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Pronounce Like a Native Speaker?

 
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Selena



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 3:09 pm    Post subject: Pronounce Like a Native Speaker? Reply with quote

Hi~
I have a short story...and hope that you guys can help me, I need your comments... if you guys have free time please finish reading it and please give me a comment. It is no problem if you oppose my iead! Thank you~ Smile

“I told you more than ten times! You have to open your mouth and make a sound ‘Α’ not ‘Λ’. And then raise your voice here in the sentence. You should make it soft and fluently. The sound will make you hear like a native speaker!” Miss Li, a teacher announced impatiently in class.
This is a really “hot” topic in my working center. It is generally believed, seems to be a trend, that an ESL student with perfect pronunciation is indeed a good student. However, is it really “unprofessional” to speak English with the accents? Most English as a second language users regard English as a communication tool. Businessmen who speak English are presenting a proposal through an international convention while politicians making lively speeches in English in public and broadcast worldwide through the mess media. Meanwhile, students have some unforgettable conversation with their foreigner friends in international language. They all use English but most of them might with their protolanguage accent. Their unperfected tones perform lead perfect presentations. They sound who they are and what they are. If everyone speaks all like English native, other languages, such as Chinese, French, German, Dutch, Spanish…and so on, need not to exit on earth. Do you agree with me?
Rolling Eyes
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costas



Joined: 14 Jul 2003
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my opinion, it is not a must to sound like a native-speaker to chat fluently, and it seems to me awful that there migt be learners who are obliged to.

However, I don't agree that I would betray my culture if I spoke English with a native-like accent. English is not my language and I am not identified with it, therefore I am not identified with the accent I speak it with. You are more than a particular accent.

Indeed, accent is no an essencial part for a mutual understanding, but all that you need is to express clearly, and it does not depend on any accent.

Take care
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Lorikeet



Joined: 18 May 2003
Posts: 1368
Location: San Francisco, California

PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are successful people in all professions in the U.S. who speak with a native language accent. The most important thing is whether or not they can be understood. Some people have an innate ability to catch the nuances of a second language pronunciation and others have a tremendous desire and work ethic which helps them improve their pronunciation. There are others who really don't want to spend the time or energy required to approach near-native pronunciation, and it doesn't matter.

I tell my students it is up to them to decide how much work they want to put in to sounding more "native" but I will help them with any questions they have. Of course, helping students to fix pronunciation errors that interfere with understanding is another story.
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