“Whatever other speech you grow into….your dialect stays alive in a sort of inner freedom, a separate little self.”
Ted Hughes, Poet, cited in Corcoran 1993:114
Imagine that each sentence is almost like one long word, a ‘train of thought’.
If you speak in separate words then your meaning becomes broken up, and harder to follow. This dilutes the power of your ideas.
Listen to the rhythm of the way people speak. Whatever the language or the accent, tune your ear into their overall rhythm. Imagine it like a drum beat. Where are the strong beats and where are the weak beats? Then mimic what you hear using a pattern of made up sounds, tapping the finger on the table to emphasise the strong beats
Strong beat – “Dum”
Weak beat – “di”
Standard British Example: John Keats – To Autumn
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
di Dum di Dum di Dum di Dum di Dum
Teaching an Accent Softening workshop at the Spanish Chamber of Commerce. The workshop targeted the rhythm and intonation of spoken English. It also showed you how to use your voice to become an engaging, interesting speaker and avoid misunderstanding due to accent.
Here is a link to the feedback in a blog post they did about the session:
I’ve made this video to target the difference between the ‘W’ and the ‘V’ sound. Indian people will find this particularly useful.It gives you tips to help you find the right position and sound, as well as some words and phrases to practice on. Enjoy!
I’ve made this video targeting the difference between the Russian and English ‘L’ sound. It gives you tips to help you find the right position and sound, as well as some words and phrases to practice on. Enjoy!