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In this video, we're going to talk about how you can improve your pronunciation quickly
and permanently. And at the end of this video, I'll give you a link to a webpage that links
to a lot of free pronunciation exercises.
Let's start by talking about a very frustrating problem.
Suppose I currently mispronounce this word. Suppose I say pogam instead of program. I
want to fix this mistake. So I learn the right pronunciation and I repeat it over and over.
program program program.
Now here's the problem. Because I have mispronounced this word for so long, the incorrect pronunciation
has become a habit. And because of that, I can only say the word correctly if I pay attention
to my pronunciation. If I don't pay attention, I will revert back to the old habit.
So how can I solve this problem?
Well, the answer is...I have to increase the number of repetitions.
Imagine that right now inside my brain there are two memories associated with the word
program. One of them is old. The other is new. The old memory represents the wrong pronunciation
- the bad habit. The new one represents the right pronunciation that I've just learned.
So these are memories of how to coordinate the muscles in my tongue, lips, and other
parts to say the word "program".
The reason that I mispronounce this word if I don't pay attention is that the old memory
is much stronger.
If I want to break this old habit, I have to repeat the right pronunciation many, many
times. Every time I do that, the new memory gets stronger, and the old memory gets weaker.
I repeat - the old memory doesn't stay the same. It actually gets weaker.
This phenomenon is called Retrieval-Induced Forgetting. It happens when there are two
or more memories competing with each others. It's a phenomenon where retrieving one memory
makes us forget other memories.
This is why you have to be careful when fixing a mistake. If you accidentally repeat the
mistake, it'll strengthen the old habit and weaken the correction that you're trying to
make, making the problem worse.
So that's the first thing to keep in mind. You have to repeat, repeat, and repeat.
This sounds good in theory. But in practice, there's huge problem with repetition.
So what's the problem with repetition?
Well, it takes a tremendous amount of time. Fixing just one mistake requires a lot of
repetition. Who has time for that? After all, you probably have lot of mistakes to eliminate.
So what can you do?
Fortunately, there's a technique that you can use to speed up the process. And that
is exaggeration.
Going back to our previous example, suppose I pronounce this word as pogam. That's incorrect
because the R sound is missing. If I want to fix this mistake quickly, I will exaggerate
the R sound. pRogRam pRogRam pRogRam.
Here's another example: Let's say I pronounce this word as "banana". This is incorrect because
I don't stress the second syllable. So to fix this, I will stress the second syllable
real hard. baNAna baNAna.
This sounds silly but you will not believe how much faster your pronunciation will improve
when you exaggerate.
But how does this technique help you improve your pronunciation faster?
Well, one of the reasons that we mispronounce words is that we replace certain sounds with
other sounds that are easier to say. So a non-native speaker might pronounce this word
as "taught" instead of "thought". We also tend ignore certain sounds. So we might pronounce
this word as hoss instead of horse.
This is because the brain is lazy. It has the tendency to pronounce words in the easiest
way possible.
But when you exaggerate, you're telling your lazy brain that the sounds being exaggerating
are important. You're basically telling your brain, "Hey, these sounds are important. Do
not ignore them." So you when speak normally, you will sound much clearer.
But that's not all. When you exaggerate, you're strengthening the muscles involved in speaking,
especially your tongue muscles. This is a huge benefit because if those muscles are
strong, you will speak much clearer.
So to summarize: There are two things that you can do to quickly and permanently improve
your pronunciation. Number one: You can use repetition to break bad speaking habits and
replace them with good ones. Number two: You can speed up the process by exaggerating everything
that should be exaggerated.
Alright, that's all for today. To help you get started, I've created a resource page
that links to a lot of free pronunciation exercises. So click here to go to that page.
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【口說技巧】超實用!發音一定要知道的兩件事情! (English Pronunciation Practice:

36839 分類 收藏
Adam Huang 發佈於 2014 年 11 月 2 日
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