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.