Tom just got hired at the ice cream shop. It was called Creamy Goodness. It was a five-minute walk from his house. Today was his first day on the job. He was nervous. He was also excited. He showed up in his uniform. He was early to the job. He wanted to make a good impression. His first task was to open the shop. He had to prepare the ice cream. He also had to set up the tables and the chairs for the customers. He had to clean all the equipment. He had to make sure everything was ready. His manager helped him get ready. His coworkers also helped. He worked as a cashier. He scooped the ice cream. Tom loved his job.
Joe is a sale associate. He has a lot of duties. He helps customers find things. Customers can be annoying. They always think they're right. Joe always has to be nice to them. Joe also answers phone calls. People ask about products in the store. Joe cleans the bathroom. That's the worst part. It's very dirty. He has to pick up trash. He has to refill the soap. Joe is also at the cash register. He scans items. He gives people change. He gives back money for returns. He thinks his job is okay, but he plans to quit in a few years.
Cindy needed to return her dress. She tried it on at home earlier. It did not fit her. Today was the last day to return it. After today, she had to keep the dress. The store closes at 8 p.m. She started driving at 7:30 p.m. It took her 20 minutes to get to the mall. Today was Saturday. There were too many cars in the parking lot. It took her 5 minutes to find a parking space. She ran out of the car, but she did not make it in time. The store was closed. The store was closed.
Eileen had to see the doctor. She had no appointment. She had to wait for two hours to see the doctor. She was bored. She forgot her phone. She didn't know what to do. She looked around. Everyone had a phone. She looked to see if there were any magazines. Waiting rooms usually had magazines. There were magazines in Spanish. Eileen can't read Spanish. She turned on the TV. There was no cable. Eileen did not like local television. It was too boring. She turned off the TV. She tried to talk to the person next to her. The person ignored her. He was on his phone. She wished she brought her phone.
Tom was hungry, but lazy too. He didn't want to cook. He didn't want to go to a restaurant. He didn't even want to heat up leftovers. He decided to have a pizza delivered to him. He went on a pizza website. He ordered a small pizza. He waited for the pizza to arrive. Later, he heard the doorbell ring. He was too lazy to get up at first. He got up after five minutes. He opened the door. The pizza smelled so good. He paid the delivery man. He gave him a good tip, too. Tom sat back down on the couch. He ate the whole pizza. He was full.
Bob had been exercising every day for a year. He had also been eating healthy. He wanted to see how much weight he lost. He stepped on the scale. He closed his eyes. He was scared. What if he gained weight? He opened his eyes slowly. He looked down. He smiled. He'd lost 50 pounds. He jumped up and down. He wanted to celebrate. He went to his favorite burger place. He ordered the jumbo size. He felt bad at first, but he deserved it. He ordered a large size of fries. He used five ketchup packets. He took his first bite. It tasted so good. He would be healthy again tomorrow.
Marie was messy. Cassie was clean. The two girls were roommates. Marie had a bunch of clothes on her bed. Cassie just had a blanket on hers. Cassie told Marie to put her clothes somewhere else. Marie ignored her. Marie had food from last week on her desk. It smelled bad. Cassie told her to throw it away. Marie said no. Cassie threw it away herself. Marie yelled at her. She was mad that Cassie touched her things. Cassie yelled at her back. She was mad at Marie for being messy. Marie left and slammed the door. Cassie was all alone. It was a good time to clean.
Jessica was a college student. She did not know how to cook well. She does not have much time either. She is always busy. She has an important test coming up. She grabs a bowl of instant noodles. Instant noodles are easy to prepare. She rips off the lid halfway. She rips the seasoning packet. The seasoning is what makes the noodles taste good. She pours the seasoning on the noodles. She fills the bowl with water. She closes the lid. She puts the bowl in the microwave. She heats it up for three minutes. She sits down. She studies while she waits. She hears the "ding" It's ready!.
Allison wanted to eat breakfast. She took a bowl from the sink. She opened the cabinet. There were 10 different cereal boxes. She got her favorite cereal box. It was the sugary kind. She poured the cereal into her bowl. She opened the refrigerator. She grabbed the milk carton. She poured the milk into the bowl. There was only a little bit of milk though. It was not enough for her cereal. She couldn't eat cereal without milk. She groaned. She drove to the market. It was closed. She drove to another market. It was far, but it was open. She bought a gallon of milk. Finally, she could have a good breakfast.
