Speak like a native - How to improve your pronunciation | Caspar Schlageter | Skillshare

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Speak like a native - How to improve your pronunciation

teacher avatar Caspar Schlageter, Stay curious, keep learning!

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

11 Lessons (31m)
    • 1. Introduction to the course

    • 2. Class project

    • 3. Language as patterns

    • 4. Understanding and using vowel charts

    • 5. Decoding sounds

    • 6. Exaggerate!

    • 7. Reading out lot

    • 8. Echoing and shadowing

    • 9. Mirroring

    • 10. Recording

    • 11. Summary and end of the course

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About This Class

  • Did your pronunciation ever stop you from speaking in your target language ?
  • Do you want to sound more fluent?
  • Do you want to be understood better and express yourself with more clarity?
  • Do you whish to speak with more confidence?

These are just a few of many reasons to take this class and work on your pronunciation :)

In this course you'll learn various simple but effective exercises that can help you improve your pronunciation. We will shift our perspective on languages and figure out what areas we can tackle with the presented exercises.

+ Throughout this course we'll learn concepts such as:

  • Vowel charts
  • Patterns
  • Habits and automatization

+ I'll provide you with exercises that will help you to work on your pronunciation at different stages.

Meet Your Teacher

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Caspar Schlageter

Stay curious, keep learning!


