We are finally in module 4.
I'm excited because this module is a prelude to module 5 where we get to lean about actual presentation.
Remember what I said in Module 3 Lesson 5; Let me remind you below;
In public speaking, what you say is as important as how you say it and what you do while saying it.
What you say is the content of your speech
How you say it, is the delivery/presentation of your speech
What you do while speaking, is the personality of your speech
We can't jump into presentation if you didn't take a minute or more to brush up on accent, pronunciation and intonation. These three musketeers are the juice of spoken words. I hope you make the commitment to use all the resources made available to you in this module.
The way in which people in a particular area, country or social group pronounce words in called accent(Oxford Dictionary).
If you are a non-native speaker, you may want to accept that your accent is a proud symbol of your heritage. However, don’t be fooled. When it comes to English language, neither the international world nor your audience care about your heritage. Been understood when you speak is more important than representing your ancestry.
There are many kinds of accent in the world. While some sound sweet to the ears, others make your ears tingle. I’m pretty sure you are that speaker who wants your words to be sweet to the ears of you audience.
How do we ensure that we speak correctly?
Articulation is the formation of clear and distinct sounds in speech (Oxford dictionary). There are fourty-four sounds in English language.
The first act of speech is breathing, in which you get air into a storage chamber;
The second act is phonation, the process by which you force air into vibration by the action of the vocal folds
The third act of speech is, resonation, in which your mouth, nose and throat cavities amplify the sound so you can hear it;
The final act of speech is articulation, in which you modify the sound by movement of the teeth, tongue, and lips into recognizable patterns.1
· Practice to make sure you are not substituting or omitting sounds when you say a word, or adding sounds such as needcessity for necessity.
· Pay particular attention to common sound substitutions such as t for th so that you don't say 'tin for thin, d for th so that you dont say 'den for then.
Pronunciation refers to the ability to use the correct stress, rhythm, and intonation of a word in a spoken Language 1.
When pronouncing, focus on the word rather than the individual sound. In articulation, you pay attention to distinct sounds but in pronunciation, pay attention to the entire word
pronunciation involves recognizing the different syllables that make up a word, applying the stress to the right syllable and using the right up and down pitch pattern for intonation.
· Listen to recordings of People who speak correctly. There are resources provided below.
· Use online audio dictionaries or download an app.
· Practice, Practice, Practice
Intonation is referred to as the music or rhythm of language. It is about how we say things, particularly the way the voice rises and falls when we speak.
The voice tends to rise, fall or remain flat depending on the meaning or feeling we want to convey (surprise, anger, interest, boredom, gratitude, etc.). Intonation therefore indicates the mood of the speaker. 2
Four patterns of intonation in English Language are
Falling intonation (➘) indicates a fall in intonation: It is commonly found
- Nice to meet ↘you.
- Write your name ↘here.
Wh-questions (information questions)
· When does the shop ↘open?
Confirmatory question tags
- She's such a nuisance, isn't ↘she?
- You don't ↘ say!
Rising Intonation (➚) indicates a rise in intonation. It invites the speaker to continue talking.It is normally used with yes/no questions, and question tags that are real questions.
In Yes/no Questions
(Questions that can be answered by 'yes' or 'no'.)
· Do you like your new ➚teacher?
Questions tags that show uncertainty and require an answer (real questions).
· We've met already, ➚haven't we?
Rise-fall intonation (➚➘), Here the intonation rises and then falls. We use rise-fall intonation for choices, lists, unfinished thoughts and conditional sentences.
Choices (alternative questions.)
· Are you having ➚soup or ➘salad?
Lists (rising, rising, rising,
Intonation falls on the last item to show that the list is finished.
· We've got ➚apples, pears, bananas and ➘oranges
In the responses to the following questions, the rise-fall intonation indicates reservation. The speaker hesitates to fully express his/her thoughts.
· Do you like my new handbag? Well the ➚leather is ➘nice... ( but I don't like it.)
(The tone rises in the first clause and falls gradually in the second clause.)
· If he ➚calls, ask him to leave a ➘message.
The main function of fall-rise intonation is to show that the speaker is not certain of the answer they are giving to a question, or is reluctant to reply (as opposed to a falling tone used when there is no hesitation). It is also used in polite requests or suggestions. 2
· So you'd be willing to confirm that? ...Well ... I ➘sup➚pose so ...
Politeness-Doubt-Uncertainty: (You are not sure what the answer might be.)
· Perhaps we could ➘vis➚it the place?
What is your flavor (American
The resources below would help you perfect it.
BRITISH ACCENT RESOURCES
Resource 3: How To Learn The British Accent Easily
AMERICAN ACCENT RESOURCES
1. Articulation and pronunciation
https://lumen.instructure.com/courses/218897/pages/linkedtext54276#:~:text=Pronunciation%20refers%20to%20the%20ability,word%20in%20a%20spoken%20language.&text=When%20we%20talk%20about%20pronunciation,a%20sequence%20of%20speech%20sounds. (accessed September 4, 2012)
2. Learn English Today https://www.learn-english-today.com/pronunciation-stress/intonation.html (accessed September 4, 2012)