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Feeling Stuck? Is your English pronunciation accuracy the same as 1 year ago? 2? 3? 5? 11? 17?

Blog  #177 for Sat. Aug. 01, 2020

Feeling Stuck? 

Sooo, think about it?  Is your English pronunciation accuracy the same as  1 year ago, or 2, or 3 or? ??

Think back to the last time you took a class to improve your English speech pronunciation.

Are you the same now?

The same can be good!   Actually the same says that you did the work to get long term muscle  and brain memory.

But maybe your pronunciation and using clear talking techniques has slid backwards, and  it is not as good.

Or maybe you are still bothered or annoyed by some speech sounds which are still not accurate American English.

Of all the things you can do to make those sounds accurate, what should you concentrate on?

The answer is muscles and coordination of muscles. Notably, of greatest importance for pesky speech sound errors is coordination of the mouth muscles  and   neurological activation at the vocal folds in your throat and muscles attached to the vocal folds and action of the lungs.

It’s the coordination that is the critical key.

The scientific term is “coordinative structures.”

For example,  perhaps  people have trouble hearing and understanding your “v” pronunciation – especially at the ends of words or in the middle of multiple syllable words.  There are a couple of likely reasons for that.

Most likely is that you are not making a loud enough voice from your vocal folds in your throat at the same time you are pushing air out through your mouth in a ‘friction” manner. And you’ve got to have the right position of muscles.  Most accurate  for the mouth would be  while are making a loud voice  you put  your top teeth to  rest gently on your lower lip.

Ah… written English communication may be great. But  for speech, seeing and hearing all this coordination in  a  video demonstration  is even better.  So if you are interested go to YouTube.com/ClearTalk Mastery and search for our video speech tutorial for “v”.

Now do you understand? You’ve got to get the coordination exactly right.

If you are interested in one more example, then read this: The same thing is true for the “n” sound.  Do people who communicate with you have trouble like this: Listeners are not sure whether you said “thirty”  or” thirteen.” or “fifty” or “fifteen”?  The road to success  lies in making the “y” written letter pronounced as the English long  vowel ‘e” sound (like in “see”). Make that vowel sound  slow and loud enough  for the listener to hear easily. 

AND the secret lies in making the “n” sound slow and loud.  Push the tip of your tongue up to the roof or top of your mouth, just behind the front teeth, and with your  brain or mind, send the instruction to the vocal folds to be loud and make an enduring or lengthy”n” sound.

Alas, the poor sound “n” is an unfortunate sound.  It needs extra loudness because that sound  needs the air stream to go through the nasal passages and out through your nose.

Now do you understand?   You’ve got to coordinate the muscles in the mouth—the tongue, lips and jaw  — with the muscles at the vocal folds – and the lung muscles  — along with the neurological coordination of the brain  and nerves activating all of those muscles.

“N”  “n” a thousand times “n”.    Did you know that of all the consonants in English, the “n” consonant is the most frequently spoken!

Now for this– bad news and good news.

The bad news is… sooooo much coordination.

The good news is—your neurological and muscle system set up coordinative structures for this.  A coordinative  structure just means a coordinated group. Here is neurological—brain and nerves. And muscles.

That coordinative structure gets set up and is maintained by you as a human being  doing speaking with those sounds.

Just so you know, accented speech by definition is when you are using the patterns of your first or other language with English.  The “accent”  is where this is a mismatch.

Feeling stuck with errors you don’t like?  Do direct practice.  Remember it is not “practice makes perfect”  but “perfect practice makes perfect.”

Also remember that it takes perhaps 1000 up to 10,000 times of practice to change a habit.  And if you have a pesky sound or word you want to change, do the work.

Ack, this is one task you can not hire someone to do for you.

If you are interested in finding out more about pronunciation of  the “n” sound, here’s the link for “environment”, Tip #23 https://youtu.be/O2INjqtXTEY

And in case you want it, here’s the link for our speech tutorial for “v”, Tip #19 and “favorite” –https://youtu.be/ZbbN9cC2VcU

Copyright Clear Talk Mastery , Inc. 2020

Of All the Things You Can Do to Get Clear English, What Are the Most Important?

BLOG # 176 for Saturday, July 25, 2020

Date of blog: Saturday, July 25, 2020

Title of blog: Of  All the Things You Can Do to Get Clear English, What Are the Most Important?

Of all the things you can  do to get clear English, what are the most important?

Let’s talk muscles.

You need to make specific speech muscles strong to produce clear English speech sounds.

