Secret #2: Slow Down

Secret #2: Slow Down

If you are living in an English speaking country and you have a strong accent, the likelihood is that you’ll be one of the brightest and best.  You’ll have a good mind, which is often way ahead of your mouth’s ability to shape unfamiliar words.

Do yourself and everyone else a favour and slow down.  Everyone will appreciate it if you take a bit more time.  You’ll get more time to get your tongue around some of the more difficult English sounds and your listeners will have time to tune into your unusual word stress and intonation.

If you think about it when you first learnt to drive you didn’t hurtle down the freeway at 110km.  No!  That would be scary for everyone.  Instead you lurched up to 20km in second gear on a quiet back road.

When we’re learning new language skills the thing we tend to overlook is that like driving they are just as physical as driving.  Ok the muscles involved are smaller: tongue, lips, jaw, larynx and so on: but they’re still muscles and respond to training in just the same way.

Exercise

You will need a stopwatch for this exercise.  Most smart phones have a stopwatch function, which is fine.  Time yourself reading this short passage.  Make a note of your time.

Time for First Reading:     _______ : _______ Seconds

Relax by taking a slow deep breath to a count of ten and then exhale to a count of ten.  Repeat two or three times.  Feel the air energising you and renewing you.  Feel how peaceful it makes you feel as you focus on the breathing itself.

Time yourself reading the same passage from above but this time read it slowly and deliberately.  Did you notice that it was easier to get your tongue around some of the difficult words and phrases?

 

Time for Second Reading:          _______ : _______ Seconds

Hopefully you managed to read the passage more slowly.  What else did you notice?

A: ________________________ D: ________________________
B: ________________________ E: ________________________
C: ________________________ F: ________________________

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