There is one student in the class. He is from South Korea. This student from Korea says that he has a question. He says that he has a big problem with pronunciation. He knows that his pronunciation is not very good but he doesn’t know how to make it better. He doesn’t speak much because he doesn’t like his pronunciation.
He says that he reads and watches films in English a lot. He understands very well but he also wants to speak well. He asks if there is something what he can do with his pronunciation.
The teacher says, “OK, I can tell you something about pronunciation and how to practise it. I also want to teach you a technique which can help you with pronunciation.
First, we have to look at why students have problems with pronunciation. When we speak, we have to move our mouth. We have to use muscles in our mouth. The problem is that when you speak English, sometimes you use your muscles like in your native language.Then your English pronunciation is like pronunciation in your native language.
This happens to many students who learn English. Almost every student has a little different pronunciation than native speakers have. It is not a big problem because usually people understand what you want to say. You are a student and it is logical that your pronunciation is not perfect when you study English.
But you can work on your pronunciation and make it better. There is a great technique that can help you a lot.
The name of this technique is shadowing. The technique is very simple. When you do shadowing, you simply copy the sound which you hear. When children learn their first language, they also copy what they hear. They copy after their parents again and again and after some time their pronunciation is perfect. You can learn English proununciation the same way.
You can take some video which is not very fast and which you understand very well. You listen and you copy what you hear when you hear it. It is all.”
Then our teacher tells us, “Shadowing is also good when you are prepareing for a presentation and you want to have good pronunciation. Before the presentation you can go to some place where you are alone and you can do shadowing for about 10 minutes. You will see how much it will help you to have better pronunciation during the presentation.”
When you want to have good pronunciation, repeat after native speakers.
Monica is a student from Italy. my teacher asks Monica some questions. My teacher knows Monica because Monica visited her class one year ago. It was a class for beginners and it was only for two weeks during summer holiday.
When Monica speaks, her English is beautiful. Her pronunciation is very good and she is very fluent.
My teacher is very happy and she tells Monica, “Your school in Italy must be very good.”
Monica says, “I don’t go to any school. I learn English at home. I use techniques from you. I do a lot of reading, shadowing and thinking aloud. I try to think more in English than in Italian.
This is how I work on my English. The two weeks which I spent last summer at your class helped me a lot. You showed me the way. I know how to work on my English every day. This is why I wanted to go to your class again because one year ago, I was a beginner and now I can speak English. I want to learn from you again.”
My teacher is very happy when she hears these words. She thanks Monica for her hard work.
Our teacher says, “It is a very effective technique. You have to have a strong motivation to learn English if you want to have benefit from this technique.
It is also good to know that for some people this technique is a little crazy. But when you start to think aloud, your English can be better very fast.”
“OK, it is actually very simple. You think in your native language all day every day. It is normal. Now, you can start to think in English. And when you start to think in English, then you can think aloud. You simply say aloud what you think. It is all.”
Then our teacher asks Monica if it is OK for her to speak about her experience with thinking aloud. It is no problem for Monica.
She says, “When I started with this technique, it wasn’t easy. I started with very simple sentences. For example, ‘I can speak English. It is good that I can speak English. I want to be better. I need to practise every day. I don’t know many words. But I can use these words well. I can say my ideas with these words. I can do this. This is great.’
The sentences were really simple. But at the beginning there was one problem. My thinking in Italian was long and complicated. I wasn’t able to say in English exactly what I was saying in Italian. I needed to find a simpler form for English. To think in simple English was the hardest part. But after some time it was normal for me to think in English.
Then something interesting happened. I met a girl from Australia. She was on holiday in Italy. I was still a beginner, but we started to speak English. I could see that I was able to speak with her without big problems. My sentences were simple and short, but I was able to speak. I didn’t translate in my head from Italian to English.
After the meeting with the girl from Australia, I started to use thinking aloud more. This technique helped me a lot with my speaking. I still use it every day. It is really a very effective technique.”
When you want to speak English fluently, think aloud.