When it comes to pronunciation, pick your battles

English pronunciation can present a significant challenge to non-native speakers; it can hinder fluent speaking and create insecurity issues. But the good news is that with time and perseverance your pronunciation can improve drastically. 

Based on my experience, both as an English learner myself and as a language teacher, in this blog post I intend to hint at some ideas to help you rise to the challenge and start a journey to a more confident approach to pronouncing, and thus, speaking. Continue reading “When it comes to pronunciation, pick your battles”

Connected Speech

Looking into the flow of English

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The natural rhythm that gives English its musicality is partly influenced by how the words are linked. In order to enhance our speaking and make it sound more natural and relaxed, we need to understand the mechanics of how this works.

This is not a typical feature in some languages such as Spanish so it will help to first analyse and recognise when this happens in natural speech to, later, implement it in your speaking. An additional benefit is that your overall improvement in listening comprehension and a more natural flow can lead to better results in tests.

Let’s look into some very basic everyday phrases in which connected speech makes its appearance.  Continue reading “Connected Speech”

Google Assistant

Some ideas to use it as an English learning tool

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Voice or speech recognition has developed significantly over time and become a useful tool that has countless applications in many areas of life. Gadgets like Amazon Alexa or Google Home can play the role of a secretary, a speaking encyclopedia, a music player and so many more. The possibilities are endless and some of them applicable to language learning.

 The subject of this blogpost is a humbler version of those devices, that’s to say your mobile google assistant. If you do not know of its existence, it might be found as an inbuilt app. But most likely, if there, it has come into view to greet you at some point. I was not quite sure whether to be annoyed or curious when it showed up on my screen. Was it another one of those time-consuming pop-ups that keep appearing when you least expect them? Continue reading “Google Assistant”