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Jumping to the Next Level for English Pronunciation—A Hero

Jumping to the Next Level for English Pronunciation—A Hero


Last month I went to south Florida to connect with relatives for a family wedding and to connect with Catholic priests doing the clear talk program in the Archdiocese of Miami.

Father R had been stuck in his English speech communication. But now he is hero again and is jumping to the next level of communicating in English.

He remembered coming to Miami from Cuba seven years ago. He presented himself to his pastor on Friday night. The pastor said, “Can you do Mass in English on Monday morning?

Father R’s response, “Yes. No problem.” Father R laughs now. “Dr. Antonia, those were the only two words I knew in English.”

Father R spent the worst two days of his life on that weekend. But he did do the Mass in English on Monday. The accent would have been so heavy that people probably thought he was speaking Spanish. 

After that, he spent four of the most stressful years of his life. Every day was a race to learn as much pronunciation for ministry work and everyday life. At the same time he used all his strength and brain to learn as much vocabulary and grammar as he could.

Finally a stroke of luck for him– transfer to a mission church where mostly Spanish was spoken. End of English problem? On the one hand, at this mission church he speaks Spanish most of the time. But on the other hand, now he knows that in order to communicate with the youth coming to this mission church, he needs to speak English. Their parents speak Spanish, but they only speak English. Then there are the hours in confession and responding to people in emotional and spiritual pain where English is the language of that person. 

He felt like he was stuck. He figured he had gotten about as far as he could on his own to make his English clear and easy to understand.

Then another stroke of good fortune. He is chosen to do the Clear Talk program for clear English speaking. Now he got a speech assessment to determine where his speech sounds are different than clear American English. He is learning training and speaking strategies for clear English. And he is coached on exactly what to change and how to train so clear English speech is a habit.

 He is now UN stuck and can move forward.

 As he puts it, by the grace of God he managed.

 He is a hero in his own life. Now he is a hero with a systematic and scientifically based way to jump to the next level with his English speech. And he doesn’t have to be stressed out all the time. He is a hero with a speech coach. He is working to become the best version of himself. Don’t you love it?

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