So we finished our 6-week Advanced English Pronunciation for Professionals course last week. I remember that as I was putting away a few things, I overheard the training participants lingering by the elevator door. They were having a conversation about when they could schedule their first call with each other. I heard a loud, I’m not going to meet at 7 am! and everyone laughed.

Music to my ears!

You see, this is something I always encourage from day 1 of any group program. Help each other out. And if you’re of different language groups, even better!

My job here is to help demystify the English sound system for you. It’s to give you the tools to learn how to monitor and adjust specific aspects of your English pronunciation in real-time speech.

When you take the time and mental attention to monitor a very specific aspect of someone else’s speech, this will help you to keep your English speaking brain active. Perhaps nimble so that you’re able to adjust your sound in spontaneous speech.

In addition, when you receive feedback on a very specific aspect of your spoken English (e.g., final consonant articulation) you may learn that what you think you’re producing is not necessarily what other people hear.

Work with others to improve your English speaking skills

I sincerely believe that working in the company of other motivated training participants can help you to improve your English speaking skills efficiently. Receiving laser-focused feedback helps you to hear and reflect on your own speech in the immediate. This stops you in your tracks. And you realize that your listeners don’t hear what you assume they’re hearing. No, they really can’t hear those final consonants.

There are a few ways in which you can help each other out. First choose a specific speech feature to focus on. (Click HERE for a list of the typical pronunciation priorities for 15 language groups.) Then choose one of the following practice techniques: 

  • Take turns reading a paragraph out loud. As one person reads, underline any consonant sounds which you can’t hear. I recommend concentrating on either the final consonants (end of words) OR the medial consonants (middle of words). Not both. The more laser focused you are the better.
  • Take turns talking for 1-minute. As one person talks, concentrate on either their final consonants OR medial consonants. Write down any words missing these sounds. Alternative: record each 1-minute talk. Then, listen and self/peer monitor. Again, write down any words which are missing the final or medial consonants.
  • Have a slowed down conversation. If you can’t hear a medial or final consonant, gently pinch that person.

Join us downtown Chicago

From November 9-December 14, I’ll be running another 6-week Advanced English Pronunciation Skills course in the Chicago Loop. Fridays, 3-5 pm. 

If you’d like to confirm that this program is a good match for you, click HERE to schedule a 20-minute call. Or fill out the form below to start the conversation.

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