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1. Introduction to the course: Hello and welcome to this video course on the pronunciation of foreign languages. My name is Casper, and I'm learning languages or bone languages on my own for more than five years now. And I think that I learned a couple of fingers on my journey. I would love to share with you because over the years, when trying to help all listen to friends who also tried to learn language, maybe on a more traditional way. It seemed to me that antibody is coming across similar problems or similar situation instead of trying to master. So I'm thinking that this course could be helpful for a lot of people. In my experience, pronunciation isn't really that big of an issue. And traditional language classes from my experience, primer has always taken most of the time. And then when you're trying to speak, we mispronounce many things. And it's impossible for the teacher to correct everything that we're doing wrong. Because while being in the class setup, we are most of the time listening to our classmates who also pronounced range one late. And that leads us to adapting to that kind of speaking, which is really hard to work on within a class setup. So I'm convinced that we need to take some steps or actions on our own to improve our pronunciation. So if we would like to work on your pronunciation, this course is right for you. Because within this course, I would like to share with you some concepts and tools or exercises that you can use to improve your pronunciation in your target language. I'm using these exercises to improve my pronunciation in Spanish, french, Italian, and they work really well for me. And I think that you can have stimuli, experiences on your own. So I invite you to test those tools and exercises to make up your own opinion. 2. Class project: Welcome to the class projects. The class project is all about making you an active participant in this course. Whenever you're trying to learn a language, at some point you will come across somebody who is telling you if you do this or if you do that practice, you will be fluent in one week, two weeks Also ever. Well, everybody has a different background and language learning. Now smelly related language and certainly count say that if you did this or that practicing, that you will have the same level of fluency after doing it for two weeks. But the most important thing that you can take from these people and learn from them is that language learning is a long journey. And it takes perseverance and regularity to keep on track. And the best thing that you can do is if you have the set timeframe like four weeks, the best thing you can do is to select maybe two of methods or exercisers and keep practicing them on a regular basis, every day, every second day for a set frame of time. And keep doing the algorithm with perseverance and regularity. So the class projects consists of you become active, creating your own routine and putting something, creating something that you can do on a regular basis within one month to month to really boost your pronunciation skill in your target language. I want to invite you to share. You create a routine within the covenant section of the class project. Thereby, you will think actively about what you try to do. Because then it's not only an idea inside of your hats, but you really put it into words. You put onto paper, onto your PC. And that's already a you thinking about the different tools, a whole show with you, and reflecting on how you can put that into your daily life. Then if you post it somewhere, It's on a place where it's saved, permanently installed there. So we can come back later to check if you were able to commit to this. And you can maybe wherever you are, your own routine and see that maybe there's some room for improvement or adaptation. You can review what worked for you or not. And I want to invite you to have this place here in the class project. At the same time, you can see other people who share their own routine. And you can get some inspiration and have maybe an exchange with them to see what worked for them or whatnot or what other methods they may come across. 3. Language as patterns: There's one concept that I'm trying to integrate within all of my courses because I think it makes language learning way more approachable. The concept is very simple. It's called Seagull languages as patterns. So what do I mean by that? Well, what is the main task or main reason? We have a language which it is to convey meaning and inflammation. If you break down this process into its minor components, we end up, at least in language, is based on an alphabet. We end up having letters. Each letter represents a consonant or a wobble. They alone, they do well econ away any meaning. But having combinations of all of those parts, we create first, still a bolts. They sometimes do already convey some meanings. And putting them together, we end up having a word. A word alone can mean a lot, but it's getting more and more complex by putting that into a bigger pattern. So first we have our letters. They put together in different combinations, in different pattern on a bird. And each time we put words together, we form phrases and sentences. Each language has its own way of creating patterns. And when we are learning a language, VHS doing that, we learn to recognize patterns in a different way. We'll learn how things are differently pronounced because that's a different way of using your mouth modulation, articulate and create a sound. Pulling that together we have different worlds at the reference way of producing different syllables or maybe different combinations of consonants. And that's already a different pattern. And it's getting from the basis on even more complex each step. And if you wanted to understand a complete tax and compete compensation or movie also ever, we first need to understand the principle ideas behind the language, the very basic patterns. And from there on, we can build up. So if you think about the maybe four parts that language consists of, which is listening and speaking, writing and reading. Each time we are either creating a pattern or we are recognizing a pattern and understand the meaning which is lying behind of it. Kind of having two sides of the coin recognize and create. And each one is concerning. The same thing lies in the middle, which is the pattern. And if you think about it, it's very easy to structure all different exercises on different parts of the language. Just based on having patents in the middle. And this course is designed to help you with the part of the pattern, which is the pronunciation to pronounce, to create the right patterns to clean away the meaning who are clear in a distinct language. 