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Quick Write 123111 “Self-assessing my speech”

As I reported in the QW pieces, I’ve been taking online English lessons for five straight nights. Initially I was going to launch this new project in 2012, after I finish all the school course work in May 2012 at the latest, but I just couldn’t wait to do so. Then my project started “unexpectedly” right after Christmas. Looking back a year ago December, I realized that I had stared something just before Christmas. My own blog. It seems that I have a tendency or liking for taking up a new stuff around Christmas. I’m guessing it’s just because Christmas is the time to be thankful and wish well to those around you, look back what you have and have not done during the year, and suddenly and abruptly feel like making up for what you could’ve done. Am I the only one who’d think that way?

I took five lessons so far and recorded two of them. I did so in order to self-assess my speech with instructors. Listening to your own recorded voice requires a decent amount of courage and patience (well, I know it depends on your personality). I occasionally record my speech in class to self-assess and improve the way I teach, so I’m a bit more immune to listening to my own (embarrassing) voice than those who’ve never tried doing so.

What I took away from those recordings was enormous. It came to me so clearly that I need to work on my pronunciation, sentence structure, vocabulary use, tempo and rhythm in speech, communication strategies including turn-taking and everything. You can learn a great deal from your own speech in online interactions. I mean “online interactions” as going-back-and-forth communications such as oral conversations and discussions. “Offline interactions”, on the other hand, refer to exchanging e-mails or texting, and basically through written language. Online interactions with English speakers require L2 English speakers like us to be much more spontaneous than offline interactions because the response time is much limited. Spontaneity requires a high level of automaticity of the language processing, and thus makes us realize what skills we need to automatize through repetitive practice. It’s even painful to listen to your awkward speech with an English speaker, but we should be reminded that it’s the pain that we need to go much further.

(40 minutes / 387 words)

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This is the IC recorder I use: Voice-Trek DS-51

nr090217ds51rj.jpg


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Aya

Author:Aya
English learner

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