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September 4, 2019

Hi friends! Every week, I generate a quick brief about 5 interests for the week relating to accent mo
September 4, 2019
By Kristopher Wan • Issue #22 • 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
McCrocklin, S. M. (2016). Pronunciation learner autonomy: The potential of automatic speech recognition. System, 57, 25-42. doi:10.1016/j.system.2015.12.013
As Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Apple Siri become more sophisticated, the question of whether they function as English language coaches may arise.
The study had 3 groups of English learners:
  • Face to face pronunciation learners
  • Face to face learners with minimal automatic speech recognition use
  • Hybrid face to face and automatic speech recognition
Based on multiple surveys, interviews and learning logs, results showed a significant increase in feelings of autonomy and the ability to practice independently.
It made me remember the proverb
Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.

💬 Thoughtful Quote
The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
There is no point in worrying or wondering about tomorrow when you can focus on what is in your control today. I find that, for myself, thinking about all the exciting and varied opportunities in life makes me feel overwhelmed at the daunting tasks that need to be completed.
Thinking about all the grand and elaborate things you want to do with your English communication makes you realize how much work and time will be required to improve your English communication. This may subsequently dissuade you or limit your motivation.
Develop a habit. Work consistently for 1 hour every day. Focus you attention on the single skill at hand and work on that until you have perfected it. Don’t get side-tracked by all the other things or interests.

📖 Vocabulary Word
syl·la·bus (n.) - think SIL-uh-bis
an outline of the subjects in a course of study or teaching.“there isn’t time to cover the syllabus”
In the spirit of the back to school season, a syllabus will be given at the beginning of the year to outline the course goals, topics and academic grade breakdown. It’s important to review the syllabus to help you prioritize projects and assignments.
(back in the day…when I was still a student)
💎 Tech Finds
Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are fantastic automatic speech recognition programs that can be harnessed for English language learning.
Want to practice saying your friend’s name? Try telling google to call them from your contact list (e.g. Call ‘Bartholomew’)
Want to learn practice that new word you learned today? Ask google for a definition of it. (e.g. What does 'endoscopy’ mean?“)
Your handy-dandy smartphone has a world of tools that you can use!
❌ Message Mishap
Communication is always a two way exchange that requires listening and speaking. Although English pronunciation is important, it is also important to target your English understanding as well. That way, you can understand undertones, subtle meanings and the nuances of the English language necessary to navigate the workplace, classroom and social networks you have.
Knowing that communication breakdowns are not entirely due to pronunciation errors and that you can have other areas of breakdown too is both crucial and liberating because the pressure/burden/expectation for you to shoulder the weight of “fixing” your pronunciation is not as critical as you may have previously thought.
There are so many areas of English communication that can be improved as well so don’t feel that you are held back by your lack of ‘th-’ sound!
Did you enjoy this issue?
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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