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October 23, 2019

Hi friends! Every week, I generate a quick brief about 5 interests for the week relating to accent mo
October 23, 2019
By Kristopher Wan • Issue #29 • 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
Schaefer V, Darcy I, Abe L. The distress in not stressing and destressing stress in English: Using wordplay to boost awareness, intelligibility, and communicative competence. TESOL Journal. 2019;10:e411. https://doi.org/10.1002/tesj.411
Schaefer, Darcy & Abe (2019) discuss systematic steps to increasing awareness and acquisition of English stress patterns, highlight their importance in ambiguous English speech samples and have a fantastic list of examples of potential miscommunication opportunities. With the proper insight and application of appropriate English stress in pronunciation, the speaker can navigate these ambiguous situations to guide listener understanding; however, if this skill is not developed, it can easily lead to confusion and communication breakdown.
For example,
“We lost two to two”
If ‘to’ is not reduced to 'tuh’, so that the pronunciation becomes 'two tuh two’, then there may be confusion with '222’, '22 too’ or 'tutu too’. Knowing what stress pattern is relevant to your discussion can help determine the appropriate delivery.
💬 Thoughtful Quote
‘If you avoid failure, you also avoid success.’
Failure is a part of growth and new learning. As soon as you can wrap your mind around the idea that failure, challenge and mistake are all part of the process and that the process doesn’t stop with failure, that it can make things more hopeful and empowering.
Just because things start off hard doesn’t mean they remain difficult forever.
I used to think that driving was hard. Paying attention to all the lights and sounds, watching out for pedestrians, making sure that I was driving straight. All the necessary aspects of safe driving were overwhelming at first. But now, I can drive so easily and without worry. It’s something I’ve gained confidence over time in and now it’s not so daunting a task.
The same goes for public speaking. At first, growing up, I felt shy, scared, mumbled when I spoke and stumbled over my words. Over years and years of practice, I’m now a much more confident speaker, can professionally communicate my opinions and thoughts and people actually listen to my thoughts. BUT, it’s only something that I’ve gotten better at because I have practiced and continued to iterate on.
📖 Vocabulary Word
en·gi·neer·ing (n.) - think n·gin·EAR·ing OR engine·EARring
the branch of science and technology concerned with the design, building, and use of engines, machines, and structures
The more syllables a word has, the more important and challenging it can be to accurately produce the correct stress pattern. The key to pronouncing this word like a native English Canadian speaker (I’m referring to the General Canadian English accent) is that the EAR syllable is produced at a higher pitch. This signals the primary stress.
Producing a higher pitch at any other syllable can skew the pronunciation. Knowing how to control your syllable stress is a necessary tool for improving your English pronunciation.
💎 Tech Finds
AnkiApp logo
AnkiApp logo
Flashcard apps are nothing new, but harnessing the power of flashcards may be an effective way for you to practice specific words, tailor your practice effectively and boost your productivity and habit-development. This app requires a little more user input, because you will need to input each individual word you want to practice; however, it will ultimately become your personalized pronunciation and English word learning app.
Add details and reminders for yourself on which syllable the primary stress is on, and any other nuances to the pronunciation. As you flip through your cards, make up a sentence using the target word and pay attention to how your pronunciation is. If you pronounce it correctly,
❌ Message Mishap
Hidden Brain: How Miscommunications Happen
Although produced in 2015, Hidden Brain’s host, Shankar Vedantam discusses the misconception that the closer we are to someone, the better or more effective the communication. Surprise, surprise. We don’t necessarily communicate better with loved ones as compared with strangers. In fact, we may assume or interpreter gestures differently based on our familiarity with loved ones whereas with strangers, we may be more careful or explicit with our communication.
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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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