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  • You're learning a lot about American English pronunciation.

  • How Americans talk and how to sound American.

  • And as you've learned, you've started to become aware of all of your English habits that you'd like to change.

  • You start to become incredibly frustrated.

  • It feels impossible to take what you're learning about pronunciation

  • and apply it to actual real conversations that you're having.

  • In this video, we're going to talk about the process

  • that takes you from knowing something to being able to do it regularly without even having to think about it.

  • As i've been raising my son who's two, I have noticed lots of little things

  • that made me think about teaching my adult students and accent training.

  • One of the things that's so different about pronunciation training

  • is that it's different for most of the learning we do as adults.

  • When you were learning English, you were likely learning it as knowledge for the mind,

  • which is what almost all of the learning we do as older children and adults is, at least here in the US.

  • We're learning things to know, like memorizing vocabulary or English verb conjugations.

  • Things that you can write and talk about.

  • Training in a sport or on a musical instrument or singing

  • is a lot more like working on your accent than studying English is.

  • Some people think I'm an English teacher.

  • I correct them. I'm not.

  • That's not how I think about myself at all.

  • I'm primarily an accent trainer.

  • I try to figure out how to help students understand and change their habits

  • to be more comfortable and confident speaking English.

  • A while ago, I was reading a book about raising kids that really reminded me of the different phases of learning

  • when working on your accent.

  • I talked through this same sequence all the time with my adult students.

  • And you know what the book was about?

  • It was about potty training.

  • That's right.

  • This is where Stoney was learning something totally new about his body

  • and I had to try to understand his experience, to help guide him through it.

  • The book said this: the first phase is diapers.

  • From newborn until it starts to become something that he notices or we start talking about.

  • Think of a newborn.

  • Total unawareness about something like peeing.

  • This is phase one.

  • As he moves out of diapers he has to start noticing something about his body

  • that he hadn't paid attention to before.

  • This is phase two.

  • This isn't just like my adult students working on their accent and being easily understood when speaking.

  • You're starting to notice something about your body, the way that you sound,

  • that you hadn't necessarily paid attention to before or even known how to pay attention to.

  • The book talked about how first, Stoney will notice after he's peed.

  • He'll be able to say: I peed.

  • Of course that's disappointing if your goal is not to have your kid pee his pants.

  • But it's a necessary step in this process.

  • This is not a habit yet.

  • He's still understanding what's happening.

  • This is phase two.

  • He no longer has total unawareness, he now has awareness when something has happened.

  • Phase three is being able to tell me when he's peeing as it's actually happening.

  • So phase two is past.

  • You notice it after it happens.

  • Phase three is present.

  • You notice it as you do it.

  • Phase four, you may have been able to guess, is future.

  • You think about it just before it happens.

  • This is the phase he's in now, thankfully, where he can say: I'm going to pee, or I need to pee.

  • That's a lot easier to deal with than: I peed or I'm peeing.

  • And there's a fifth phase.

  • That's the phase where he doesn't tell us anymore.

  • It's just part of normal life and he goes to the bathroom when he needs to.

  • Let's talk about these phases with changing a pronunciation habit.

  • Phase 1, total unawareness.

  • You've never known about the sounds of American English or what you were doing wrong.

  • You've learned English but you've never specifically studied pronunciation.

  • So when you first start studying, you learn all kinds of new things,

  • like exactly how the AH vowel sounds that it's not in your language and how it's made.

  • That's something you learn with the mind and that's very satisfying.

  • You could describe it and teach it to someone else.

  • As I said, this is the kind of learning most of us do as adults.

  • It's moving from phase 1 to phase 2, total unawareness to understanding.

  • But there are still three more transitions to make

  • before making something a habit and this is where many of my students get frustrated.

  • They're stuck in Phase two, and that is you know you're doing it wrong because you learned about it,

  • you notice it, but you notice you're still constantly doing it wrong in conversation.

  • You can't think of what to say and pronunciation at the same time.

  • You're stuck in Phase two.

  • The past phase.

  • You notice it after you've already made a mistake.

