When seeing the careers counsellor in 5th year of secondary school I was told that one of my best qualities that would help me in looking for a job in future was the fact that I had a “flat” accent. It was only after seeing the confused smile on my face that he meant this in a complimentary way, that I was easy to understand.
Since then I’ve been rubbing elbows with some of Limerick’s finest accents both at work and out about resulting in a bizarre accent that has been dubbed “London Bogger” in my home. The london bogger requires a skilled ear or else a large amount of exposure to decipher, which probably isn’t desirable when I’m set on becoming an ELT.
Tongue twisters are like phonetic acrobatics, they require finesse, control and practice, and in the end you sound like a twat. But do them enough and it begins to trickle down into your everyday use of the language.
From studying Japanese, and hearing native Japanese speakers speaking English tongue twisters are an excellent way to work on pronunciation
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! (The full version of the twisted title)
It’s important with tongue twisters to first work on enunciating and then work on speed. Break it down into workable pieces, otherwise, using Japanese as an example again, you could just end up saying:
Isu kurimu, yu sukurimu. wi aru sukirimu fo isu kurimu.
Man, that doesn’t seem very PC, but that is actually using what I have learned in regards to Japanese pronunciation and sounds, so since I’m not a native japanese speaker speaking english as a foreign language, I’m bound to make mistakes.
Here are three more tongue twisters to help you, say them out loud whenever possible, no matter how crazy you sound.
Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair, Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn’t very fuzzy, was he?
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked. If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?
The thirty-three thieves thought that they thrilled the throne throughout Thursday.
More tongue twisters can be found easily through searches, but I think as I progress through the blog I’ll include three in each post at the end as a challenge for anyone reading and for me as well