READING ALOUD IN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE (1B2)
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF READING ALOUD IN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE? IS IT A WASTE OF TIME?
Among many other benefits “reading aloud can help your pronunciation. Even if you already know how to pronounce the language pretty well, it is hard to fit your mouth and tongue around the foreign sounds. Reading aloud gives your vocal organs the exercise they need to speak without getting tired or stumbling. If you are still fuzzy on pronunciation, use texts with recordings on CD or MP3 files, and repeat after the native speakers. But following along in the book will give you added input over simply listening and repeating. Try to copy the intonation and rhythm as well. You will be using eyes, ears, vocal apparatus, and of course, brain — all at once!”
SOME APPS CAN HELP YOU DO THIS WORK WHENEVER YOU DON´T HAVE THE RECORDING: READINGS ON YOUR TEXTBOOKS, GETTING READY FOR ORAL PRESENTATIONS, ETC….
- DO YOU KNOW ANY OF THESE WEBSITES OR APPS ?
- WHAT ARE THEY GOOD FOR?
- CAN YOU RECOMMEND ANY SIMILAR APPS?
You can paste the text.(SUITABLE FOR IOS &ANDROID)
TIPS TO IMPROVE PRONUNCIATION WHEN YOU´RE READING ALOUD
(BY my colleague JAVIER SANTOS ASENSI)
Step 1: Find CONTENT WORDS in the fragment you have chosen and make sure you know how to pronounce them.
- Even if meaning is different for different speakers, there are certain word categories that are usually more meaningful and therefore commonly stressed. They are often called content words: nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, negative words, pronouns (demonstrative, possessive –mine, yours…, reflexive –myself, yourself…, reciprocal –each other, one another , interrogative –who, what…), question words (where, how often, etc), intensifiers (too, much, quite, etc.) and modifiers ( numerals, cardinals, etc.)
- Pay special attention to those words you are very familiar with. Are you positive you have not made a habit of mispronouncing them? Check their pronunciation in your print or online dictionary or CD Rom
- First locate the stressed syllable (long words usually have a secondary stress as well)
- Then make sure you use weak vowels / Ə / and / I / in unstressed syllables
- Is there any consonant or vowel sound that you have problems pronouncing?
Step 2: Check the pronunciation of GRAMMAR WORDS (also called function words)
- Most times grammar words are not stressed. These include articles, determiners (the, some, each), auxiliary and modal verbs (do, have, be, may, will, etc.), one-syllable prepositions and conjunctions (to, from, of, and, but, etc.) If they have a weak pronunciation form, use it instead of the strong form you might be familiar with (check the pronunciation of these words in your reference chart)
Step 3: Are there any words you can contract?
- Remember that contraction is a feature of spoken language. You do not usually contract words in more formal written texts. If you are reading aloud you should try to contract whenever possible even if you do not see the contraction
- Revise the most common contractions: in the reference chart your teacher will provide you with.
Step 4: Connect unstressed words to meaningful stressed ones in a logical way
- First connect words into phrases (noun or prepositional phrases, etc.) in a logical way to avoid reading word to word and stressing every single word. These connected groups of words are often called thought groups
- Then try and connect phrases into short sentences
- Contracted forms as well as Word linking (connecting words ending in a consonant with the next word starting in a vowel or else words ending and beginning with vowels) will help us do it. In British English final “r” will be pronounced if the following word starts with a vowel (linking “r”).
- As a result the number of words in spelling and pronunciation will be absolutely different.
Step 5: Make sure you respect punctuation marks: pauses and intonation
- Periods (full stops) , commas, colons, semi-colons, parenthesis and the kind are realized as pauses in oral speech. These pauses will allow the listener to follow our utterance and ourselves to breathe. Moreover, if you run over the sentence limit, your utterance will make no sense at all for listeners, for they mark the end of an idea, a piece of explanation or clarification, an example, etc.
- Question and exclamation marks are realized as intonation patterns. Avoid flat intonation patterns, otherwise it will be difficult to make out your speech intention
RECORDING YOURSELF WOULD BE THE FINAL STEP AND PLAYBACK…. BUT WE´LL TALK ABOUT THIS IN ANOTHER POST…..