Tip for Tuesday: Language Rhythm

Begin to understand English better by understanding the rhythm of languages.  While some languages rhythm patterns are similar, recognizing how languages have different rhythms can help your listening skills.

First, listen for  a rhythm to your native language.  The trick is that you are so used to your own language patterns and finding the rhythm might be difficult at first.  The good news is you know your own language’s rhythm already;  you learned it at a very, very early age.  You will have to rediscover it for this activity.

Second, listen for a rhythm in English.  How?  Listen to any news or radio talk show, native speakers, interviews, podcasts, etc, and start paying attention.  Don’t pay attention to the words yet.  Just listen for a rhythm.  The rhythm comes from the timing of the stressed syllables.  When you think you have found a rhythm, start tapping or clapping along.  Tap only on the beats.

This activity alone will not be enough to perfect your English, but combined with other speaking activities, it will certainly help.  Recognizing the rhythm helps you identify where strings of speech break down into individual phrases and words.  This activity will also eventually help you speak with the rhythm that native speakers are expecting…making your speech more understood by others.

One way or the other, the rhythm is going to get you…

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