny You: Jenny who? Me: Jenny’d any help opening the door? Did you need any help opening the door?
  12. 12. • • • • •
  13. 13. • • • • • •
  14. 14. • • •
  15. 15. RealLife English • • • •
  16. 16. Transcend and include “Learn the rules like a pro, • Sometimes convention/rules prevent so you can break them like us from being our best an artist.” –Picasso • But we must recognize and respect why they are there in the first place (but not be limited by them.) • This is applies to language learning and teaching (use grammar to help you but don’t be a grammar Nazi.)
  17. 17. For many events, 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. • 80% of the land owned by 20% of the population • 80% of the sales come from 20% of the clients • 20% of your relationships produce 80% of your value • 80% of the successful learners come from 20% of the teachers • 20% of the activities produce 80% of the results • Does this apply to pronunciation/accent reduction training?
  18. 18. The Fluency Gap • Native speakers speak differently than most people learn in school, seemingly faster, words together • Incomprehensible, confusing for most learners • We speak in chunks, we cut and shorten certain words, we morph our sounds, we shrink and link • Few people are learning the musicality of the English language (rhythm, stress, intonation) that guides the way natives speak • Few teachers are giving students a framework to deal with this and respond.
  19. 19. My objectives when I teach this: 1. Build awareness: learners should be aware of this fluency gap from early on in their learning process 2. Develop the tools to respond when they don’t understand by teaching the fluent use of survival phrases- lower affective filter/ proper attitude 3. Simultaneously teach the grammatical structure and comprehension of these sound chunks in a systemized and intuitive way. 4. Fluent comprehension and use of these in appropriate and meaningful contexts. (integrate them into class)
  20. 20. What is our role as teacher? • Coachesinspire, motivate, guide • Facilitators- flipped classroom, blended learning • Psychologists- help them deal the psychological challenges • Mentors – give them guidance • Trainers- help them develop the technical skills
  21. 21. 1. Develop awareness from early on in the process For Both Listening Comprehension AND Pronunciation Training
  22. 22. • • • •
  23. 23. Do we need great pronunciation to be fluent? • Yes and No • Let’s look at both sides
  24. 24. Argument 1: No, pronunciation is not that important • Communication is the key to fluency • We all have accents • Your accent is a representation of where you are from • Foreign accents are cute ;0) • Any other reasons?
  25. 25. Argument 2: Yes, pronunciation is very important • • • • It makes communication easier It increases comprehensibility It improves confidence It improves social integration
  26. 26. More arguments for improved pronunciation • With effective practice, improvements can be quick and dramatic • 80/20 principle • A lot of learners believe it’s important
  27. 27. • • • • •
  28. 28. • • •
  29. 29. N. Arizona Accent Training Study • 12 hours of accent training over a 6 week period (2 hours per week) • Learners of mixed levels • 47.7% INCREASE in comprehensibility among learners (native speaking judges) • Suggests 80/20 rule – 80% of the effect comes with 20% of the effort
  30. 30. Why aren’t more people teaching this? • • • •
  31. 31. Spoon Feeding Our Students • By not speaking enough English in class • By not giving them the tools to respond when they don’t know. • By not showing them how English is really spoken
  32. 32. Objectives: (1) Relax, (2) have fun, (3) Recognize the sounds behind the worlds (aren’t vs orange) Me: Knock Knock You: Who’s there Me: Orange You: Orange who? Me: Orange you gonna let me in?
  33. 33. The Huge Importance of Confidence “Fake it until you make it.” • Fear is the first and biggest barrier to learning (affective filter) • Students have this idea that they need to be perfect • Mistakes are a natural part of the process • It is our job to teach confidence
  34. 34. • • • • •
  35. 35. 1. Learn the phrases (memorization, repetition) 2. Put the words together until they come out 3. Imitation/mimicry of native pronunciation until they are fluent with these phrases • • • • • Sorry (Pardon, excuse me), Can you repeat (slower) please What does ________ mean? (“wha-duz _____ mean?”) How do you say? (“how-da-ya say ________?”) What do you mean? (“wha-da-ya mean by _______?”) (Extra) Do you know what I mean? (“know what I mean?”)
