English pronunciation training. Are you using a key word sentence?

Eng­lish Pro­nun­ci­a­tion Train­ing- Do You Use A Key Word Sen­tence?

Using a key word sen­tence whether you are still work­ing on your Eng­lish pro­nun­ci­a­tion train­ing, or whether you are prac­tis­ing a new  accent in Eng­lish, or whether you are about to do an Eng­lish speak­ing test for Exam­ple like an IELTS test, real­ly helps.

I was lis­ten­ing to an actress talk­ing on the radio the oth­er day. The actress was say­ing when­ev­er she want­ed to put on a cer­tain accent, she had a par­tic­u­lar sen­tence or phrase she would use to cue her into the accent. For exam­ple she used the words ‘car park' to cue her­self into a South African accent because it's a good exam­ple of the way cer­tain con­so­nants and vow­els are said in that accent, espe­cial­ly the ‘ar' vow­el. You can use this tech­nique of a key word sen­tence or phrase, to work for you as well.

When we do Eng­lish pro­nun­ci­a­tion train­ing, we use all sorts of train­ing mate­r­i­al to help us, which is impor­tant and nec­es­sary. We can also use a ‘key word sen­tence' to help us get in to the pro­nun­ci­a­tion we need quick­ly, in a real life sit­u­a­tion.

Eng­lish Pro­nun­ci­a­tion Train­ing- Key Word Sen­tence. How does it work?

1. Choose a sen­tence or phrase that you know you can say real­ly well. This means:-

  • you say all the vow­els in the words cor­rect­ly
  • you are mak­ing all the con­so­nants light­ly and aspi­rat­ed enough for Eng­lish
  • you say it with the right stress and rhythm pat­terns- it flows well
  • you use the right vocal tone and into­na­tion ( for exam­ple the Ger­man vocal tone and pitch is much low­er than that habit­u­al­ly used in Eng­lish; or the intonation/pitch  in Eng­lish doesn't go as high as that in Hin­di when putting stress on a word in a sen­tence).
  • you're mim­ic­k­ing the accent or speech clar­i­ty you want exact­ly, with all it's sub­tle ele­ments. For exam­ple are you tak­ing the /r/ sound out of the ‘or', ‘ar' and ‘er' vow­els in words for the British and Aus­tralian accent?  Are you  leav­ing the /r/ sounds in for the Amer­i­can accent?  If you are leav­ing the /r/ in, is it the cor­rect /r/- your new /r/ sound and not your orig­i­nal one?

You may ask ” How do I know I'm say­ing it exact­ly as it should be said?  I.e., whether you've ‘nailed it'?

Record your­self and lis­ten real­ly care­ful­ly to all the ele­ments, and also note if it sounds like the accent you want.

2. As you go in to the sit­u­a­tion you need it for, say this key word phrase or sen­tence to your­self aloud a cou­ple of times to cue your­self in to the Eng­lish pro­nun­ci­a­tion or accent you need.

Oh, and don't for­get to breath deeply, and then smile to relax your­self (and those you are going to speak to).

This is a great tool so use it. Let me know how it goes in the com­ments sec­tion below.

Best wish­es, Esther


Click on a link below now, to learn about our accent reduc­tion cours­es and start speak­ing more clear­ly.

Aus­tralian Accent

British Accent

Amer­i­can Accent