Part 1: Basic Transcription

1A Why we use IPA (20min)

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. After watching both videos, share a screenshot and your biggest takeaways to the #learn channel.

1B IPA Flash Card Study

By this point in the program, you have received lots of passive exposure to my modified version of the International Phonetic Alphabet. So you should already have a decent familiarity with all the relevant symbols. To help you solidify that familiarity, I created a series of Flashcard decks linking each symbol to its respective sound, along with some sample words. The flashcard software we use is called "Anki", and the special feature of Anki is that it presents to you the cards you get wrong exactly when you need to see them to maximize memory. First, download Anki to your computer or mobile device. Then click one of the links below to download the deck for your language, following the instructions in the video below. Once you have the deck loaded, practice until a session is over. When you're done practicing, write a quick message to #articulation to let us know how you did and which symbols trip you up the most. Then continue practicing with the deck throughout the week until you've fully memorized all the symbols.

1C Transcribing & Echoing the 500 Most Common Words

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. The word lists linked below cover the 500 most commonly used words in the language. As such, these words also present some of the most common syllables in the language. So practicing transcription/echoing with these words is a good way to warmup for connected speech. 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. (5) Record a Loom of yourself mimicking after the speaker. When you're done with the recording, send it to the #articulation channel along with a summary of the sounds/syllables you misheard/struggled to articulate, along with a reflection on why you think these particular sounds were challenging for you.