  36. 36. Fluent Survival Phrases Protect The Learner and Give them Tools to Respond When They Don’t Understand
  37. 37. Immediate effect of fluent use of survival phrases • Increased confidence in native speaking situations (it’s a huge psychological step) + cultural fluency • Pronunciation paradigm broken • Students more comfortable with the use English in the classroom (affective filter lowered) • They will naturally start to listen and imitate (“what does _________ mean?”) • These phrases promote a curiosity for the language that enables them to investigate and experiment
  38. 38. Technique #3: Greetings & Goodbyes • • • • How are you doing? (“How-ya-doin?”) How have you been? (“How’uv-ya-been?) It was good to see you. (“it was good-a-see-ya”) Thank you, I appreciate it (“I apprecia-dit”) • We use these all of the time (start/end every conversation with confidence) • Repetition, functionality, small bits of fluency • Gives students something to work w/ from day 01.
  39. 39. Start and End Every Conversation with Confidence
  40. 40. Technique #4: Tour of the Tenses Fluency Exercise Framework for to learn the conjugation of tenses through repeated use in meaningful context. Native-like pronunciation training
  41. 41. Example 1: Future SimpleGoing to  (“gonna”) Context: At the end of class (talking about weekend). Give it lots of structure with first application Question: What are you going to do this weekend? “whad-ur-ya gonna do this weekend?” Answer: I’m going to ____________ “I’m gonna watch the soccer game”
  42. 42. Repeated use in meaningful contexts to teach (1) Grammatical competence (2) Lower and remove affective filter (3) Fluency chunks & Scripts (3) Imitate native pronunciation
  43. 43. Example 2: Simple Past (A)Did Context: at the beginning of class, first class of the week. Question: What did you do on the weekend? “What-dju-do on the weekend?” Answer: I watched a movie, I did my homework, I hung out with my friends.
  44. 44. Continued Application • Introduce, practice, and learn both written and spoken (formal writing) • Use it to teach listening comprehension, mimicry/imitation (pronunciation), and reinforce the survival phrases • Gradually remove the training wheels until it becomes a quick, natural, and fluent conversation
  45. 45. Example 3: Present Perf. Cont. I Have been ____ing Context: Beginning of class / Middle of the week Question: What have you been doing (lately, this wk, etc) “What’uve-ya-been doin’ lately“ Answer: I’ve been _________ing “I’ve been ______ing”
  46. 46. Tour of the Tenses Objectives • Integrate each tense into meaningful and repeatable classroom routines that serve as continual practice. • Gradually teach each student to relax and comprehend at normal speed and rhythm in sound chunks. • Systematically teach appropriate (formal and informal) use of verb tenses through writing, speaking, and pronunciation practice
  47. 47. Why Natives Speak Different Than You Learned in School 1. Sound Morphing 2. The Hidden Rhythm of the English Language (Shrinking and Linking) 3. Discourse Markers
  48. 48. 1. Sound Morphing How native speakers cut, shorten, bring together, and leave out words and sounds in the English language.