Are these different than the strong muscles needed for other languages?  Yes.

How do you make exactly the right  muscles get strong enough for clear English?

You make them strong  the same way that you make other muscles of the body strong.  You load the muscles you want strong.  You make those muscles stiff and hard.  You  make the muscles work hard. Then your body grows those muscles.

That is the same thing you do when you want strong arm muscles.  You lift bar bells that weigh a lot, like at least  five pounds or four kilograms.

 The sound for speech comes from inside your throat and the action of the vocal folds. Muscles in your chest around your lungs  and muscles attached to the vocal folds make strong voice for speech sounds.

Why  do you need  strong speech muscles for English?

You need strong speech muscles for English speaking so that people can hear  the consonants at the ends of your words. Those are the most likely to be too soft for listeners to hear. They are also the most difficult for human beings to make loud.

How do you grow strong muscles?  Make your muscles work hard and strong.  Then your body will grow muscles  and make muscles stronger exactly where you need them for clear English.

Honest to the universe, you need strong muscles in your mouth—lips, tongue, and jaw.

How do you make these muscles strong? 

To make your lip muscles strong , make them stiff and hard. Push the lips together hard.  Do that for these sounds

1. “b” and “p” sounds

2. “m”

To make clear English sounds, you need to do this—

At the same time you are pushing  your stiff lips together  for the “b” sound, you make a loud voice from your throat. Make the “b” as loud as you can so you grow muscles . This “b”  is a quick sound.

For the “m” sound,  at the same time you press your lips together, make a loud voice from your throat.  This “m “ is a slow sound.

For the “p” sound, at the same time you push your stiff lips together, push a strong burst of air from your lungs.  If you want to, you can put your hand in front of your mouth to be certain you can feel the strong puff of air you need for the “p” sound in English.

So what do you aim for?  You aim for and get strong, loud English consonants at the ends of words. And  get strong, loud consonants at the end of every syllable in a multiple syllable word. That’s because every syllable in English has a meaning.

Bad news and good news.  Bad news first.  All this is so simple and  complex at the same time.  You’ve got to coordinate muscles while you are making speech muscles strong.

Good news is that you have been coordinating  muscles of your mouth and other parts of your  body ever since you took and swallowed first milk.  And you’ve been coordinating muscles of your mouth and the rest of what would become an organized speech system ever since you spoke your first baby sounds and words.

More  muscle  coming in the next blog.

copyright Clear Talk Mastery, Inc. 2020

Do You Know How to Prevent Speaking Mistakes?

Date of Blog,  Thursday, July 16, 2020

Title: Do  You Know How to Prevent Speaking Mistakes?

Do you know how to prevent speech mistakes?   When you realize a difficult word  to pronounce is coming up, then slow down and say that word letter by letter, syllable by syllable. Say each sound CAREFULLY.

This is exactly what native-born and non-native born speakers of English do!

It is OK to pause or stop right before the word to figure out in your brain “how” to say the difficult English speech sound.

Aim for perfect consonant pronunciation.

Determine the accurate vowel pronunciation and do perfect pronunciation.

Just to remind you.  There are fourteen (14) American English vowel sounds.  There are five letters “a”, “e”, “I”, “o”, “u” always used, and sometimes “y” is a vowel sound.

Just to remind you, there are three  syllable structure rules for North  American English “long” vowels-  1) open syllable structure rule,  like in the words “be, no”,

2) silent “e” syllable structure rule, like in the words “smile, bike”, and

3) digraph syllable structure rule, like  “tie, bloat”.

And there is one syllable structure rule for North American “short” vowels—1) closed syllable structure rule,  like in the memory words “hat”, “bed”, “it and hit”, “not”, “up, hush”.

Just to repeat—to prevent speaking mistakes, just slow down and pronounce every consonant and vowel with great care and accuracy when you get to it.

Posted as a Blog

The Real Thing


The Real Thing

There is no substitute for the real thing.  A 30-second demonstration is more effective than 30 minutes of words.

Strong Verbs

Strong Verbs

Do you want to make your communication direct and to the point? Consider using those verbs that describe movements of the human body.  These are great substitutions for abstract verbs.  Here’s a list for you:

bear, blow, break, bring, call, carry, cast, catch, come, cut, do draw, drive drop, fall, get, give go, hang, hold, keep, lay, let, look, make, pick, pull, push, put, run, set, shake, show, skip, slip, split, stand, stay, stick, strike, take, talk, tear, throw, tie, touch, turn, walk, wear, work