Have you ever wondered how to sound more flowing when you speak English ?
Then you need to master using Linking and Elision in your English accent training. These two elements make your words flow together more.
If your background language is one where every syllable is said evenly, a syllable timed language, the rhythm of your jaw movement is more even and each word is separate. Da; Da; Da; Da; like even drum beats.
So when you want to be flowing in your English accent training and speech you will need to have your jaw movement change to flow certain words together. It’s as if you are saying one longer word made up of a few syllables. For example the words ‘put it on your end’ are said with the flowing rhythm:- dadada dada – putiton (all joins up) yourend (join up).
Ok so let me tell you how to do this.
English Accent Training Part 4- Stress and Intonation – How to do Linking and Elision
Linking is when we join a word that ends in a consonant to the following word if it begins with a vowel.
‘want it’ becomes ‘wan-tit’; ‘but our’ becomes bu-tour (butour); ‘was a’ becomes wa-sa (wasa); ‘after all I am on duty’ becomes afterall Iyamon duty ( notice there’s an intrusive ‘y’ sound to get from the ‘I’ to ‘a’ in I am).
It’s as if ‘after all’ becomes one long word, and ‘I am on’ becomes one longer word. They Link together.
The sentence ‘There was a big onion on a table.’ Is said ‘There wasa bi-gonion ona table.’
Elision is when we join a word that ends in a consonant to the following word if it begins with the same consonant and we elide or leave off the final consonant of the first word.
For example: ‘want to’ – we don’t say the words with each /t/ sound pronounced separately. We join them – ‘wanto’ .
‘head down’ becomes ‘headown’ – He put his ‘headown’ this time.
‘face sore’ becomes ‘fasore’ -It made his ‘fasore.’
Interestingly when the first word ends in a /z/ and the second begins with an /s/ we do the same because the sounds are very close in pronunciation.
For example: ‘his seat’ becomes ‘hiseat’ – ‘Hiseat’ ‘waso’ warm. (His seat was so warm).
You can see if you link the words together like this how it makes them flow together better.
Practise Tip for English Accent Training Stress and Intonation
Because we’re linking words together that you probably wouldn’t usually do in your everyday speech, you need to practise this a lot. You are really getting your mouth/jaw to ‘beat’ and move to a different rhythm, and to move differently. So in this part of your English accent training, you need to give your mouth enough practise to form a new muscle memory of how to move in English.
Print out 10 pages from our accent reduction course– maybe any 5 vowel pages, and any 5 consonant pages
Look at the sentences and use a marker to highlight any instances you see of linking or elision (according to the definitions above).
Listen to the audio trainer in the course and mimic aloud with them, making sure you link your words together where you have marked on the pages.
Do the same page with the same sentences for 3 days in a row before moving to the next page you have marked. This gives your mouth a chance to gain some mastery and flow.
Once you have done this with all 10 pages, get a text and choose a paragraph and mark the linking and elision. Then read the same paragraph aloud to yourself every day for 7 days making sure you are using the linking and elision that is there.
Then take another paragraph and do the same. After a while record yourself, and listen if you are making these elements automatic when you read aloud, and also in your everyday speech.
So mastering this element of English accent training will really make a difference to how flowing you sound in English.
Best wishes, Esther