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05

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QW 050112 “A Good Cycle of Awareness”

As I’ve kept saying here and there, I’m on “Operation Vowels” quite intensively. It’s just a perfect timing to start working on the intensive training for my English skills because I have a lot more time for myself during Golden Week, which entitles me with eight holidays. I kicked off this operation rather impulsively, though.

Last night, I took a lesson with Philda on Skype. As I wrote before, I think she is one of the most skilled and experienced tutors available at the Skype-English school. Her popularity and reputation among learners is proved by a glimpse of how difficult it is for us to book her lessons. She is not the tutor who I’m learning pronunciation from, but I just couldn’t let a rare and precious opportunity to learn from her just go before my eyes when trying to reserve the next lesson a couple of days ago. It turns out, her lesson was as good as I had expected. I asked her to spend less time on vocabulary building to secure more time on comprehension questions and discussions regarding a daily article of the day in the previous lesson. She accepted my proposal in professional manners and did exactly as I had requested in the following lesson. Which made me respect her all the more as an English tutor.

Her rate of speech is not at all fast, the speed that makes it easy even for beginning-level learners to follow. When I talk to her, my speech rate is also slowed down in an attempt to accommodate the tempo she creates. It gives me abundant opportunities to discover things that would definitely be left unnoticed otherwise. Listening to the audio file from last night, I noticed that there was a slight "change”, not any noticeable “improvement” yet, in my speech including the production of vowels. I can tell I was paying more attention to the way I pronounced each word while monitoring my ongoing speech. I, once again, realized that better-monitoring can lead to better-adjusting ongoing speech to how it’s supposed to sound. In sum here’s the good cycle of awareness:

1) Slow down the speech
2) Pay more attention to the pronunciation in addition to the content of the speech
3) Monitor the speech better
4) Adjust the speech better

The tentative conclusion drawn from last night’s audio file is that urgency spoils everything, my pronunciation included. I’ll be taking a class with my pronunciation teacher on Skype, so I’ll share what I’ll have found out from tonight’s lesson with you all in the upcoming QW piece.

(40 minutes / 433 words)

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Aya

Author:Aya
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