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August 14, 2019

Hi friends! Every week, I generate a quick brief about 5 interests for the week relating to accent mo
August 14, 2019
By Kristopher Wan • Issue #19 • View online
Hi friends! Every week, I generate a quick brief about 5 interests for the week relating to accent modification and English learning. If you have a few minutes on your commute to work or lunch break and want to consume some interesting content in the world of English learning, enjoy!

🧠 Journal Club
Having stumbled upon this journal, which surprisingly was found completely left-field in a non-English language learning, it was a unique perspective on why English pronunciation remains challenging in Pakistan.
Albeit difficult at times to decipher the cryptic English grammar used in the journal article and methodologically poorly designed, the report communicates several concerns about Punjabi English pronunciation worth acknowledging. Thirty government public sector college teachers, 40 private sector college teachers and 117 students from both private and public sector colleges read aloud and pronounced a list of 40 words. According to Ahmed’s data analysis, only 7% of the total number of teachers and zero students uttered the English words in American pronunciation or British pronunciation with a slight deviation.
The author felt that this difference in pronunciation stems from the following:
1) A government push for all civil bureaucracy to be completed in Urdu despite English being a recognized official language. This government stance is argued to facilitate and perpetuate the invention of uniquely Pakistan-English pronunciation, not verified by other English-speaking groups.
2) Non-standardized English language centers led by non-native English language teachers using inappropriate teaching methods, which solidifies the uniquely Pakistan-English pronunciation. Ahmed also references the notion that in Pakistan, English words are segmented or ‘split’ to facilitate articulation. However, if the words are split this way, they are inconsistent with other English-speaking norms, and the resultant pronunciation remains uniquely Punjabi-English.
3) In China and Japan, where English is not an official language, English language learning centers hire Australian/British/North American English teachers. However, because English is an official language in Pakistan, it may be deemed sufficient to hire Punjabi-English teachers instead.

Ultimately, as someone ignorant of this dilemma, I am unable to comment on the right/wrong judgments made in the article. But I do recognize the sensitivity of this topic, pointing fingers one way or the other and the palpable frustration that is apparent in the written words
💬 Thoughtful Quote
There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.
— Colin Powell
Analysis paralysis can be a real hindrance to working through your challenges. You may not know all the answers and that’s okay. Surfing the internet for hours to find the right technique or right wording that finally makes you understand is also not the best use of your time. What you really need to do is prepare and then start. Try and explore the range of your mouth control and even if you don’t succeed at first, it’s a matter of persistence and practice that will really help you.
Part of the learning process is exploring your mouth shape and the types of sounds you can make. Don’t think about how much faster other can be achieve it or how slow you are progressing. If the final goal is to progress and gain the skills of improved English language communication, then it shouldn’t matter that other people are faster or more proficient.
📖 Vocabulary Word
Hap·haz·ard·ly (adverb)
  1. in a manner lacking any obvious principle of organization.
Although in English, ‘ph’ is pronounced as an ‘f’, this isn’t the case for ‘haphazardly’. Treat the word as 2 parts — ‘hap’ + ‘hazardly’.
If you’re interested, check out my instagram post here to hear the audio.
💎 Tech Finds
There are tons of English language teachers and pronunciation instagrammers working to bring you value and teach you about the English language. I’m one of them too! My point is that you can curate your instagram feed with a variety of English communication and pronunciation posts so you get photos and 5-30 second video/audio clips that can help you pronounce words, learn vocabulary, improve your English grammar and connect with other English learners too!
To get the ball rolling, here are some of my recommendations for a general North American English accent and English learning.
If you are interested in the content I produce, you can also check out my account too @lucidaccent
❌ Message Mishap
Miscommunications happen all the time to native English speakers as well. As a native English communicator, I will be the first to acknowledge that I have had my fair share of miscommunications. Many times, it is because I am preoccupied, not giving my 100% attention and jumping to conclusions.
Even if you are paying attention to someone, without the correct context, nonverbal cues to support your communication and confirmation from your communication partner, miscommunications can happen easily.
Bad lip reading spoofs are a very easy example of what can go wrong. If you can be fooled by dubbed audio on top of a video clip and your brain helps to match up the mouth movements to support what you hear, it can easily be understood that your brain can convince you of many other things that may not be communicated/heard either.
"NFL 2019" — A Bad Lip Reading of The NFL
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Kristopher Wan

Hey friends, I'm Kris, a speech-language pathologist interested in and pursuing a side-hustle in accent modification. Every Wednesday I send out a "5-bullet brief" email newsletter with some thoughts, research and internet treasures relating to accent modification and English language learning.

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