Mouth exercises for CLEAR SPEECH


Hi there and welcome back to engVid. Today’s
lesson is to make sure that you are understood, because you could learn all the vocabulary in
the world, but if you’re not being understood by speaking clearly, then there’s very little
point. So today’s lesson is to teach you a few exercises to ensure that your speech
is as crisp and clear as possible. Now, I’ve got a number of exercises which
I’ve written up on the board which are to help strengthen the muscles in your face and
your mouth to help your speech become clear. Now, the words, and sentences, and phrases
written up here are not meant to make sense. Okay? So this is not a language lesson. If
you’re not sure of what a word means, then I suggest look it up in a dictionary, but
it may be a word that is not currently used in English, contemporary English. And the
other thing I wanted to point out is that it’s not just going to be by watching this
video that you become clear. I will show you a number of exercises, but if you really want
to take it to a next level, you will have to go off and see a voice teacher who will
then be able to say to you: “You need to focus on your s sounds”, or: “You need to focus
on your d sounds”, but then you have these exercises to help you.
I hope that’s clear. Okay, so I will go through this once slowly,
and then I’ll do it at full speed. The aim with these articulation exercises is to go
nice and slowly so that you’re getting each sound correctly, and then to start doing it
as fast as you can, because that really works the muscles. Okay? So, in the top left of your screen you’ll
see this is an exercises for… An exercise for s sounds, p sounds, c sounds, and to some
extent, b and d as well. Ready? Let’s go. “To sit in solemn silence in a dull, dark, dock.
In a pestilential prison with a life-long lock. Awaiting the sensation of a short, sharp,
shock. From a cheap and chippy chopper on a big, black block.” Okay. I’ll now do this
at full speed. “To sit in solemn silence in a dull, dark, dock. In a pestilential prison
with a life-long lock. Awaiting the sensation of a short, sharp, shock. From a cheap and
chippy chopper on a big, black block.” Okay? And on to our t and d sounds. So, t and d is
used with the tongue going up towards what is called the alveolar ridge in your mouth.
So you should feel your tongue going up to get this sound correctly. Again, slowly and
then at full speed. “In tooting two tutors astute tried to toot a duke on a flute. But
duets so gruelling and only in duelling when tutors astute toot the flute.” That should say
“toot”, let’s put another t there. Again. “In tooting two tutors astute tried to toot
a duke on a flute. But duets so gruelling and only in duelling when tutors
astute toot the flute.” Weird. Okay, and on to m, h, and i. “She stood on
the balcony…” Okay? So try to get that “l” there, the “l” rising up to the roof of your
mouth. “Inexplicably mimicking”, so the m sound: “mmm”, lips together. Mmm. “Mimicking
him hiccupping”, so a nice open mouth of “h”, “h”, for the h sound. “Hiccupping and amicably
welcome… Welcoming him home.” It’s quite hard to get the “ing” there. “Welcoming him
home. She stood on the balcony inexplimy-…” Got it wrong. Start again. “She stood on the
balcony inexplicably mimicking him hiccupping and amicably welcoming him home.” Okay? So you
really got to move your mouth to get that… Those sounds correctly. I’ve put f, v, and “th” together because you
must make sure that there is a difference between your “th” sounds and your f and your
v. This is something I learnt after a long… Lots of long, hard practice at drama school,
but it… You know, your “th”, your tongue has to go up to the top of your mouth, and
sort of tick, tick the teeth. “Ff”, okay? The f and v sound is more made by… You got
your lip there, and air coming out. “Five flippant Frenchmen fly from France for fashions.
Five flippant Frenchmen fly from France for fashions”. “V”, bit more of a buzz with the v. “Vincent
vowed vengeance very vehemently. Vincent vowed vengeance very vehemently. Vincent
vowed vengeance very vehemently”. “Th”. “This thin, that thatch, these themes,
those thorns, the thug they thank. This thin, that thatch, these themes, those thorns, the
thug they thank.” Let’s have some more. Okay, so on to d, k, and l. And another note
on this, as you’re going along, try and really get a range in your pitch and intonation. So
it’s not just the sounds, but you’re seeing: How high can you go on your register, how
low can you go? And you’re playing around with the sounds. Actually, while we’re on
that note, this is an exercise for exactly… For exactly that. “I scream, you scream, we
all scream for ice cream.” Okay? We’re trying to get a nice rise and, you know, flow and ebb
in your pronunciation. If you’re watching this, having watched my video for Polish speakers,
then this is exactly for you. Obviously not all, but some. Okay? Let’s go again. “I scream,
you scream, we all scream for ice cream.” Try it and sound silly, okay? And, so, we’re
playing around with sound in these exercises. It’s not something you should think about
when you’re actually talking to someone, but you do the work with your… In your sort
of speech practice and then hopefully when you’re actually speaking to people it will…
You’ll come across as being more expressive. Right. Ds. “Do drop in at the Dewdrop Inn. Do drop
in at the Dewdrop Inn.” Okay? And remember to get the “at” there. “At”. Let’s go on to
k. “Kiss her quick, kiss her quicker, kiss her quickest.” Okay? How fast can you say
that? “Kiss her quick, kiss her quicker, kiss her quickest.” L: “Larry sent the latter a
letter later.” La, la, la. Tongue’s really got to move, there, in your mouth.
“Larry sent the latter a letter later.” And on to j, “je”, so to make that sound your
tongue is vibrating at the top of your mouth: “j, j, j, je”. “Jean just jostled James gently.
Jean just jostled James gently.” On to q and r. So this is just repeating quickly, quickly,
quickly, quickly, quickly, quickly, quickly, quickly, quickly, quickly, quickly, quickly,
quickly, quickly, quickly, quickly. Rah. “Reading and writing are richly rewarding”,
and so is watching engVid. “Reading and writing are richly rewarding.” This is from a play
called The Pirates of Penzance. Yes? Not of the Caribbean, of Penzance. On a map of Britain,
it’s down there right in the corner, Penzance, it’s like… It’s near where Land’s End is,
it’s the last stop on the trail line… Train line down to Cornwall. It was written by Gilbert
and Sullivan. This is not the whole text. There is a slightly elongated version of it,
but this is what I could fit on the board so we’ll give it a go. What we have here is
it’s like an amalgamation of all the different sounds that you should be able to pronounce
clearly. Okay? It doesn’t really mean much. “I am the very pattern of a modern Major-General.
I’ve information vegetable, animal and mineral, I know the Kings of England and I quote the
fights historical, I understand equations, both simple and quadratical. I’m very good at
integral and differential calculus. I know the scientific names of beings and animaculous.
In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral, I am the very model of a modern Major-General.”
Okay? Let’s go one more time. “I am the very pattern of a modern Major-General. I’ve information
vegetable, animal and mineral, I know the Kings of England and I quote the fights historical, I
understand equations, both simple and quadratical. I’m very good at integral and differential
calculus. I know the scientific names of beings and animaculous. In short”… Just a point,
something I want to say here: When you’re breathing try not to go: “Uh, uh, uh” from
here, so try to keep bringing it in so you’re breathing from down here. “In short, in matters
vegetable, animal, and mineral, I am the very model of a modern
Major-General.” Okay, I want you to go off and have some fun
with these, maybe take some screenshots so you’ve got pictures of these on your phone,
and then when you’re… When you’ve brushed your teeth in the morning, have a quick go
at them. “Right, yeah, Benjamin said learn these, let’s do them.” See ya next time. Quickly,
quickly, quickly, quickly, quickly, quickly, quickly, quickly, quickly, quickly, quickly,
quickly, quickly, quickly, quickly.

Daniel Yohans

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