Dear Cafetalk Community,
I feel bad for taking 5 days off to move. Although the notice on my profile said I was on vacation, I was actually moving from Red Deer in Alberta to a city named Regina in Saskatchewan, Canada. Regina is my husband's hometown so he will be closer to his family and old friends now. It's a much bigger city than the previous one and it will be more suitable for me because I'm a "big city girl!"
Several unexpected things happened during our trip over here. We had the U-haul truck until this morning, so we had to hurry up and drive here, unpack, and return the moving truck. In addition, we have two cats "Coco" and "Chanel" as mentioned on my profile. They used to be feral (that means "wild" cats) before, so they made quite a fuss when we tried to put them in the carrier. Previously, when I moved from Santa Monica, California to Canada two years ago, I had to get seven stitches because my cat scratched me so hard between my fingers!
[Summary of my trip:] --> In hindsight, it could be a funny story but it was extremely stressful at the time. Here's what happened . . .
My shoulders and my whole body was stiff as a board the entire time I was driving because I was so nervous especially driving through unknown territory. Needless to say, I was exhausted beyond my limit and stressed out to the max. However, if that was the only problem, I could have slept it away and recovered. No problem. (Except for moving all the furniture and boxes up to the 4th floor with no elevator!)
[The most important part of my story is this. . . ]
When I lost my front tooth, my speech sounded totally different! The gap in my tooth totally changed how I spoke and I sounded like I had a lisp. *This taught me a very important fact that there is a definite association between the structure of your teeth in relation to your mouth.
Then, it follows to reason that the way you place your tongue against your teeth in your mouth will allow you to speak with less of an accent. This confirms the idea that the more you practice your pronunciation, the better you will get with how well you speak and pronounce English.
I think this is exciting news and it gives you hope, doesn't it? You can do something about getting rid of your accent!
1.) First, I believe you have to practice placing your tongue in the "correct position" against your teeth in your mouth to pronounce the English words correctly.
2.) You should listen to a native English speaker to listen for the proper and correct pronunciation of the words. (Don't learn from someone with an accent because you will pick up a bad habit.)
3.) Practice forming these unusual formations of your tongue that you do not have in your own native language.
4.) Read articles, short stories, and other written information out loud to practice your pronunciation.
[Moral of the story:]
Remember that the placement of your tongue in the mouth is very important. So, find the proper way to form your tongue from an English tutor. . . like me. Practice forming your tongue against your teeth properly over and over again. Practice with various "blends" and "pairs" of certain sounds. (Example, "the," "l," "r," etc.) *Please view the pairs of sounds below and see if you can form the sounds properly in the charts.
If you would like me to help you with your pronunciation, especially ones you have trouble tackling, please send me a lesson request and I will be happy to help you improve your English pronunciation. I am back and settled in Regina and ready to teach again! Just wanted to let my regular students know as well as new students who want to take my lesson.
I know I'm always telling you to study on a regular basis and I feel bad about missing five days of work, but I think it will work out for the better in the long run! I'm ready to work again so please send me a lesson request if you want to. I hope you are all doing well and I look forward to talking to you soon! Have a wonderful day! See you soon!
(Patricia Ayame Thomson)