The next fundamental skill you will train is “Tactile Discernment” - which refers to your ability to distinguish touch on one point of your body from another. To produce the sounds of speech, you have to touch your articulators together at very precise points. If, for example, your tongue touches the palate just a nanometer too far, it may produce a different sound, resulting in an accented pronunciation in most cases, and potentially even a different meaning in others! Because we speak all the time, we’ve trained ourselves to be completely unconsciously to the tactile sensations of our mouths when we speak. But if we prime our attention, we can become aware, and then leverage that awareness to fine tune our pronunciation of the new target language sounds. First, we will learn to discern the various points of touch on the surface of our tongue. Then in the next lesson, we will do the same for the roof of our mouth, i.e. the “Palate”. This first video will help prime our attention to the tactile sensations in both parts.
Now that we’re primed, the next set of videos walks through five points on the surface of the tongue, which we can see in the image below. You articulate with these points of the tongue everyday with various English consonant sounds. So I will give you two consonants, and have you alternate between the two until your mind realizes that they are two different adjacent points. Be sure to follow the process and use your mirror as much as possible. Also be sure to practice with eyes closed and no sound, so that you can focus your attention on the tactile sensations. Once you have watched all the videos and attempted the exercises, post a reflection to
Be sure to integrate this into your Spontaneous practice by playing with different consonant sounds through the day and trying to determine which point of the tonuge they are articulated with. Over time, your brain starts to develop a tight “sensory integration” of your auditory and tactile sense. So that when you hear someone make a consonant sound, you can intuitively find the right point on your tongue/palate to mimic that sound. If you want to share something to
#recordings, try stating which tongue points you are doing, and then preform several sounds from that point.