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Intro to the 15 Dimension for Acquiring Clear North American English

Why would you want to read this article?  It’s for people who are a little intense about getting the best out of learning. 

Article One: Intro to the15 Dimensions for Acquiring Clear Talk

Methodology of Clear Talk Mastery Courses

Physics has its M string theory, with eleven dimensions – the explanation and theory behind all things “physics.”  We submit that acquisition of clear North American English speech has fifteen dimensions.

For nonnative-born speakers of North American English speech (adults), prior learning of English is typically five to seven years.  Thus they are not newbies with zero knowledge.

The time has come to communicate detail for the methodology of  Clear Talk Mastery courses which is achieving gains with student-learners previously unheard of.  Even with us, the additional consistent gains of student-learners in the last two years has surpassed and surprised us.  In the preceding twenty years, student-learner made great gains – but between 2020 and beginning of 2023, the gains have even significantly surpassed those.

Why the big leap forward?   Actively since 2017,  my dream has been to put everything we have learned together and come up with coherent theory for how best to facilitate acquisition of clear North American English.  I’ve done lots and lots of thinking, putting ideas, our experience, and findings from scientific assessments together.  Especially the last 18 months was the delving back into the seminal and current research on as many of the 15 dimensions as possible.   The great leap came because I was doing all that thinking, researching, and working on Edition 4 of three of our textbooks so as to get all that information down on paper (in the textbooks!).

How to innovate?   That is what we have strived for since 2000—to find as many ways as possible to help nonnative-born adult speakers of English acquire clear English efficiently for long lasting learning.  To paraphrase Confucius:  Reflection is gold, imitation is quickest, and experience the most painful.  Innovation requires all three avenues.  For imitation, humbly remember that we are all standing on the shoulders of many others who have come before us.  For experience,  if you are not making enough mistakes (and feeling bad about it), then you are not innovating.   Reflection takes oodles of time.  Like Einstein said, “If I had an hour to solve a problem, I would spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about the solution.”  In 2017, we had reached 17 years of providing instruction for successful clear speaking mastery of North American English and it was then I started my big thinking  to codify and describe the many dimensions which are described in this article.

For this article, rejoice–  you get the end of the story first.

Below are the 15 dimensions for a person with English as a second language to successfully acquire clear North American English speech communication.  Success is defined as efficient and long lasting learning.

  1. Critical importance of assessment– initial diagnostic assessment to determine needs, then mid course and end of course assessment to monitor progress, redirect goals and methodology for the course(s), and also use the end-of-course assessment to scientifically assess the success for different strategies, tactics,  and methodologies. 
  2. From the beginning of instruction, training for six Clear Talk Strategies and four Tactics.  The 6 Strategies were derived from decades of previous research about the difference between characteristics of clear compared to casual English,  the characteristics of speech sounds accurately perceived as North American English, and clear speaking training used for improving the speech intelligibility of person’s speaking English.
  3. Systematic learning for positioning and action of articulators,  and coordination between articulator systems (e.g. vocal folds and voicing coordinated with positioning and action especially of articulators tongue, lips, teeth and jaw), 
  4. Muscle strengthening  for requisite slow and fast muscle fibers (MF)  needed for North American English accurate pronunciation especially for the tongue, lips, jaw and muscles attached to the vocal folds (for voicing).  Muscle strengthening is associated with numbers of slow and fast MFs.  We used both direct articulator exercise and modes of clear talking to specifically grow and strengthen requisite speech muscles for North American English,
  5. Systematic learning for sequencing of English speech communication skills, especially English speech intelligibility  (e.g. speech sound accuracy before adding learning skills for word syllable accent stress and voice inflection of sentences). 
  6. Using the categories of coordinative structures or coordinated modes observed during 20 years of instruction, which we give the terms  Workout Clear Talk Mode, Careful Leveled-up Clear Talk Mode and Leveled- Up Clear Talk Mode– all of which are conscious but get easier with lots of practice, 
  7. Cognitive learning (learning rules and patterns)  to “bootstrap” physical learning and enhance memory for the complex procedural and multidimensional learning needed for English speech intelligibility and speech communication,
  8. Employing mastery learning principles (80 to 90% mastery before graduating to the next module’s learning) which also adheres to the well known principle of  “don’t add too much learning too quickly.”
  9. Distributed learning or spaced learning for the procedural learning associated with the complexity of intelligible North American English  and for  long lasting learning–    “What’s the good of efficient learning if you forget everything within months (or years) of finishing your instruction,”
  10.  Combining skills to level-up communication proficiency including, for example, combining thinking information and talking clearly at the same time or combining voice inflection patterns during sentences/connected speech and high English speech sound articulation accuracy,  
  11.  Speech feedback to the student-learner and standards of speech production which train high level attention and increased duration of time for attention to the task of accuracy–  “It’s not practice makes perfect, but perfect practice makes perfect,”
  12.  Student-learner’s commitment to the program of learning  (e.g. 12 consecutive weeks, etc)  –“It takes 70 days of practice every day to change a habit”– for example,  changing Spanglish, Chinglish,  Indian English,  Vietnamese English, Arabic English, etc., to clear North American English speech,  
  13.  Student-learner’s personal involvement in doing direct practice homework, deliberate practice in daily life, and focused attention during coachings– plus using enhanced tutoring via  24/7 video and audio lessons for direct home practice,
  14.  Student-learner’s belief in the learning principles explained  by the coach/instructor and in the textbook, videos, audios, 
  15.  Student-learner attachment to wanting to go to the next level of communication in English and notably the process of learning, interaction, encouragement with another human person who is coach or instructor.

It is all of these 15 dimensions which contribute to the exceptional progress of  our  student-learners for acquiring clear North American speech communication.   Note especially that without attributes of the student-learner for commitment, involvement, belief, and attachment, exceptional gains for acquisition of clear North American English speech could not be achieved.

©Clear Talk Mastery, Inc. 2023

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