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English speech communication and American Slang: Greetings and Verbs

English speech communication and American Slang:  Greetings and Verbs

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American English has its own casual variety of the English language and vocabulary.  Historically, it has been influenced by sports, the cowboys, the building of the railroad, the card game of poker, African-American culture, immigrants, native and so forth.

Here are some words which are common American slang words that are acceptable in any conversation.

Greetings for “How are you?”:  “How’s it going? ,” “What’s new?”

Leavetaking and Goodbye:  See you.  See you later.  Or on the phone, “Talk to you later.”

I’m leaving:  “I’m heading out now.”

Instead of “very, very,” you can use “totally.”

“The show was totally awesome.”

American Slang Verbs

ace : to finish something successfully and easily

Jenny aced her science test!

check-out: to look at, examine, watch

We’re going to check out that new grocery store after work.

grab a bite to eat: to get something to eat, perhaps at a restaurant.

I am very, very hungry. Let’s grab a bite to eat at a restaurant nearby.

lift: to steal

While Bill was on the bus, someone lifted her wallet.

Take off: to leave

Janette took off before the meeting was announced

Next time, I’ll share some of the most popular slang nouns and adjectives.

Be sure to watch our English Speech Tips videos and Accent Reduction Tip videos for more English pronunciation and accent reduction exercise.

Rerun from 11/06/2013 and 12/14/2016

Tips to Perfect the Fine Art of Dialogue

Tips to Perfect the Fine Art of Dialogue

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For this week’s clear English speech coaching, here are a couple of tips to perfect the fine art of dialogue.

  • Good, engaging conversation is like a Frisbee that you catch, spin and toss to the next person. Marylynne Pitz
  • March launches spring, spring break, and socializing outdoors. So now is an excellent time to brush up on your skill to speak with sincerity and style.
  • Biggest error: Many people who meet for the first time or are beginning to develop a friendship often violate one of the important rules governing civilized conversation, according to Margaret Shepherd.
  • She calls it “real-time blogging.” People are face-to-face, but they are still thinking out loud. They are just streaming or rambling about what interests them.
  • What to do? Learn to dialogue. Catch that Frisbee of topic, look around and throw the Frisbee to the next person.
  • Stay tuned for new approaches to gracious conversation and five fail-safe questions to open communication.

Rerun from Oct 21, 2013 and Jan 16, 2017

Accent Reduction: Best Strategies for HOW To Learn Accurate, Clear English Speaking

Accent Reduction: Best Strategies for HOW To Learn Accurate, Clear English Speaking

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Before we get to the best strategies for HOW to learn accurate, clear English speaking, let’s ask the important WHY question.  So why do you need to know how to learn the skills for reducing your accent and making your English easy to understand?

The answer comes from research on academic learning. Teaching students good learning strategies enables them to know how to acquire new knowledge, which leads to better learning outcomes, writes lead author Helen Askell-Williams of Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia.  Studies bear this out.  Askell-Williams cites an example of a recent finding by PISA,  the Programme for International Student Assessment, which administers academic proficiency tests to students around the globe. “Students who use appropriate strategies to remember what they learn, such as underlining important parts of the texts or discussing what they read with other people, perform at least 73 points higher in the PISA assessment – that is one full proficiency level or nearly two full school years – than students who use these strategies the least,” the PISA report reads.  (See Annie-Murphy Paul’s summary in Smart Learning Strategies, in her “The Brilliant Report” of Oct. 7, 2013.)

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You need to know how to learn to speak clear English,  so the learning is efficient AND long-lasting.  These are strategies that work:

  • It takes 70 days of practice every day to change your habits from accented English to clear easy to understand English.  That is 10 weeks of learning.
  • Do a full diagnostic assessment to know what you already know, such as accurate speech sounds, and to know what your errors are.  That way you can focus on what you need to change.  That’s efficient learning!
  • Do daily practice of a minimum 5 days a week, at least 30 minutes of English speaking exercises
  • Take every opportunity in daily life to practice the tactics for clear English pronunciation and other intelligibility skills.  This way you learn to adjust your mouth movements and loudness of your voice to the circumstances.  And you learn to think and talk clearly at the same time.
  • Use clear talking visual learning and visual models (for example, video lessons using a human teacher)  in addition to voice only recorded lessons to give you the biggest gain.
  • Get periodic checks to be sure you are using your speech muscles in exactly the right way.  For most people, once or twice in a week feedback during coaching works perfectly.
  • Get specific training advice on exactly what to do with your speech muscles.  Remember, it is not practice makes perfect, but perfect practice makes perfect.

Remember the 1000 and 10,000 practices you need to make clear accurate English a habit.

Be sure to watch our English Speech Tips videos and Accent Reduction Tip videos  for more English pronunciation and accent reduction exercise.

Rerun from 10/30/2013 and 12/07/2016

Set-Up for You for Your Presentation

Set-Up for You for Your Presentation

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Hello Everybody,

For this week’s clear English speech coaching, here are a couple of tips for the set-up for you for your presentation.
  • Don’t let the audiovisual staff run your show. Turn the lights up bright, so you are displayed better.
  • Don’t hide behind the lectern. Get out front. Be dynamic.
  • Do use a microphone. A hands-free, cordless lavaliere is the way to go. But if that is not available use a handheld mike. If only a lectern mike is available, boost up your gestures, enthusiastic voice, eye contact, and interaction. Or if only a lectern mike is available, consider using the best of your projecting voice.

Rerun from 10/14/2013 and 01/09/2017

English Pronunciation: Smart Learning Strategies for Accent Reduction

English Pronunciation: Smart Learning Strategies for Accent Reduction

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Here is more of the story about training and learning to speak clear English and get accurate English pronunciation.

What’s the key to effective learning  — whether learning to speak clear English or reduce one’s accent, or any kind of learning?  One intriguing body of research suggests this answer: It is not just what you know about the subject.  It is also knowing about how learning works.

A big part of what makes an accent, whether heavy or medium or light, is the different pronunciation of words, the accent or syllable stress in words, and the intonation or emphasis of words in utterances for English.  Learning those differences is a huge key to clear English speech and accent reduction.

But the other key is learning how to learn those new patterns so they are engrained in your brain and muscles.  What you want is the habit – accurate habit!

John Dunlosky points to this same deficit in our schools, “the emphasis is on what students need to learn, whereas little emphasis – if any—is placed on training students how they should go about learning the content and what skills will promote efficient studying to support robust learning.” In an article published in American Educator, John Dunlosky, a  professor of psychology at Kent State University in Ohio , continues: “Teaching students how to learn is as important as teaching them content, because acquiring both the right learning strategies and background knowledge is important – if not essential – for promoting lifelong learning.”

Exactly the argument for teaching students how to learn to speak clear, accurate English.

Annie- Murphy Paul in The Brilliant Report of Oct. 7, 2013 (Smart Learning Strategies) cites other studies as examples of this key to effective learning.

And, in the next blog, I will describe some of those key learning strategies for clear English speaking and accent reduction.

Be sure to watch our English Speech Tips videos and Accent Reduction Tip videos  for more English pronunciation and accent reduction exercise.

Rerun from Oct 23, 2013 and Nov 30, 2016