4. Understanding and using vowel charts: What will charge of global diaphragms? At first glance, they look quite intimidating and intricate. And yes, it's true. This is the most technical part of this language learning pronunciation class, but hold on, it's really worth it to understand how to use a bubble chart. So we do have these trapezoid shape and it's kind of representing our tongue. You have to imagine it being located in your head. If you look to the side like me, you would see that it's more physicians, like a tracker slides here. And we have four rows and three columns. Each of them is representing a point. Adults where you turn can be positioned inside your mouth to produce a sound when you're speaking. So if you would like to follow along with me, you can experience it on your own. If you put your tongue in the front row with a right and a front at the bottom and you say something, it's an if you go one row up, It's as if you go further up. It's a and at the top it's E. And that's just the front row. And a thing. By doing that, you can understand how useful that can be. Because if you see a word in a dictionary or somewhere, also, if you have a textbook, they are also often described in that international phonetic alphabet. And by having this wobble chart, you can easily understand how to read that properly. Gone for the central role, you have a, a, and U at the top. And this is quite a tricky, well, we have to then German or French. And so people are struggling pronouncing that. I think it's quite obvious how to do the background. What we have more like an r, which is r and a E. So we have all of those different kinds of ways of pronouncing our robots and understanding that and applying that we can have that first part, which is the wobble of our pattern, which makes up the words. And maybe now it makes sense why it can be important to use that. I once was able to help friends how to pronounce the chairman letter properly, just by showing him explain how to use this graph, this diagram. And I hope it's helpful for you to remember. If you try to master the new inferential, a German, it's just your tongue. It is centered. Hope you. I hope that's helpful. 5. Decoding sounds: Decoding sounds. This part of the course is dedicated to more complex structures, to more complex sounds. Previously, in pronouncing with those mobile charts, we looked at single wobbles. And now as moving on in that languages as pectin concept, we want to move up from single lattice, two words, phrases, and sentences. It can be helpful to decode that. And decoding means to breaking it down into parts that you can understand. Oftentimes, it's quite a struggle if you are used to listen to texts that are spoken by professional speakers and the context of a textbook. And then it's completely different. A completely different language. Sometimes it seems to be if you listen to the language spoken and then ALE, contexts for other people. And then you may think, did I even learned that language? That sounds completely different? And here, decoder sounds comes in very handy. I can already begin when you have single verts and the pronunciation seems very unfamiliar, very different from your native language. And you may have struggled to pronounce a wobble combination or combination of different letters differently, because you're very used to pronounce them in a way that they are pronounced in your native language. And what you can do now is to take a verge, someone who pronounces for you or just have it somewhere. Sometimes it's easy enough to use them for like Duke translates to have a pronunciation. So we have kind of an idea how it should sound in their fingers. There are many radios also that can show you how to pronounce single words that are more complicated. And then you can kind of decodes how the sound sounds to you. And now there is this phonetic alphabet, which is used internationally. For me when I started learning French, some sounds sounded quite strange, and I didn't want to learn the phonetic alphabet to question what it means or how it should sound. So where I came across words that sounded weird to me or very unnatural or unfamiliar. I wrote down the words and underneath kind of on the lack of flashcards, which I've pinned on my wall. And I wrote down how I would pronounce it if it's written in my native language. And I also invented some V like a wave sign and that would indicate that it's more nasal here. So it will be something like a nasal 0 or something like that. And that helped me to understand how to pronounce it. So it's kind of you would create little which guide that's later you won't need anymore. But now when practicing the flashcard, it was possible for me to have the words, the meaning, and the proper pronunciation on one flashcards. And I didn't have to struggle to think it had not announced like this or dads because it was very clearly for me. And so I decoded the paths which seems unfamiliar to me and translate that into something that I can understand. And that is kind of a guide you can use to make sense of the patterns that you are not used to. And after time when you practice that more oftenly, you will find that later YouTube need tech help anymore and you understand it without having new guide and even without your translation. And then it's just natural that you pronounce it in that way. And using your native language or the language which was familiar to it that you speak as a guide is very helpful. And that's just for single words. But you can also do that, of course, for full sentences. If you have, for example, a podcast or anything where you have the transcript, I would advise you to either write down a text on paper or printed out. So you can take some notes on a piece of paper to write both the printed text. For example, it could look like that. You have. For example, in French, we have that thing that's called liaison, that some words are merged together and it's like in the spoken language, it doesn't seem like you have a single, you have single words with which have a start and an end. What is just seeming like? One sentence is consisting of one sound, one word, and that's really confusing if you are used to the words that you have learned, which are single words. And so it makes sense if you have