The human speech apparatus is one of the marvels of life. The fact that we can use complex language separates us from almost every other living species. Yes, there have been studies on dolphins and chimpanzees talking but we’ve yet to see them producing their own Broadway or West End musicals!
As human beings, we are able to speak over 4,000 different languages. The beauty with each of those languages is that the art of speaking is creative. Every word or phrase and the manner in which it is used is unique to each person, and this program is about empowering you to use spoken language at its very best.
Because of the way the human speech apparatus is constructed, even small children can learn to produce a couple of hundred different speech sounds clearly. Of course each language only uses some of the potential sounds and English (Received Pronunciation) uses just 50 of them.
The difficulty in learning a second language, for example ‘English as a second language’ (ESL) is that in coming to that language from your mother tongue, your speech patterns and habits have been entirely shaped by your first language. In particular the phonetic sounds you have learnt are based on your first language, so many of the 50 phonetic sounds in English will be very different to you, especially when the language you are coming from is very different to English.
Research shows that the critical period for learning spoken language is from birth to about 10 years old. After that the ability to pick up spoken language declines very rapidly, particularly after the age of 17. The reason for this seems to be that children and teenagers are not so ‘set’ in their first language. They are readily able to pick up and adapt to new languages through what is known as phonetic acquisition – a process of picking up new sounds and using them in language.
SpeechSchool.TV is a leading English Accent training institution that offers English learning on the phonetic acquisition model. The School says that speech and accent is an area of training that is often neglected. The SpeechSchool.TV English Accent course provides ongoing exercises and training that can retrain student’s speech muscles on the 50 English sounds while learning the rhythm and flow of International Received Pronunciation (a form of spoken English that is neutral and clear).
So when you want to Learn English and pick up the language readily no matter your age, it is as important to learn the accent and phonetic patterns as it is the vocabulary and grammar. In fact, the research findings from rapid language acquisition with children, show that this is not so much based on their youth or brain function but on their approach. Children tend to learn English by mimicking their classmates and those around them. Adults tend to study vocabulary and grammar in books. SpeechSchool.TV is one language school working to change this by teaching English through sound acquisition and ensuring clear English speech with a neutral accent in the process for its learners.