THE ART OF SPEAKING AMERICAN ENGLISH by Stephen Stratton Read Free Book Online

Book: THE ART OF SPEAKING AMERICAN ENGLISH by Stephen Stratton Read Free Book Online
Authors: Stephen Stratton
The Pencil Technique
    Nineteen groups consisting of roughly fifty-two individual muscles allow the human face to stretch and contort into a wide range of expressions, that, in part, enable us to articulate language.
    Let us consider two automobile engines that have exactly the same parts and designed to perform in the same way. Over time the two engines, due to several variables, will come to perform differently. Similarly, when it comes to facial muscles Japanese and Americans, for example, are for the most part physiologically the same at birth. But from the moment he or she as a toddler begins learning how to talk, a pattern begins to form in how the facial muscles are used to articulate sounds and then words unique to the respective language spoken. As language skills improve, a seemingly unchangeable pattern of vocalization is established that clearly favors certain facial muscles over others.
    This difficult obstacle to learning how to speak English naturally can be overcome utilizing the pencil technique, while at same time, may save you the expense of a vocal coach. The technique is as simple as it is effective. It requires a pencil, as you might guess, and just a little determination on your part.
    Choose a novel to read. Find any passage in the book. Firmly place the eraser endof the pencil between your upper and lower teeth. Lightly bite down. Hold the other end of the pencil as still as possible and begin to read, taking care to heavily overemphasize your syllables. Your mouth and jaw will soon get a little tired and may ache a bit.

    To help you better understand how this effectively improves your English, just imagine a rubber band that is a little too small to fit around an object, such as a rolled up newspaper. Carefully stretching the rubber band for a few minutes will enlarge it enough to accomplish your goal. In the same way, working your facial muscles with the pencil between your teeth will give you the ability to stretch your face, so to speak, allowing you to pronounce words with ease you were previously unable to. 10 minutes a day of this technique should be sufficient.

Why Reading Novels Can Make You Your Best English Teacher
    Everywhere you go these days, you see advertisements promising to teach you English, on trains and buses, in shopping malls, airports, hotels, and even in business centers. TV commercials depict businessman and businesswomen ready to meet the world with confidence, equipped with their newly learned English language skills acquired at the purported
best-school in Japan
. If you happen to be one of those ambitious people who have spent a sizable amount of hard earned cash attending such a school, you might be asking yourself if it was worth it, and why it still seems incredibly difficult to hold a simple conversation in English. You might even be blaming yourself. Don’t do that!
    The little secret that you have unlikely heard is that reaching your goal of speaking English proficiently is far easier and less costly than you could ever imagine. The world is full of books from manuals to academic works to inform and educate, but there is nothing quite like novels, regardless of the genre, that present the reader with the broadest perspective available on how English is actually spoken in everyday settings.
    Nothing, to be sure, should or can replace actual conversation with native speakers of your target language. Nevertheless, depending solely on conversation can result in a limited vocabulary and the habit of usingunacceptable poor grammar sometimes very tough to break. Reason being, more often than not topics are superficially discussed, and Americans will seldom mention a grammar mistake when they hear it, if they notice it at all. So, for most people, the ability to speak a foreign language well and intelligently correlates with the amount of time spent reading the language.
    Review: A Few Important Rules Of Reading
    1. Read Aloud
    Listening to your own voice accomplishes a

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