Can you say this three times really fast?

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John KenmuirAnglais
23 février 2018
224
2 minutes
Many students think that grammar is the most important and difficult factor in learning English (or any language, for that matter). They are both right and wrong. On one hand, grammar is complex, separating items according to time, distance and so many other factors. On the other hand, grammar can be studied logically; it can be broken down into individual components and organized in a manner that fits our learning styles. Like vocabulary, grammar can appear to be something we can control.

Eventually, with lots of practice and hard work, grammar will become more familiar; the grammar rules will start to make sense, and even the exceptions to the grammar rules will become more familiar and seem to be more “logical” than they were at the beginning (students learning English should realize that contemporary English has had so many outside influences on its vocabulary and spelling that it is no longer a “pure” language).

However, some might argue that pronunciation is the most important and difficult factor in learning English. And, unlike vocabulary and grammar, pronunciation can't be logically organized. Pronunciation is less a cognitive skill and more like what we call “muscle memory”. In order to make the necessary sounds in English, the tongue has to assume a specific shape that it may not be used to (because it hasn't had to make that shape before). It needs to be shown how to form these shapes and then allowed to practice them until they become natural.

One tool to do this is what we call “Tongue Twisters”. The name is exactly what it sounds like: we try to twist and stretch our tongue into unusual shapes while pronouncing certain words. This might sound a little scary but it can also be fun. Tongue twisters usually incorporate one or two specific sounds and repeat them again and again. Where two sounds are spoken alternately (first one, then the other), they are often quite different and require the tongue to form distinctly different shapes with each sound. The tongue has to go back and forth between the shapes, without making an error. Tongue twisters can be really fun when a student, who has made some small improvement, attempts to make the sounds and say the entire tongue twister faster and faster.

Give this a try. There are lots of examples of tongue twisters out there on the Internet (some better than others). If you like, you can even sign up to take a trial lesson with me and I can show you even more information about why tongue twisters are unique and will probably be around for a long time to come.
Anglais Tutor John
$16.00
USD/h

John

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(13)
Flag Anglais
Canada
15
Anglais
Langue maternelle
,
Espagnol
A2
Hello, and welcome to Verbling! As you see from my profile picture, I'm an older Canadian male but don't let that discourage you. My students tell me that I'm very funny and easy to talk to, which is the best compliment I could receive. I'm also very good at asking questions and creating a pleasant atmosphere and enjoyable conversation; you will find that lessons with me go very quickly because they're enjoyable as well as productive. Here is a joke you might enjoy: (S) Knock knock! (A) Who's there? (S) Etch. (A) Etch who? (S) Bless you! So that you know a little bit more about me, I have been teaching and tutoring ESL since 1989, almost 30 years. I began as a volunteer, participated in an ESL work-study program at university and then began my career teaching full-time after graduating in 1995. I have taught at schools and universities in Canada, South Korea, China & Saudi Arabia, and now teach online from my home in Merida, Mexico. I'm a former IELTS Speaking examiner (Shanghai, China, 2003-09) and can teach you about the IELTS Speaking exam, or even help you with TOEIC/TOEFL, if you plan to take those exams. In my spare time, I am a published writer/author/poet and amateur photographer. I love to travel and have been to many countries, and will continue to travel in the future. Maybe this is a subject you'd be interested in talking about? Good luck with your studies and I hope that we have a chance to meet in the future. John.
$16.00
USD/h
Flag Anglais
Canada
15
Anglais
Langue maternelle
,
Espagnol
A2
Hello, and welcome to Verbling! As you see from my profile picture, I'm an older Canadian male but don't let that discourage you. My students tell me that I'm very funny and easy to talk to, which is the best compliment I could receive. I'm also very good at asking questions and creating a pleasant atmosphere and enjoyable conversation; you will find that lessons with me go very quickly because they're enjoyable as well as productive. Here is a joke you might enjoy: (S) Knock knock! (A) Who's there? (S) Etch. (A) Etch who? (S) Bless you! So that you know a little bit more about me, I have been teaching and tutoring ESL since 1989, almost 30 years. I began as a volunteer, participated in an ESL work-study program at university and then began my career teaching full-time after graduating in 1995. I have taught at schools and universities in Canada, South Korea, China & Saudi Arabia, and now teach online from my home in Merida, Mexico. I'm a former IELTS Speaking examiner (Shanghai, China, 2003-09) and can teach you about the IELTS Speaking exam, or even help you with TOEIC/TOEFL, if you plan to take those exams. In my spare time, I am a published writer/author/poet and amateur photographer. I love to travel and have been to many countries, and will continue to travel in the future. Maybe this is a subject you'd be interested in talking about? Good luck with your studies and I hope that we have a chance to meet in the future. John.

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