‘The harder I practise, the luckier I get!’*

A motivating quote from the world of golf! Here’s another from the world of music …

‘Don’t practise until you get it right, practise until you can’t get it wrong’. **

Yes, we’ve come around to the issue of practice.

In this month’s post, we’re going to explore why pronunciation practice is necessary AND why taking a sentence-building approach is even better for speakers of English as a second language (ESL).

Playing the long game …

In today’s fast-paced world and ‘I-want-it-now-Amazon’ gratification, the ‘long game’ of certain things has fallen out of favour.

In my experience, there is often a perception that changing pronunciation is merely a matter of mastering tricky sounds, whether alone or as part of a word.

For very gifted linguists, that may well be the case, but they’re the exceptions to the rule. For most of us, changing pronunciation patterns in languages learned as an adult takes effort.

Why take a sentence-building approach to pronunciation?

It allows you to build up your new pronunciation skills step by step. We start from a single consonant and build up to syllables, words, then phrases and sentences.

This approach trains your brain to send the right messages to your mouth whenever you’re talking, with no mistakes. It is the foundation of confidence and accuracy.

It can also reduce jaw ache because you repeatedly train your voice, mouth and tongue to move in new ways accurately.

Each step is also an opportunity to work on …

Listening tasks

Helps clients fine tune their ability to hear new sounds.***

Watching faces

Helps clients learn correct mouth movements for new pronunciation – just one of the reasons that we humans watch other peoples’ faces when we talk!

Learning through touch

Helps clients physically learn how to use their breath, voice, tongue and mouth to master new sounds.

Feedback from a person or by using a mirror with specific instructions.

Helps clients embed their new skills.

Why is practice at each stage important?

It helps your brain establish new pronunciation patterns that become second nature through practice.

Regular practice also gives you the opportunity to hear and imitate intonation, rate, stress and rhythm at each stage.

The combination of practice AND a sentence-building approach gives you:-

  • A step by step approach.
  • Confidence.
  • Good pronunciation that is automatic and accurate in conversation.
  • Maximum headspace to concentrate fully on what you want to say.

In this way, our e-courses give ESL speakers the opportunity to ‘practise until they can’t get it wrong’.

Go to Artikul8®!

Note: At Artikul8®, we consider accents to be a natural part of speech.

*Attributed to Jerry Barber, Golfer (1944).

**Attributed to Percy C. Buck (1944) with spelling adjusted to British English.

*** Sounds = English consonant and vowel phonemes that are new to speakers of ESL.