If you want to improve your spoken English, you know you need to practice. The more you listen and speak, the more you improve. But you’ve got to remember to use your new pronunciation skills when carrying on conversations every day.
Just look at these examples:
Beep! Beep! Beep! You reach over and turn off the alarm that has just awakened you, and you get out of bed. You’ve just used your sense of hearing to help you accomplish the task of waking up at a certain time.
Ding! Ding! The oven timer goes off, reminding you to take your dinner out of the oven before it burns. Your sense of hearing has helped you get dinner cooked correctly, before your sense of smell had the chance to tell you that it had already burnt.
Buzzers,timers, and alarms are part of our everyday life these days, but have you ever thought about using your sense of hearing as a reminder to help you improve your spoken English?
Of course, you use your hearing to listen to other speakers of English and to listen to yourself as you practice sounds and words. But, how could listening to the beep, buzz,or ring of alarms and timers be helpful?
Because what your mind dwells on is what it does well.
If you focus on your pronunciation, you will improve your spoken English. If hearing an alarm or beep reminds you to focus on your speech, you will improve if you hear the alarm often enough.
I want you to try an experiment to see if this technique is helpful to you.
Choose one sound that you are trying to learn really well. Make a list of 10-20 words that include that sound and keep it with you. Find a watch with an alarm or a timer, or use Google calendar reminders if you are at your desk all day. Set your timer to ring or beep at 30 minute intervals during the day. Don’t forget to plan around meetings, as you don’t want your alarm interrupting your boss’s presentation!
Each time the alarm sounds,practice 5-10 words from your list, out loud but quietly if you work in a cubicle. Even if you can’t practice aloud, think about the words and the correct pronunciation of the sound. This activity brings this new sound to the forefront of your brain, so when you are conversing with co-workers or family and that sound appears in a word, you are much more aware of it and more likely to produce it correctly.
Experiment with different sounds and different intervals of time between alarms.Within a very short time, you should see a significant improvement in your ability to remember to use your new pronunciation skills.
Not sure exactly which sounds you should be practicing? Take my free online speech and accent screening at http://www.losemyaccent.com.