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  • Hi! I’m Tom Kelley, a Rachel’s English teacher.

  • And I’m here to tell you to relax! Chances are you can.

  • It’s really helpful when youre speaking English.

  • Today’s practice tip is about thinkingverticallyrather thanhorizontallywhen you speak

  • youll see what I mean in a second.

  • A lot of my students are amazed to discover that speaking English

  • can actually take less effort than they are currently using.

  • Today I’m going to talk about one area of the face in which I see a lot of effort being usedthe lips.

  • Some students tend to pull their lips back wide when speaking – I call this speaking horizontally.

  • I’m going to do it for a second.

  • It’s like a bit of a smile on my face. And it tends to limit how much I drop my jaw.

  • It also changes the way I sound.

  • It takes my vocal placement from a lower resonance, to a higher resonance.

  • We want to keep that low, open chest resonance when speaking English.

  • There are a few sounds in English that might require a little bit of horizontal stretch from the lips.

  • For instance, the EE as in ME vowel. Many students like to pull the lips back for this vowel sound.

  • EE. EE. That’s fine. And you will achieve a clear EE vowel when you do that.

  • But when you watch native speakers use words with the EE vowel

  • youll notice that if the lip corners pull back, it's a very subtle movement.

  • For example, ‘easy’. 'Easy'.

  • My lip corners are barely pulling wide.

  • Most of the EE vowel is made with the middle of my tongue arching up in the mouth.

  • Another vowel sound that might use a little bit of lip movement is the AA as in Hat vowel.

  • Many students will say "hat", using a lot of lip tension.

  • This tension can actually make your voice sound a little nasal.

  • The vocal placement rises into the face and nasal passages.

  • Hat. My hat is missing.

  • Instead, let the lips stay a bit more relaxed and let the tongue position be more important.

  • For this vowel the tongue is wide and arching slightly up and forward in the mouth.

  • Hat. My hat is missing.

  • Now the vocal placement sounds the same the whole way through the sentence.

  • Only with relaxation can you find that chest resonance.

  • I really encourage you to use a mirror to check and see if this is something you do.

  • If you find that you tend to pull the lips corners back a lot when you speak,

  • see what happens if you speakvertically”, rather than horizontally.

  • This means relaxing the lips and letting the jaw drop down a bit more for stressed syllables.

  • Let’s run through some examples:

  • Bed. Speaking horizontally: bed.

  • Speaking vertically: bed.

  • It takes so much less effort to speak vertically.

  • Same. Horizontal: same. Vertical: same.

  • To do this, you may need to move your tongue more than you are used to.

  • If you've been using lip and jaw tension for the AY diphthong, for example,

  • chances are you are pulling your lips wide.

  • Instead, just arch the middle of the tongue from a low, wide position in the mouth to a higher position.

  • AY. AY.

  • And let the lips relax.

  • American English depends on a lot of flexible movement from the tongue

  • so that the lips and jaw can stay relaxed.

  • How about a couple practice sentences:

  • I love vacation days.

  • Avoid the horizontal: vacation days.

  • And go vertical and relaxed.

  • Vacation days. I love vacation days.

  • Take the empty chair in the back.

  • Horizontal: Take the empty chair in the back.

  • Vertical: Take the empty chair in the back.

  • Again, hopefully you can hear how relaxing my lips and jaw

  • ends up changing the placement of my voice and the sound of my vowels and diphthongs.

  • Use a mirror when you practice to see if you are speaking horizontally.

  • If you are, cool! Now you know you get to relax.

  • And it's always great to remember that you're allowed to relax.

  • I hope this tip has been helpful! If you're interested in learning more about taking private lessons with me,

  • click here or in the description below.

  • Keep practicing, have fun, and thanks for using Rachel's English.

Hi! I’m Tom Kelley, a Rachel’s English teacher.


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B1 中級

英語口語:縱向口語與橫向口語 (Speaking English: vertical vs. horizontal speaking)

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    林宜悉 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日