7 techniques to pronounce better

Speech is one of the fundamental skills of human beings and a skill that for thousands of years has shaped the way we live and support ourselves. It is the most common and universal way of using language, and has therefore enabled us to develop abstract forms of thought and the ability to establish, within seconds, complex social interactions in almost any situation in the world. . people.

But as with the most characteristic physical and psychological traits of our species, there are individual differences to consider. Some are distinguished by their extraordinary mastery of speech and some also experience significant difficulties in this regard. But fortunately, There are several ways to improve the use of speech, and in this article we will focus on those that have to do with improving pronunciation..

    Helpful techniques to improve pronunciation

    There are many possible reasons why a person may have difficulty pronouncing correctly when speaking (and with appropriate fluency and rhythm). In some cases, these are small defects that do not represent symptoms of a disorder, and in others, this phenomenon may be referred to as clinically relevant changes; neurodevelopmental disorders, brain damage and stroke, etc.

    In any case, beyond the causes, in most cases it is possible to make significant progress even among those with severe speech problems, As long as you have professional support. In fact, speech therapy and psychotherapy take advantage of the extraordinary flexibility of the human brain (and the rest of the nervous system) to learn, through exercises, to train both body and mind in the correct pronunciation of phonemes, diction of words, how to turn words into sentences, etc. These techniques for improving pronunciation are one example.

    1. Sensory triangulation

    Learning to pronounce better is above all a process of practice, a training. Which means it’s more about perfecting our technique in a sport than studying a book. We need to immerse ourselves in experiences of practice and fluency, and not so much introspection and understanding of the language on a purely theoretical and intellectual level.

    One of the best ways to do this is to repeat the pronunciation of phonemes and words according to not just one medium, but two. This double path, which should normally be visual (reading lips in a series or a film, or in a person in front of us) and auditory, will allow us to strengthen and enrich our way of associating the concept of each of us. phonemes to the muscles of our body that we need to activate and coordinate to pronounce them. From two reference points it is easier to see where they converge, as in geometry.

    2. Start with slow pronunciation

    Keeping in mind and adapting to our level of ability is key to learning anything, and that includes using techniques to pronounce better. That’s why it’s important not to demand the impossible (this will discourage us and lead us to throw in the towel) nor repeat over and over exercises that we always perform without any difficulty (They don’t bring us too much).

    In this line, it helps to imagine an ascending difficulty curve that always goes a little ahead of what we know we can do at any given time, to always be exposed to tasks that challenge us. And having pronunciation speed as a benchmark is usually a good way to keep track of our progress.

    By starting slowly, it will be easier to become familiar with the chains of movements required to pronounce, as well as their sound, and to internalize each of the phonemes separately. From there it will be easier to progress by trying to master the speaking.

      3. Records to detect frequent errors

      Each person makes unique mistakes when saying. To adapt to our case, the most useful is to make recordings that allow us to recognize errors and patterns in the way we speak. For example, in this way, it will be easier to see how fatigue is a factor influencing poor pronunciation, if we are not breathing well, if our jaw is too tight, etc.

      4. Take the position of the tongue into account

      One of the most useful measures to improve pronunciation, especially at the beginning, is take into account the position of the tongue in those phonemes that cost us, and use a visual aid of this position as we try to pronounce it (In words and sentences, not just in isolation). This will help us distinguish it from other similar phonemes and not end up resorting to the latter.

      5. Practice controlled breathing

      While it may not seem like much to do, learning to breathe well is essential to correcting problems with pronunciation. And this is it we often abuse our lungs without realizing it. Properly harnessing the capacity of these organs will help us not to force speech to compensate for shortness of breath.

      6. Singing practice

      Singing is a good way to acquire fluidity and control over the range of motion of all organs involved in speech, As the properties of music (rhythm, melody, nuances and harmony) act as “supports”. Thus, many of the advances made by singing can extend to normal speech.

      7. Speech accompaniment by non-verbal language

      The gesture and expression of ideas and feelings through posture they are also elements which serve as support for speaking. Taking them into account contributes to the mental state necessary to express oneself spontaneously through speech.

      Bibliographical references:

      • González Lajas, JJ (2019). Language and communication disorders. In: AEPap (ed.). Pediatrics Update Congress 2019. Madrid: Lúa Edicions 3.0.
      • Nelson, HD; Nygren P .; Walker, M .; Panoscha R. (2006). Detection of speech and language delay in preschool children: a systematic review of the evidence for the United States Pediatric Prevention Services Working Group. 117 (2): e298-319.
      • Richards, E. (2012). Communication and swallowing problems after stroke “. Nursing and residential care. 14 (6): pp. 282 – 286.

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