that, that you can kate with your pen wherever it starts, how it's merging together and how that can change the sound. You don't have to use my signs, you can make up your own. I found that wave thing where they helpful to indicate it's nasal here or sometimes are using something like two arrows pulling together to show that here to separate routes are merged together. And that's a very helpful tool that you can use because sometimes things get more complicated. If things are spoken rapidly, you may lose some parts of it. For example, in Spanish, you have in the end a, the 0, which is often pronounced just l, like with how, without the DN. And you can't just say, Okay, I have my transcript and then I can just put them in the parentheses or a bracelet. Let's say that the D is not pronounced so it's silent or just something like that. You can also indicate where the sound of the voice is going upwards, down and just indicate how to actually pronounced that properly. So you do not have to worry about that part. Then you'll get used to do that with the tax. You could practice with that text. And after that, after some time, it's just coming naturally that you can pronounce it actually, that you do not need your guide anymore. And then it's kind of You can walk. You can walk in that language without having something that is helping you walk. And I could go on with examples, but I think at that point it's clear to summarize decoding. You kind of use that languages as pattern approach and you decode patterns that you are not known to and you kind of put your patents that you know, as a support there, like a support for you when you're trying to learn how to ride a bicycle. And after some time, you can try it with that. You built up to support. And after time, after practicing, after reading at a couple of times, you are not anymore in need of any support wheels. So you can just drive normally and speak normally. Probably also understand it better. 6. Exaggerate!: Welcome back. In this part, I will talk about a short, brief exercise that you can use before doing any of the other exercises to what I like to call prime yourself to speak battery when that language, which is if you have something that you can read, if you can say a few sentences, what you can do is really force yourself to speak as clearly as you can to really accelerate the movements that you're doing with your mouth, with your tongue that every part of your phase of gashed his statue is using. So you're really excited and waiting on your pronunciation. And we'll either stealing because, well, if you start to learn a new language, you will notice that other sounds of other languages are quite different from what you are known to. And then there are others that are familiar and which you can do easily. And sometimes you scribal and me may fall about some wobble, some sounds. But then if you practice in this manner where you're really over-exaggerate it. Then you're kind of training your facial muscles, your articulation at writers to really work in that manner. Because if you are able to do that in that where we forced way, doing it naturally, normally becomes so much easier. After a while of practicing exaggerate pronunciation, it will feel very natural for you to pronounce words in certain ways. Because coming back to our concept of languages as patterns, we now are used to certain movement patterns and Sam producing and articulation patterns. And we may already notice to do some gestures which are typical, for example, for italian, et cetera. So having that path again, it's again like building up new patterns. And all of that is like building habits. Cause when you build that habit, you first need to do things willingly. If you force yourself to do it in where we exaggerated manner. Doing it in a normal slightly or an exaggerated, just normal manner of little feel natural. And you can more easily build that habit because the muscle is used to it as news to those movements. Because in the beginning, it's very unnatural for you to move your face in alleyways and you need force to get there or no forcible effort. So it's squeal like that habits. And after time as you can produce those patterns, automated Like in and habits. 7. Reading out lot: Welcome back. Well, I think I can keep that lesson quite short because I think that that is the most intuitive thing that people would do to practice this speaking or pronunciation skills in a foreign language, which is to take the text that you have to read or our reading and speak out aloud. Because, well, in order to pronounce wins, unique to pronounce famous. And the easiest thing to do is just to read out loud what you enjoy to read. While at the same time you can see how certain words are used in different contexts while it may change in the intonation and pronunciation. And that's charged again, that process of building up a pattern, the pattern of pronouncing and speaking, which is easily practiced with reading out loud. And I'm quite sure that you can implement somehow five to ten minutes a day because that will sum up after all. See you in the next lesson. 8. Echoing and shadowing: For this exercise, we will need either one or two things depending on the difficulty. The first string is that we need in any difficulty is something like a content that you enjoy to watch. It's something that you enjoy listening to, that it's really interesting for you, so you are willing to do it one more time. And you may also have something of your own personal interests. Be a podcast, a movie, series, or just anything like a song. And a stacked thing for the easier exercise is that you get the transcription, lyrics or subtitles. So to doing that, which is called occurring or shadow, when we do want to speak either simultaneously or maybe 1 second after the person who is speaking in that audio and video. So we do kind of mimic exactly, and we tried to imitate exactly the intonation and the way how the person is speaking in a foreign language. At the same time. It's kind of like when our acceleration exercise that we are priming ourself to speak how another person is speaking in a foreign language. It's better to do that after making clear what certain words mean. Because if you can understand the content, you can at the same time learn new words and it makes most sense for you in small, understandable. So you can go through the video, listen to it one time, make sure that you properly understand what it's about. And you may translate some words that are tricky. So you have include