Monday, 4 February 2013

Get the stressed in speaking - and get successful!

As a speaking examiner and examiner trainer for Cambridge ESOL, I can't tell you how important it is to speak clearly. That does not mean speaking quickly or sounding like the Queen...far from it! When you learn new words, you need to remember where the stress is. If you are from a country which does not have a very "bouncy" language, like Japan, then you really have to do something 'strange' to sound 'right'!

Don't worry about "accent" - I don't...

Pronounce the words nicely (last sounds are important - like the /t/ in important!) but remember they are not individual units; they need to join up. The words that give information will probably need to be stressed; the "grammar" ones inbetween less so.  My Japanese is terrible, and when I am not sure about a particle or something, I say my thing really quickly and hope any mistakes get lost  in the message. eg Message understood?!