Michelle's independent resources for ESL Students at Vancouver Community College

This is a Canadian ESL blog for Intermediate and Advanced Students who want to learn and improve their English. Each PAGE above contains thousands of free English lessons, tutorials and practice exercises to help you learn and improve your English grammar, reading, listening, pronunciation, speaking, writing and editing. Some of the resources are Canadian. Others are from around the world.

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Improve Your Speaking : Use Your Cell

Your cellphone can be a wonderful tool to help you improve your English speaking. Today I want to discuss one specific feature that you probably haven't even thought about.:the voice recorder on your cell. 
Now, I know most of you use your cell to send texts, take pictures, and video tape friends, but have you ever tape recorded yourself speaking English?  

I suspect that many of you probably haven't. Certainly none of my students had until today. For the next few weeks,  my students will be giving speeches about famous people who have made a difference in the world. They have all been doing research, and several students are now practicing  their delivery. They only  have one problem. How should they pronounce some of those difficult three and four syllable words, or some of those strange names like Mahatma Ghandi.

Use your voice recorder to help with your pronunciation 

My answer to that was" bring your cellphone and your list of difficult words to me after class."  One student did just that. We then turned on the voice recorder, and I  read out each of the difficult words, pronouncing them as clearly as possible, emphasizing which syllable should receive the most stress. My student then repeated each word after me.  When she had problems, we went through the procedure several times until she got it right. When the word was particularly long or difficult,  we used backward pronunciation. That is, we worked from the last syllable, added the next one, and the next until she had the word down pat. 

After checking to make sure all of the work we had done had been properly recorded, my student  went home feeling much more confident than she had ten minutes earlier. Now, she had something to listen to and  practice with as she rehearsed. 

Who is going to benefit from this exercise? Every student in the class as well as the speaker herself will reap the rewards, and so will I. 
Of course, you can use the voice recorder on your cellphone for much more  than just learning how to pronounce difficult words. Tune in to my next post for more tips on how your cellphone can help you improve your speaking.  

Let me know what you think.  I love your feedback. 

1 comment:

  1. we are learning this method in the pronunciation class .although i sound funny, I've found it very useful...Don't wait you will love it ,just give it a try.



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