Springtime Challenge: Grow a Speech Garden

People who love gardening often spend all winter planning what they’ll grow in the spring. They pore over seed catalogs and websites, plot out their flower or vegetable beds on paper, and put aside money for new plants, mulch, and all the other necessary materials to make their garden beautiful and prosperous.

Have you ever thought about tending to your speech the way you’d tend to a garden?

Well, I’m issuing you a challenge!

Springtime Challenge

For Better Hearing and Speech month, we’re talking about how your communication takes care… the kind of care that would go into the planning and maintenance of a lush and healthy garden.

What does it look like to “grow a speech garden” with care?

Identify The Weeds

Any gardener knows that weeds will take over your garden in no time if left to grow! They become harder to uproot as they get bigger. The same is true for your speech: an unhelpful sound left unchecked will make you harder to understand, and will take more work to “unlearn” the longer you continue to use it.

Feed the Healthy Plants!Garden beds need nutrients in the form of fertilizer or compost – and of course watering – to ensure healthy plants and growth. Your American accent can benefit from similar care… so practice the sounds you know are working.

Introduce New SpecimensGardeners are always looking to include new specimens in their gardens – perhaps an heirloom vegetable variety they’ve never grown, or an exciting new hybrid of their favorite flower. When your correct sounds become strong enough that you don’t have to focus on them as much anymore, you can more easily introduce the next batch of sounds that need more work.

So, how do you know which sounds to focus on?

In this video from awhile back, I explain more about how your clear speech is like a garden you must maintain, and how important an individual speech coach or listener is.

And I also want to encourage you to join me for my 8­-week online clear speech course that starts June 9!

This course will tackle exactly what we’re talking about with your “speech garden”… identifying the sounds that give you trouble, practicing the correct sounds, individual attention from a speech pathologist (me, of course!), and listening and support from others who are also growing their “speech garden.”

Speaking and Learning Together

All the course information is right here, so don’t miss this opportunity to change the course of your speech this spring! Just like a garden that produces a bountiful autumn harvest, you can be speaking more clearly by this fall after my 8-week course.

And after you reserve your spot, you can bring a friend for free!

Working with a friend will help you both better tend to your speech gardens.

I hope you take this “Speech Garden Challenge” and commit to working on your American accent this spring… and I hope to see you June 9 for my “Speaking and Learning Together” accent reduction course!

Spring Has Sprung! What Did That Bird Do?

Spring Has Sprung: A Fun Poem for Pronunciation Practice

In the last couple of weeks, spring has suddenly burst into life, with fresh green leaves and beautiful new flowers appearing daily in my yard. Every spring, I am reminded of a silly poem that I heard growing up. I mention it here to give you a taste of American culture, and also because of the fun pronunciation practice. You can download an audio below to hear the correct American English pronunciation.

You need a few pieces of information to better understand the poem. First, ris is a shortened form of risen. It is not grammatically correct, but the poet used it to make the lines rhyme. Second, whitewash is a liquid similar to white paint that is not used much in the US anymore. (Hint: the poet is not talking about actual whitewash). Third, a sissy is someone who is afraid or a coward.

Here is the poem:

Spring has sprung;
The grass has ris.
I wonder where
The birdie is?
There he is
In the sky.
He dropped some
Whitewash in my eye!

I am no sissy;
I won’t cry.
I’m just glad
That cows can’t fly!

Did you get it? I hope it made you laugh a little. And I hope you are enjoying a beautiful, glorious spring day!

Don’t forget to download the audio below of the American English pronunciation of this poem. When you practice, try to make your pronunciation and intonation match mine. And make sure you get your FREE guide, How to Speak English Like an American, by visiting www.losemyaccent.com

Download [Duration: 0:37 | Size: 580 KB]