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Watch Why we use IPA (20min)

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Now that we've separated out each layer of speech (timing, stress, pitch and articulation), it's time to bring it all back together and practice engaging it in its completeness. In the first video below, I talk about the ability of "integrated listening" - which is the ability to simultaneously perceive every layer of speech with little effort. As you will learn, the best way to train this ability is to practice transcription. In the second video, I explain why we transcribe using IPA, instead of the native spelling system.

Practice Transcribing the 500 Most Common Words

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Our end goal is for you to be able to effortlessly mimic naturally-occurring "connected speech", where the words are chopped and blended together. To prepare yourself for that, you're first going to practice with individual words. These are the same words you already practiced segmenting, so we are just going through them again with our hands in addition to our mouths. Note, you do not have to complete all of them. When you feel you’re ready, proceed to the next exercise. The recordings group 25 words together at a time. For each group, do the following: (1) Transcribe each word (2) Check the key to see which ones you got wrong (3) Write down the sounds/syllables you misheard and how you misheard them (4) Practice echoing the speaker, and write down the sound/syllables you most struggle to articulate.

Practice Transcribing & Syncing Natural Speech

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You are now deeply familiar with lots of connected speech phrases as a result of training the different layers. Now we can revisit those phrases and practice mimicking them in their entirety. First, practice segmenting and transcribing the speech into its syllables and moves. Again, be sure to take note of what you got wrong after checking the answers, so you can keep track of your patterns. Then practice syncing full melody and articulation with the continuous loop audio. Then finally, use the "Gapped" Audio to hear yourself in comparison. Process over product - donβ€˜t worry about getting β€œwrong answers” - just pay attention to the patterns of your errors so you can continually adapt and improve.

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