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  • Today I'm going to show you how you can practice speaking English by yourself, at home using

  • only materials that you definitely have access to

  • Now I bet you've heard this advice a lot.

  • In order to become a good English speaker and to speak in conversation you have to speak

  • English a lot.

  • Preferably with native speakers.

  • And yes, this is true.

  • To become a good English speaker, the best and easiest way is to speak English in conversation

  • a lot.

  • I've given the same advice on my YouTube channel

  • However unless you live in an English speaking country, or use English every day at work,

  • I bet you thought to yourself

  • "But I don't have any chances to speak English.

  • I don't have anybody to speak English with!"

  • And yes, this is a problem for a lot of people.

  • others, on the other hand, have many chances to speak English.

  • However they lack the confidence to make use of these chances.

  • Perhaps they are shy.

  • Or perhaps they learned English only from textbooks with their eyes and they feel their

  • pronunciation is not good enough.

  • And they don't know how to say the things that they want to say.

  • Today I'm going to teach you a technique that both of these kinds of people can use to improve

  • their English speaking skills and pronunciation.

  • This technique is of course, shadowing.

  • The idea behind shadowing is simple.

  • You listen to some English, and you repeat it at the same time.

  • It could be a conversation or it could be a monologue.

  • It doesn't matter.

  • But you're listening and you're repeating at the same time.

  • Now, this does several things for you.

  • The first thing that it does for you is it trains your ear to listen very very carefully

  • to the way that things are said.

  • To the tone and the rhythm in which phrases are said.

  • And the length and the number of pauses that are used in speech.

  • Because if you can't hear these things you can't copy them so in order to copy them you

  • have to become very good at hearing them.

  • So very quickly your ear will become very accustomed to the rhythm and the tone and

  • way that people speak.

  • The second thing that it will do is it will really improve your pronunciation and your

  • accent.

  • This is because you will get so good at listening to the way that things are said, to the pronunciation,

  • that you will be able to copy it.

  • It will also get your mouth muscles moving in the correct way and it will train you to

  • move your mouth properly when you are speaking.

  • This will help you speak more smoothly.

  • Again, with improved pronunciation.

  • In another video I will show you a slightly more advanced way to do shadowing which will help

  • you remember massive quantities of phrases and vocabulary.

  • But today I'm going to demonstrate the basic version of shadowing.

  • So as I said, first you need to find some audio to use for shadowing.

  • It could be a TV show or it could be a radio programme it could be a podcast or it could

  • be an audiobook it could be anything like that.

  • It should be to your level so if you are a beginner don't try to use something very advanced.

  • Try to use something at your level.

  • Maybe just a tiny bit more difficult is OK.

  • But it should be fairly easy for you because the exercise is not to improve your comprehension

  • the exercise is for you to improve your pronunciation and your speaking and really train your mouth

  • to move as it should.

  • OK, so I'm going to demonstrate today using some materials that I designed especially

  • for shadowing.

  • Let's go!

  • So I'm going to be demonstrating shadowing today using some special materials that I

  • designed just for shadowing.

  • They're a kind of short story.

  • and I've printed out a text here and I have an MP3 which I've recorded which is on my

  • computer just behind this camera.

  • I have read the text several times and I've looked up any new words in the dictionary.

  • I understand it perfectly.

  • I've also listened to the MP3 several times so it's kind of easy for me now.

  • I understand it really well.

  • So now I just want to be able to say this really easily.

  • I'm going to demonstrate with this.

  • I should point out that because I made these materials I'm going to be shadowing my own

  • voice, which is a little bit strange to be honest.

  • You should be shadowing a native speaker.

  • The goal is to copy that speaker so closely that you become that speaker.

  • Every single little pause and the kind of rhythm and everything you should be trying to copy those

  • as closely as you can.

  • So, again I've read through this and I've listened to the MP3.

