Learn English from an articulate native speaker

I bet you have heard hundreds of native speakers speak English. Maybe you have talked with hundreds of them on holiday or in a professional setting. If you have, then you have probably noticed that some native speakers of English are very easy to understand and some others are not. It is a matter of accent, the country of origin (Australian English might sound real funny at times!), and their willingness to pronounce words correctly. I personally, don’t like people who mumble because I know that it is going to stress me a lot and I don’t want to second-guess myself every time a person like that opens their mouth. What is even worse, much worse, is the combination of mumbling and having a thick/heavy accent. It is a communication killer for me! Years ago I worked with a great guy from Scotland. However, talking with him was extremely draining to me because he spoke with a heavy Scottish accent as well as mumbled a bit and, to make it very difficult for me, he spoke fast. At some point, I started avoiding him. This guy, I believe, was aware to a certain extent how he spoke but I guess it was his natural manner of speaking that he used without giving it much thought in certain situations. There are native speakers of English who lack such awareness. If you happen to be one, do yourself a favor and ask non-native speakers of English if you enunciate words well enough for them to understand you. If you are a non-native speaker of English, who has a person like that around, ask them politely to adjust to your needs.


The point of this short article is to focus your attention on how important pronunciation is when you are teaching and learning English. If your teacher/tutor mumbles or uses an accent you don’t like and you know it is useless for you, then change the teacher (or ask the teacher to adjust to your needs, at least slightly). The other equally relevant point is the intelligence of your teacher. It is so great to have classes with someone who is articulate and knows how to use language, understands it on a deeper level, and is even passionate about it. Someone who regularly reads books and has a wide range of vocabulary. Someone who doesn’t say ’yeah’ and ‘you know’ all the time. Someone who doesn’t binge-watch Netflix and doesn’t perceive it as the most entertaining medium in the world. I firmly believe that these life choices will be very much reflected in a teacher’s ability and manner of teaching. It is not always the case but a lazy teacher usually prepares mediocre classes.



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