Accent Reduction: Tongue Twisters Part 4
Many of our clients at Accent Pros, who are interested in learning accent reduction techniques and how to speak with an American accent, have advanced degrees and have excellent command of the English language. Given the evolving state of the English language; however, they may not understand informal slang and phrases that are regularly used in the workplace, and on various popular social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Occasionally our accent reduction clients will understand the meaning of an idiom, but use it in an improper context, which could potentially have embarrassing consequences. In our continuing efforts to feature only the most relevant and practical terms when helping you achieve your accent reduction goals, here are three tongue twisters to help hone your pronunciation skills.
Tongue Twister 1 – Through three cheese trees three free fleas flew.
Definition–A lengthy tongue twister which would most often require a copy to pronounce properly, these sentences can be used to practice both the soft and hard initial “th” sounds. It is also beneficial for accent reduction learners practicing the initial labio dental and voiceless “f” sounds.
Example – Through three cheese trees three free fleas flew. While these fleas flew, freezy breeze blew. Freezy breeze made these three trees freeze. Freezy trees made these trees’ cheese freeze. That’s what made these three free fleas sneeze.
Origin – Another tongue twister from Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss, this tongue twister is one of the many tongue twisters used by the main characters Fox and Knox in this collection of entertaining and witty tongue twisters. The book has been around since 1965 and can be used for pronunciation exercises purposes.
Accent Reduction Tongue Twister 2 – As he gobbled the cakes on his plate, the greedy ape said as he ate, the greener green grapes are, the keener keen apes are to gobble green grape cakes, they’re great.
Definition – This tongue twister addresses stop-plosive sounds like /g/ and /k/ which are both lingua alveolar in nature. It also touches on vowel sounds such as “a” and the long “e” sound. The commas used also help with accent reduction learners practicing phrasing as well as shifting from the /g/ and /k/ sounds.
Origin – This tongue twister comes from “Oh Say Can You Say?” which is the book used in the Beginner Book Video Series published by Oceanhouse Media. This is considered as Dr. Seuss’ last beginner book, and can be used by both young and adult language learners for pronunciation practice purposes.
Accent Reduction Tongue Twister 3 – But she as far surpasseth Sycorax, As great’st does least.
Definition – Ideal for practicing initial, medial, and final “s” sounds, this literary line turned tongue twister can be used for exercising the pronunciation of the voiceless phonemes /s/ and /t/. It can also serve as the introduction to digraphs such as /sh/ and /th/, both in this case, voiceless sounds. This tongue twister can help execute the finer points of these English sounds in particular. It can be used particularly for older accent reduction learners.
Origin – This is from the classic play “The Tempest” by Shakespeare. These lines are found in Act 3, Scene 2, lines 99-100 as stated by the character Caliban. Though not intended to be used as a tongue twister in the play, modern accent instructors can use these lines to pique the curiosity of learners while at the same time introducing it as an authentic learning and literary material.
Accent Reduction: Want to Learn More?
Accent Pros has a continuing series on accent reduction tips, including common English phrases and American idioms. Be sure to check out other blog posts to find your favorites. Ready for a complimentary accent reduction tutorial or a free accent screening? Check out our on-line accent reduction courses available to students with accent reduction goals all over the world. For consistent access to our idioms series and other accent reduction tips. Like us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]