How would you, as a tutor, suggest this reader improve

I couldn’t understand this.

Any suggestions as to how the reader can alter his speaking so that his audience can understand all of his words?

I’m not a native speaker, but I’m able to understand about 90% what he says when I listen carefully. But I’m used to hear different accents from English speakers (native and non-natives) all over the world because I listen regularly to the Outlook podcast from the BBC. This podcast was once recommended here on the forum by a member of LingQ.

The best way to improve pronunciation is let him LISTENING to a lot of audios with a proper pronunciation (not too fast !) and let him SHADOWING (speaking along with the native speaker). Listening sharpens his ears regarding how the language should sound. Shadowing allows him to pronounce without having to think about the words and what he wants to say. So he is really focused on the pronunciation.

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I agree with Vera about understanding him - and especially about shadowing. I think Vera means the kind I do where one doesn’t just talk over the words being heard, like in karaoke, but rather hears the individual word or consonant first and quickly repeats a split second or two later (using pause button if necessary). Is that what you meant, Vera? (I also repeat whole sentences, with practice).

(I could be wrong, but I think that’s why Prof Arguelles’ pronunciation was self-admittedly poor in Mandarin. If one drowns out the spoken word by speaking over it without hearing it properly, one might make bad habits in pronunciation. I do shadow every day in Japanese though (making sure I’m hearing).

The student’s main problem I thought was his over-stress on the final consonants, which distorts his words somewhat, especially his pronunciation of “d”. For example, he sounds like he’s saying something like "didDUh"instead of saying a short ‘d’ at the end of “did”. Actually, he seems to have a problem for all words ending in ‘d’.

Also he’s saying “izZuh” instead of a short “iz” for ‘is’. And yes he has a problem with 'v’s wherever placed in a word.

I don’t have any advice there except to say he could try shortening final consonants, and also to shorten the space between words - that would make it easier on the ear. (As you know, English speakers run words together, without pausing after every word.)

But he shouldn’t get too hung up on it - a few of my university professors sounded like him and everyone coped.

@Julie: You can distinguish between choiring and shadowing. Shadowing means to be one syllable behind the speaker so that you have the chance to hear the correct pronunciation first.

At the beginning he should listen once or twice to the audio. Then he should try shadowing. A future step could be to let him listen to single sentences, read these sentences and record them and then compare his recording with the original to hear the differences.

I agree with Julie that the main problem is the emphasize of the last letter. Maybe his native language works this way? But some of the other letters are also not well pronounced. I guess he makes the spaces between the words because he has problems with the pronunciation. To overcome this would be the second step (in my opinion). First he needs to learn how to pronounce the words correctly.

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Thank you very much Veral and Julie! I will share your remarks with him. :slight_smile: I could not understand 90%, not by a long shot. Key words were just muffled, fuzzy, blurry utterances. Learning to pronounce the individual words correctly is an excellent first step. His emphasis on final consonants is his following my advice on not swallowing final consonants or not sounding final consonant sounds in English. But I realize that sounding final consonants on words that are otherwise a blur (poorly articulated and/or mis-pronounced) is not very helpful. Thanks you two! :slight_smile: