You’ve been working hard to improve your spoken English, but all the pronunciation patterns and words stress rules are beginning to feel a bit overwhelming. You’ve tried making lists and listening to recordings, but the hard part is just remembering to use what you know in everyday conversations. You’ve tried using reminder notes and alarms, and even carrying a smooth stone in your pocket to touch and remind you to use your new speech patterns.
But none of it is helping. You may be one of the people whose memory is triggered best by the sense of smell.
Have you ever walked into a room and smelled something cooking,and you immediately thought back to your mother fixing a favorite food when you were a child? Or perhaps you were walking through a store and caught a whiff of someone’s cologne – the same one your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend used to wear. That stirred up some memories, didn’t it?
Our sense of smell triggers our memory more powerfully than any of our other senses. So, we’re going to take this incredible capacity to remember and use it to help us master that tricky English pronunciation.
First, I want you to pick out a scent that you like, but that is unfamiliar to you. In other words, the fragrance that you wear every day won’t work, because your brain is accustomed to it and you already have memories associated with it.You can choose an essential oil, such as vanilla or peppermint, or a scented lotion that you like. Or, you can use this as a great excuse to purchase that designer fragrance you’ve really been wanting. The important thing is that you find the smell pleasing and that it is new to you so that it doesn’t evoke other memories.
Choose one sound that you want to remember to practice and use in your daily conversations. Make a list of 10-20 words that have that sound in them, and either memorize the words or keep the list near you.
Now, get out your wonderful new designer fragrance,essential oil, or other pleasing scent and apply a dab of it to your wrists. Do not put any of it on your face or neck. This is important because if you do that, you will smell it constantly, your brain will acclimate to it, and within a short while, you won’t notice it any longer. When that happens, the smell on your wrist won’t seem unusual and it won’t trigger your memory the way we want it to.
So, you have your list of words and your new fragrance on your wrists. As you go throughout your day, every time your hand moves near your face and you smell that wonderful aroma, recite a few of your practice words. If you are in the midst of a conversation, just use that reminder scent to encourage yourself to purposefully use one of your new words in the conversation and make a point of pronouncing it correctly.
Before long, smelling your fragrance will automatically trigger a response in your brain to pay attention to your English pronunciation. And soon, you will be getting compliments on both how you smell and how you speak as your new technique helps you improve your spoken English.
Not sure exactly which sounds you should be practicing? Why don’t you take my free online speech and accent screening at http://www.losemyaccent.com? It only takes a few minutes, and you will get free tips on how to improve your pronunciation.