Monday, January 21, 2008

Feeling what it is like to produce English sounds

It's worth noting that I really do take people's remarks very seriously, though whether I am capable of implementing all the advice given is another matter. Gladys, whose remarks I hope you will shortly see, comments that she herself would have so frozen up if she had been required to repeat words she could not see, that she would not have remembered a thing! I hope I don't sound on the defensive if I mention that, in this very first hour, my aim wasn't primarily to get Nina to remember a short list of words, but to give her the experience of saying them out loud, to feel what it was like to use her breath, tongue, lips to create English sounds. Nina is worried, actually scared, she says, that she is not going to be able to make English sounds. She is very concerned about pronunciation and I have already had to start saying that I am not training her to be a spy, I want her, and Anton, to be able to speak English so that others can comfortably understand them. In the first lesson, and probably to be a prolonged emphasis, I'm giving instrumental lessons (as in - a music instrument). I'm getting them to practice playing their voices.


Illya said...

Hi Dennis, how funny to just have written an email asking about these lessons and then find your blog describing the very thing! Why don't you sing with them if you want them to get acquainted with the sound of English. English chants are also very good if you want to practice conversations. The rhythm is so strong that even the visual can cope without - for a short while anyway

Dennis said...

Illya. Thanks for writing. I'll need to get braver to sing, but the reminder about chants is good. There are also some Nursery Rhymes, of course, and I just came across this:

Blue sea
Green tree
Brown hand
Yellow sand.
Rose – red
Grey head
Snow – white
Black night

I've got the visual for snow white on top of my head.

Michael said...

Hello Dennis,

I am also looking forward to reading about English from Zero take 2. I wish you all the best of luck.

EnglishTeacher365 said...

Yeh, as a rather 'lapsed' blogger, I'm waiting up on you too!

Dennis said...

Michael and Englishteacher365 - not your age, I trust - thanks very much for leaving a comment. I must check my RSS feeds, they do not appear to be functioning. I've only just spotted your messages.