Learning by Ear: Practice Techniques
When we’re learning a language, trying to reproduce every word and phrase perfectly can be overwhelming. But think about how you learned your native language, you didn’t do that all at once, did you? You started by imitating the sounds you heard bit by bit.
Now we’ll go over some techniques for improving your pronunciation by exercising your listening skills. We’re going to cover 4 “layers” of French pronunciation, train our ear to listen for them, and then imitate them one at a time. Our four-part video series breaks each layer down in detail and gives you the opportunity to apply them step by step in practice. By practicing this way, you can improve your speaking skills consistently and progressively, and enjoy the language learning process, without getting in your own way.
The 1st layer is intonation.
I. The intonation – the “speech music”
Intonation is the speech music of language: high and low sounds, or tones, as well as rhythm. English and French use intonation and rhythm quite differently, so highlighting these differences can really help us listen, understand and eventually speak better.