You want to improve your spoken English and you are trying to remember everything you’ve learned about pronunciation and intonation,but it’s hard to break old habits. Even when you know the correct pronunciation of a sound, remembering to use it in conversation is another matter.
You’ve tried lots of different ways to remind yourself to use the correct speech, but they’re just not working. Before you give up and think you’ll just have to live with your accent the way it is, there is something else you can try.
Yes, I mean mints and lemon drops and sour candy. Not as a reward or incentive, but as a reminder. Let me explain what I mean.
We all use our senses every day to remind us to do different things. When we see a note, we’re reminded to complete a task. When we hear an alarm, we know it’s time to get out of bed or to be somewhere. Everyone has one sense that works better than others at cueing them to remember things.
One often overlooked sense is the sense of taste.
Now, of course, many of us greatly enjoy our sense of taste as we eat a delicious meal, but what I’m talking about here is using the sense of taste as a reminder.
How can you find out if your sense of taste will remind you to practice the skills you need to improve your spoken English? By conducting a simple experiment.
All you need is a list of 10-20 words that you are working on (all with the same sound in them) and some strongly flavored candy – mints or lemon or other sour candy. It is important that you choose a candy that you do not eat regularly, because we want it to”wake up” your mouth and brain when you eat it, signaling your brain to pay attention to what is going on.
Keep the candy in a bowl on your desk, in your pocket or purse, or somewhere easily accessible so you can suck on it throughout the day.
Each time you reach for a piece of candy, recite a few of your practice words, paying careful attention to pronounce them correctly. Over the course of the day, your brain will learn that when it senses that taste, it’s time to use your new English pronunciation.
If this seems to work well for you,experiment with several types of candy over a few days and see which one triggers the strongest memories. If the candy is too mild, you may just enjoy the taste too much and forget the practice, so be sure to use only strongly-flavored ones.
What a yummy way to 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.