  • That can be very frustrating.

  • This is where some people want to give up.

  • It's their habit and they don't see how they can ever change it.

  • How can they ever think of two things at once?

  • But you can get all the way to phase five.

  • I always try to tell my students this is actually progress.

  • You've gone from not knowing something at all to knowing it.

  • Don't give up so early in the journey.

  • For example, let's say you're working on getting the UH as in butter vowel to sound really natural and American.

  • This one can be tough because it depends a lot on placement too.

  • You've learned how it's made and how it's different from other sounds,

  • you've listened to a lot of minimal pairs and now you can hear it as its own sound.

  • You left phase one for phase two.

  • You have awareness.

  • And you can practice it over and over.

  • But when you're in conversation, thinking about what to say, you find you still say it wrong.

  • You notice it after it comes out of your mouth, and this feels really disappointing to you.

  • This is where some students want to quit.

  • You've started training the sound, doing the repetitions to retrain your muscles.

  • How do you bridge your practice time to real speaking in real conversation?

  • It's actually simple.

  • Just more training.

  • By noticing what you're doing wrong, you can focus on your practice more.

  • If there are any words that consistently don't feel right, write them down.

  • Make sure that's one of the words that you're training ten, twenty, or more times a day.

  • You just need more repetitions of doing it right to change the habit.

  • A great tool can be to record yourself.

  • Many people now have phones that can record audio.

  • Record a conversation you have at some point during the day.

  • Listen to it later.

  • Now that you've increased your knowledge, you'll be able to be your own teacher.

  • You'll be able to notice things that aren't right, and you can write them down, and work with them over and over.

  • This is great if there are certain words you're using a lot for work or your daily life.

  • Take the words or phrases that intimidate you the most

  • and practice them 20 or more times, several times throughout the day.

  • This repetition is necessary but it will only take a few minutes.

  • Practice it slowly and at regular pace.

  • Imitate a native speaker by going to Forvo.com or Youglish.com to hear many samples.

  • This is how you bridge the gap between practicing and real conversation.

  • It's simply more focused practice on the actual words that you'll use in your daily life.

  • And as you train more and more, you'll go through the same phases that Stoney went through for potty training.

  • You'll go from noticing your mistake after you've made it, phase 2,

  • to phase 3 where as you start to stay the word, your brain gets triggered

  • and you remember how you want to try to say it.

  • Don't be afraid to repeat your word with a better pronunciation.

  • As you do more training, you'll be able to think about the right pronunciation

  • just as your brain has come up with the word and you want to say it.

  • And with more training and more time, you'll no longer even think about it.

  • Your confidence on a particular word or sound will be that high.

  • You won't need to think about it, you won't notice it, it's no longer a problem for you.

  • So it can be very frustrating, because the first thing that happens after you learn something

  • is realizing how often you do it wrong, and how hard it is to change a habit.

  • That's true.

  • And the more you learn about pronunciation the more habits you'll want to change but you can change them.

  • And don't let the work that is necessary turn you off.

  • You can do it.

  • I've seen hundreds of students change their habit through regular training, repetition.

  • A little hard work and the payoff is so big.

  • If you get frustrated at the beginning, you'll never move on to the next phase.

  • But if you take it as a tool for learning, and you keep training, you will get there.

  • You'll get to where you want to be.

  • What are some of your best tips for how you've worked on your accent and made a real change?

  • Or for how you've stayed motivated?

  • Maybe there's a particular word that you couldn't say correctly that you now say without effort.

  • Share the tips or tricks that you use in practicing and improving in the comments below.

  • What is one major victory you've had while studying English?

  • Share these things in the comments below so everyone can learn from you and feel motivated by you

  • and your successes.

  • And don't forget, keep working.

  • You can't change a habit overnight, it does take some time and dedication, but it's worth it, and you can do it.

  • I believe in you.

  • That's it and thanks so much for using Rachel's English.

You're learning a lot about American English pronunciation.

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A2 初級

英語を学ぶ。ポチトレのようなアクセントトレーニング (Learning English: Accent Training like Potty Training!)

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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