  • What I'm going to do now, is I'm going to shadow just one time was reading the text. Which

  • is quite easy to do.

  • Focus here, and I'm going to hit play.

  • My son and I nearly came to blows over the Olympics.

  • He came down to stay whilst they were on, and was not impressed with my old 20-inch

  • television.

  • "You're not really going to watch the Olympics on that old thing, are you?" he said to me.

  • "TVs like that went out with the ark. Get yourselves something more modern!"

  • "There's nothing wrong with this television," I replied, sniffily.

  • "I don't live in a throw-away culture like some people."

  • And then I realised it was a good excuse to upgrade, and quietly went out to buy a new,

  • 40-inch flat screen TV.

  • Ok, so that was reading the text and that was quite easy because I can already see what's

  • coming next.

  • What I'm going to do now, which is a little more difficult is I'm going to get rid of

  • the text and now I'm going to shadow without the text.

  • here we go.

  • My son and I nearly came to blows over the Olympics.

  • He came down to stay whilst they were on, and was not impressed with my old 20-inch

  • television.

  • "You're not really going to watch the Olympics on that old thing, are you?" he said to me.

  • "TVs like that went out with the ark. Get yourselves something more modern!"

  • "There's nothing wrong with this television," I replied, sniffily.

  • "I don't live in a throw-away culture like some people."

  • And then I realised it was a good excuse to upgrade, and quietly went out to buy a new,

  • 40-inch flat screen TV.

  • Ok so that was much more difficult, not using the text.

  • I think I did most of that OK, but towards the end I didn't do so great, so I'm just

  • going to do that one more time.

  • Here we go.

  • My son and I nearly came to blows over the Olympics.

  • He came down to stay whilst they were on, and was not impressed with my old 20-inch

  • television.

  • "You're not really going to watch the Olympics on that old thing, are you?" he said to me.

  • "TVs like that went out with the ark. Get yourselves something more modern!"

  • "There's nothing wrong with this television," I replied, sniffily.

  • "I don't live in a throw-away culture like some people."

  • And then I realised it was a good excuse to upgrade, and quietly went out to buy a new,

  • 40-inch flat screen TV.

  • And there we go.

  • Shadowing.

  • And that is basically it.

  • it's that simple.

  • At first you will find this quite hard.

  • And it is quite hard.

  • It takes time, but repetition is the key.

  • I recommend that you pick some audio that you like and is good for your level and that

  • you repeat the same thing again and again and again and again over the course of a whole

  • week, because as I said repetition really is the key.

  • You will find over the course of the week that it will become much much easier, and

  • the idea is to basically keep practising until you feel like you are becoming the person.

  • You can copy them so closely that it feels like you are that speaker when you're speaking.

  • For more advanced learners I recommend using a TV programme or a film.

  • Try finding a scene where there are two people talking and just shadow one of those two people.

  • again, try to become that speaker.

  • Copy them so closely that it feels like you are that speaker having that conversation,

  • and keep repeating until it becomes easy.

  • OK, that is it for today's lesson.

  • In a future video I'm going to show you how you can make shadowing much more efficient

  • using some computer software that you can download for free.

  • in the meantime, try the shadowing technique and see how well it works for you.

  • See how much it can improve your pronunciation and help you to speak English more smoothly

  • and more naturally.

  • after you've tried it, leave a comment under this video and let me know what you think

  • of the shadowing technique.

  • If you haven't already please also go under this video and find the subscribe button and

  • subscribe to this channel.

  • And you can also find a link in the description to the Doing English Facebook fan page, so

  • whilst you're at it why not like that page, and keep up to date with everything that's

  • going on with Doing English.

  • See you in the next lesson!

Today I'm going to show you how you can practice speaking English by yourself, at home using

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A2 UK shadowing olympics pronunciation speaker speak english speak

English Speaking Practise: How to improve your English Speaking and Fluency: SHADOWING

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    Halu Hsieh posted on 2013/09/03
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