Speaking Practice | Advanced Imitation Lesson

Lesson Overview

Lesson Summary 

Practise your pronunciation and natural speaking skills in this advanced English imitation lesson.

Speaking English clearly and confidently takes practice. This lesson (and my other imitation lessons) will help you to practise regularly; reduce your accent and pronunciation problems quickly, and develop the confidence to speak in English! (Plus, practise your listening skills!)

Have you practised with my imitation lessons before?
There are three simple steps to follow, and I give clear instructions in the video!
If you know how it works, head straight to timestamp 03:34 to get started!

Video Transcript
Section 1
Well hey there I’m Emma from mmmEnglish and I’m really excited that we get to spend some time together improving your English speaking skills today. We’re going to practise with the mmmEnglish imitation technique which is one of the most effective ways that you can relax your accent and fix your pronunciation problems so you speak English more clearly and confidently.

It’s so effective because it teaches you to hear the sounds and the patterns of English and then trains you to produce those same sounds yourself through repetition and controlled practice.

If you haven’t done a lesson like this before don’t worry! It’s really simple and I’m going to explain each step for you so that you know exactly what you need to do. All you’ve got to worry about right now is speaking out loud with me.

We all know that if you don’t practise your speaking and your listening skills regularly your fluency can quickly disappear and we definitely don’t want that right?

One of the best things that you can do to stop this from happening is to sign up for the next Language Sprint created by our dear friends at Lingoda. In just ninety days, the Lingoda Language Sprint will help you to boost your speaking skills and your listening skills by challenging you to attend one of their online classes every single day and if you attend every class, Lingoda will happily give a hundred percent of your cash back.

Plus for the first ten people that sign up to the Sprint using my link in the description below, you’ll get to jump into a Zoom call with me to hang out and get some extra tips to help you complete the challenge.

There are two different ways that you can participate. You can sign up for the Super Sprint which is thirty classes a month for three months. And if you complete all of those classes, you’ll get a hundred percent of your cash back and alternatively, if you join just the regular Sprint which is fifteen classes a month for three months, you complete that, you’ll get fifty percent of your cashback.

To find out more about Lingoda, to hear how the Sprint works and find out for sure if you can really get that refund, well check out my video up here, it goes into much more detail.

If you’d like to join the next Sprint and win the chance to hang out with me on a Zoom call, then make sure you use the link down in the description below.

To secure a spot, you’ll need to sign up and pay your deposit by December 28th. Plus if you use this code down here you’ll get a ten euro discount off your deposit. Good luck!

If you’re new to mmmEnglish or new to the imitation technique, there are just three steps that you need to follow. I’m going to go through it really quickly with you now but if you’ve practised with some of my other imitation lessons you probably know what you’re doing right?

So you can just skip on ahead to this point right here (03:34) and get started now.

So three steps. Step one is listen and read. You’re just going to get familiar with the story and get comfortable with my tone of voice.

Step two is listen and repeat. So you’ll listen to what I say and then I’ll pause so that you can repeat. You need to copy me exactly as you hear me. So step number two is one you can repeat until the words are coming out of you naturally until you’re able to pronounce the words without hesitating or getting tongue-tied. It’s okay to practise several times on step two before you move on to step three.

You can even slow down the speed to practise slowly before returning to regular pace. You can do it, no one else is around. Slow it down, practise carefully first and then increase the speed to a regular pace.

Now step three is a bit of a challenge even for a native English speaker because for this step you’ll be listening to me and also saying what I’m saying at the same time. It’s tricky but it’s the best way to develop a really natural rhythm as you speak in English.

So you’ll hear what I’m saying and what you’re saying at the same time and you’ll need to adjust the sounds that you make to try and match mine. You’re going to make a lot of mistakes but who cares? It’s a lot of fun and it’s pretty much like singing your favourite song right? When you first start to learn a song, you can’t do it all straight away but it does get easier with practice right and then you start having fun.

In today’s Imitation lesson, we’re going to be talking about social norms. Now social norms are rules of behaviour that are socially and culturally accepted in a society. It’s a really interesting topic that I think we can all relate to but I’ve chosen it because I’m going to introduce some really interesting vocabulary and help you to expand the words and expressions that you have to talk about this topic.

Now some of these words are quite advanced but generally, the tone will be quite conversational and reasonably informal. Alright let’s get into it.

Step one’s easy, you’re just listening and reading and it’s as simple as it sounds.

Have you ever stopped and wondered why things are the way they are? I find it really fascinating how many things we do in our daily lives that are just accepted and they’re rarely questioned. It’s just the done thing! And if you do something differently, something out of the ordinary it can create confusion or angst or frustration among the people around you.

At best, you create minor discomfort but at worst, you face backlash and you’re shunned from your family or your social circle! Messing with what is socially acceptable can be brutal! But what’s accepted and totally normal here might be at odds with what’s acceptable where you are. And that’s why it’s so fascinating when two sets of social norms clash.

You know, it really makes people confused or awkward because technically in that situation, neither of them is doing anything wrong. They’re both doing what’s expected of them in their culture and that’s totally normal. But the other person is like… Really shocked!

I’ll give you an example. Here in Australia, it is really common to greet friends with a hug and a kiss. A kiss. Now it’s hilarious when you get introduced to an Italian or a Brazilian in a social context because they go in for a double kiss! And some countries, it’s even a triple kiss! But that little interaction can be so confusing and awkward. It’s the meeting of two different social norms.

And I mean how strange is it when you hear a woman asked a man to marry her! Why is that so strange? It’s just not the done thing! It’s not the norm so it confuses us! If you stop and think for a minute there are so many of these situations, things that we never question because it’s just the way things are.

Step two, listen and copy. Now you need to imitate exactly what I say and that means you’re trying to copy my pronunciation, my word stress and the pause between each word in my sentence.

You can even try and imitate my facial expressions just to practise communicating with more than just words. There’ll be a pause after each part of the sentence and you can practise out loud after me, okay? Just try and relax and go with the flow. It’s just you and it’s me. We’re gonna have some fun!

Step three, shadow me. Before we get to step three, I’ve got to tell you or remind you if you’ve practised with the imitation technique before, you can pause here okay you can go back and practise section two as many times as you need to before we keep going. In fact, you should.

Just practise the sounds, loosen your mouth, focus on the way that I’m linking words together as I speak naturally. All of these things take practice. Be patient with yourself okay? But when you are ready for the challenge, it’s time to shadow me and that means hearing the sounds and speaking at the same time so you’ll probably get a little tongue-tied and the words might come out a bit weird. Don’t worry all right you’re trying to copy the rhythm and the tone. Just try and copy the rhythm.

Hey you, congratulations on making it all the way through that lesson. It was a bit of a mouthful, I know. Make sure you save this lesson to a playlist so you can keep coming back to it and practising with me.

Once you get comfortable with my examples of social norms, then you can try adapting your own ones, ones that are relevant to you and to your experience. In fact, I’m really curious about the social norms where you live.

What’s socially acceptable and what’s not? Is it acceptable for women to ask men to marry them? It should be! Are there any social norms that are being challenged at the moment? Let’s keep this conversation going. I want to see your comments down there.

Now you may not know that I have imitation courses available on the mmmEnglish website so you can actually keep practising this way for hours with me if you want to. The link is in the description down below or you can scoot over right up there.

Thank you for joining me. Thank you for watching and check out these lessons here if you want to keep practising right now. See you in there!

Links mentioned in the video

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