Monday, January 19, 2009

New year started with a bang

I started the new year with a major computer crash and unfortunately lost some data. Instead of mourning the loss I'm being very 'Pollyanna' about it and looking at the whole experience as a means of starting afresh and redesigning many of my resources.

The crash is a blessing in disguise as it means that my resources will incorporate all the little problems that I have discovered over the last two years of delivering pronunciation training.

At the moment I have a number of clients who need to give high level presentations which cause a lot of stress and anxiety for them. Delivering presentations in your first language can be daunting let alone in a second language. One of my clients is a university lecturer and even though his speech is quite clear a number of students had complained that it was difficult to understand him sometimes.

We have been working on 'thought groups' or 'chunking' and intonation. This has slowed down his speech a lot. The other main feature that is important in giving lectures or presentations is the use of appropriate discourse markers or 'listening signposts'. These make it easier for the listener to follow the speaker's intentions and assists in reading any visuals that the speaker may be using.