what you are saying because it's helpful if you know what you're saying when you pronounce something, then it's not just sounds, meaning or something. And you could probably learned that word at the same time. And then you go, maybe in the beginning it could make sense to slow down a little bit. And then you try to follow along as the native person is speaking. So you speak at the same time, which it first, as you listen, I'm in this week and listen simultaneously. And at first that's very, very confusing. You may think that's absurd, I want to add, but you get used to it. And what that is doing and that you are not only 20 you pronunciation, but also you listening skill. Because you kind of neat to do that within an instant that you understand what the person is saying and reproduced it. So you have instant practice and practicing. That's for video, maybe 10 minutes. It's a lot because you are speaking a law which could be quite a long text. So you do have a lot of practice by that. You can speed up, you can have it at normal speed, have more difficult texts, maybe a conversation of normal people with a move out, fleeting like no textbook. So we adapt to speak how native speakers are speaking. You learn new verts and pronounce it properly. Then the second difficulty I would say it is doing that without subtitles, without any help, support from a text. Because then you only have your ears that you can trust. Because you need to trust your ears completely. And maybe what you can do is write down where you didn't understand something and then you have that nodes and come back to it later to see and check how to do that better or to notice it or keep your attention on the second time. I hope that is helpful. Pantheon, the next video. 9. Mirroring: Welcome back. This exercise is called mirroring and it has quite some similarities to shadowing and echoing both what we wanna do here is also get some content that is enjoyable for you, transcription of subtitles. But it should be a video. And with that video, what you want to do is first you need to find maybe something like an activity. Like maybe you have a favorite Spanish actor and you want to speak how he or she is speaking. So it's quite an action from distant region or something specific. Maybe you enjoy serious and you just want to speak like that actor. So you can take that radio with the subtitles and speak at the same time as the person is speaking. But compared to occurring, what we want to do here is involving our complete body. You may even want to stand up doing that because you do want to mimic everything. Movements of the face. Maybe the hype Rose, how the person is walking through three, know how it's moving his hands or something like that. So you really tried to incorporate how the person speaks into the way of us speaking. So you are really, really trying to imitate every part of it. You are willing primarily a saf to speak in a distinct way. And that is really helping you like all of those other exercise which kind of built up for in that pattern approach. Because then you get also those gesture patterns. Gestures and body language is a very crucial part of language. And you do not learn That's just from listening, not just watching two videos. We adjusted the face of a person or something like that. And definitely not in language school. So what you can do is really in this way, learn the other nuances of that language. Hence, improve your recognition and pronunciation in that manner. That the pattern is even going higher than what is part of pronunciation with you articulation because you use your hand and facial gestures. 10. Recording: With all of these previously explained exercises, There's one part missing that we can also implement in those exercises simply. I would say you should record yourself why you do some of those things while you are trying to mimic how to only speaking in shadowing, occurring or mirroring. Because that can help you. Also, when you record a set of reading out loud to notice the things that you do not notice because he went speaking. Only hear the voice from your inhabit perspective. So to say, what? If you are recording yourself later? You can listen to it again. And then you kind of see where you're struggling at. As you can notice, certain things that you do not hear when you are speaking. Because when you're speaking, if you're like me, it all sounds clear and all sounds quite good. But maybe it's quite the obvious and you have a wrong interpretation of a warm image of what you are doing. And when you have a record of that, you can just do many edges with your phone. You could also do just what's a voice messages and send it to a friend who's speaking that language. Would you mind listening to you struggling for a way forward in another language? So you can just have that second perspective, which can also be yourself. And then you are recording yourself, you just get that feedback. You can notice that you can make some notes on certain goods where you really struggled at, where you didn't pronounce certain things and that can help you a lot. And then when you are listening to dads, you can also compared to maybe the desired way of pronouncing it. If you compare two mirroring or also echoing, if you have someone who can read the text properly, you can compare what you are doing compared to how the person is doing who is native. So you can compare that and you can really see where you need to may pitch some of the action. Pronounce things differently, put some broken certain vowel sounds or other patterns. So you kind of recognize where the way of you pronounce or produce a patent is not in correlation with how it's supposed to be. 11. Summary and end of the course: We're now at the end of that course. I hope I provide you with some tools that you can use to improve your pronunciation and some entry points because everybody has a different level. Everybody has heavy. So I'll work to do maybe it's at a level higher. Maybe it's just that you want to go into it. Also implement gestures. So we can really enter, adhere personal level and see I would highly recognized to use recording yourself. Because then you can really see how you are in reality, not inside your head. Because that can also crowns you a little bit and see, okay, I actually do not tap good because that can be frustrating at first. Well, the way you notice that we notice those paragraphs, you know, where to put work on. And that can also be motivation because he wants to move from data somewhere else.