  49. 49. • Examples: Gonna, Gotta, Wanna • I Want to = I Wanna* • You’ve Got to = You Gotta* • I Want to = I Wanna* • Three are just the most tangible examples • This is just the tip of the ice-berg *all of these are used in informal writing (NOT formal)
  50. 50. More Classic Examples • • • • • • • Kind of = Kinda* Sort of = Sorda Let me = Lemme Give me = Gimme I don’t know = I dunno* Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda* A lot of = A-lah-du
  51. 51. Formal vs Informal • Native speakers use sound morphing in spoken English in both formal and informal contexts • Native speakers are usually not conscious of this • Formality/Register is expressed in the intonation of speech • We should certainly focus on learning to write properly (don’t use morphs)
  52. 52. Should You Use These? • • • • • At least understand them Teach students to understand them Teach formal writing of this Play around with them before using them Music is a great way to implement them
  53. 53. 2. Shrinking and Linking Influenced by Jason Levine
  54. 54. Intonation/Stress A. I didn’t say he stole the money B. I didn’t say he stole the money C. I didn’t say he stole the money D. I didn’t say he stole the money E. I didn’t say he stole the money F. I didn’t say he stole the money G. I didn’t say he stole the money
  55. 55. Content vs Function Words Rachel Smith (Rachel’s English)
  56. 56. The Rhythm of the English Language • • • • • English Stress timed language Stressed Sounds are Content Words Content words are longer, more emphasis Unstressed Sounds are Function Words Function words Shorter, flatter, quicker
  57. 57. Unstressed Function Words Does he think I’ll come today? “duz-e think all come da-day” I think we’ll have to help them later tonight “I think will hafta help-em la-der danight” He can have a cat and dog, but he can’t have a horse “he-cun-ave a cad-n-dog, buh-de cannav-a-horse”
  58. 58. Discourse Markers Dynamic group of words or phrases that serve as linguistic mechanisms to fill, pivot, give space and rhythm to your speech and conversation. • • • • • Like (kinda like) You know? Well I mean You see?
  59. 59. Using vs Not Using Discourse Markers “I’m not totally fluent in Italian, but it’s similar to Spanish. They aren’t exactly the same, but they have similar grammar.” “So, look, ya see, I’m not like todally fluent in Italian, ya know? Bud-its-kinda-like Spanish, know wha-di-mean? Well, I mean, they arend-exactly the same but they have kinda like similar grammar you know?”
  60. 60. Justin Bieber Says Like A Lot
  61. 61. The Application of Discourse Markers • Don’t abuse them (you’ll sound like an adolescent) • Experimentation is good, play around with them • Observe native speech (TV shows might not always give you this, but interviews, youtube, etc) • Start integrating them into your English
  62. 62. Techniques Review 1. 2. 3. 4. Knock Knock Jokes Survival Phrases Greetings/Goodbyes Tour of the Tenses 1. Imitation of Rap Music 2. Reverse Accent Mimicry
  63. 63. Language Learning Heroics: Idahosa Ness Raps in 8 Languages
  64. 64. The Mimic Method • Using RAP music to learn a foreign language • Language is not a sequence of words, but a sequence of sounds • Master the sounds of the target language before mastering the meaning • The majority of phonemes (distinct speech sounds) exist in several languages • What makes each language different is its FLOW or rhythm
  65. 65. Rhythmic Phonetic Training • Teaches the flow of the language by perfecting their accent while singing • Uses rap music- far superior than melodic/pop • More vigorously highlights rhythms and sounds of a language • Develop muscularity, articulation w/ rap music • Then pronunciation is on auto-pilot when speaking • The flow of connected speech cuts the syllables
  66. 66. Mimic Method Put to Use • • • • • • • • • He is developing a product for English speakers My experience with it Free audio editing program Audacity ( Slow the song down Record yourself, compare Rap music, rhythm & flow Conscious rap music Fluency MC’s rap music
  67. 67. Reverse Accent Mimicry Laurence M. Hilton: Speech Language Pathology • “Humans possess an innate biological capacity to hear, differentiate and mimic fundamental prosodic and phonological characteristics of any language.” • Story 1 – Walking in France / Children making fun of him • Story 2- French Actor Speaking English • You need to imitate a native English speaker speaking your language with a thick accent
  68. 68. Application • • • • •
  69. 69. Active & Passive Listening • • • • • • • • • Native Podcasts / EFL programs TV shows-movies-video games Music (Rap and any type of music) Immerse your life in English- English For Life Daily exposure Convenient moments Natural as possible As relaxed as possible Integrate it into your life, into who you are
  70. 70. Conclusion • • • • • • Build Awareness Build Confidence Don’t Spoon Feed Them Try new things, make it fun Experiment With Your Own Learning Take Advantage of Available Resources