Thursday, August 23, 2012

In the Pronunciation Class

Today, I went to a Pronunciation practise class organised by our University (University of Wollongong) for International students. There were approximately 20 students from different countries. There were maximum number of students from China as compared to other countries. Other countries include China, Japan, Indonesia, Spain, India, Thailand, Arabia and Bhutan. This workshop is designed to help students speak more clearly and fluently while communicating in the class with other students.

Firstly, lecturer wanted to refresh our mind and she asked, "How do you like to speak English?" Most of the student excitingly replied, “I want to speak like a native people” I smiled to their answer because I know I can never speak like them. In contrary to this, I responded, “I want native speaker to understand my English" I don’t think I have a pronunciation problem although I don’t pronounce like the native speakers do. So yeah, I just stumbled upon this option and lecturer continued by telling us that all of us have a different opinion to how we want to speak English

As a practical exercise in the class, there were various tongue twisters listed in our handouts. It read, “Red Lorry, yellow lorry”, “Rick Richard regularly read Red Riding Hood in his Rolls Royce” and the last one read, “Betty bought a pound of butter, but the butter was bitter, so Betty bought another pound of butter to make the bitter butter better. But, the bitter butter made the better butter bitter

As soon as I saw the third tongue twister, my black and white high school returned to present. As high school students, we didn’t really care about such tongue twister as an exercise to pronounce properly but we loved to imitate those beautiful words and then constantly compete with our friends. No wonder Bhutanese don't find difficult to pronounce the words. Wink*

Then the lecturer asked us to speak out the tongue twisters for the class. So I read the third one because I was excited and at the same time I wanted to bring my high memories back and feel the difference. My high school work came in handy in front of other students. SHould I say I had the most memorable day of my life? :)

After reading it to the class, I felt so relieved and relaxed and at the same time, I felt happy. Weird! Then the respond from the crowd of students and the lecturer almost had me blushed. All of them at once retorted, "WOOOWWWWW” followed by an applause. they were impressed.

The pronunciation class was so fun and for the first time in this 4 week of my University, I felt active and happy. This pronunciation activity helped me to connect with international students and at the same time, it led me to experience how other students have difficulty in pronouncing the words.

Monday, August 20, 2012


Hi Guys,
I grabbed this book, 'The Truth About Confident Presentation' by James O’Rourke from the University library. He talks about how to overcome the fear of speaking in public and how to respond to the audience. I thought this could help me with my presentation in the class and indeed, there are lots of interesting solutions to good presentation.

There are 52 solutions to overcome the fear and present confidently in the public. Of all the important and an amazing 52 tips, I found the 28th and 47th part more fun and interesting.

The Truth, 28th
Keep your audience interested

Provide order and structure
Keep it simple
Keep it brief
Talk, don’t read
Use words they understand
Give some information they can use
Make your speech logical
Make sure your viewpoint is reasonable
Make sure your point is clear
Don’t keep your audience waiting and keep moving
Answer their questions
Allay their fears
Respect their need

The Truth, 47th
Answer the Audience’s Questions

Listen to the question
Pause to think about your answer
Don’t drift off topic
Address the whole audience
Answer questions completely
Don’t make the questioner feel dumb
Don’t dismiss a question as unimportant
Don’t let one person dominate the questioning

I hope the above listed tips assist us in learning about how to win over the heart of our audience and be satisfied with our performance. I have not done any formal public speech yet but I am hoping this helps me with my class presentation for now.