Episode 5 | 3 Keys For Becoming a Natural Speaker

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Welcome to the 5th episode of the ALsensei English 2.0 Podcast! On this English podcast, I help you express yourself more naturally and smoothly.

On this episode of the English 2.0 Podcast, we handle the following points:

Tips: 3 Keys For Becoming a Natural Speaker

Pronunciation Point: “Sip” vs “Ship”

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6 Responses to Episode 5 | 3 Keys For Becoming a Natural Speaker

  1. Misa at #

    Good evening.
    I’ve just listened to your lesson. These 3 points are hard to me, but I’m going to practice them. Your English quiz in twitter helps me to find and know natural expressions. So, I try to answer it whenever I notice it.
    By the way, I have a question about “sh” sound. I understood this sound as follow.
    I think many Japanese do this gesture. When we want others to be quiet, we often say “shi-” (long shi) with putting our index finger in front of our mouth. I’m sorry I can’t explain this gesture well. Please ask your Japanese friend about this gesture. I guess “shi-” sound of this gesture resemble to your explanation “sh”. What do you think? If it’s so, I can imagine “sh” sound easily.

    • alsensei at #

      Hi Misa,

      Yes, the gesture for someone to be quiet (index finger to the mouth, followed by “shh”) is also the same in Western cultures. Of course, that is the same base of the sound “sh” by closing your teeth together and blowing air through them. I haven’t found “sh” to be a problem among my students. The problem is more pronouncing without the “h.” For example, when saying “A-B-C”, the “C” will often sound like “she.” Usually students can say it correctly but they just have to notice when they’re saying it wrong. It’s a matter of concentration and practice I think. Thanks as always for your message!

  2. Misa at #

    Good evening.
    I’m not sure whether I may ask you this question. But, I’m glad if you answer it.
    I found this phrase “I’m down with that” in twitter. Twitter says this means “I’m happy to do so”. As I couldn’t understand the meaning, the nuance, and the origin, I asked it the instructor in my English lesson today. When I asked it,he laughed loudly! If I use this phrase, is it strange? I mean, is it young people’s language? Is it strange phrase for middle aged woman? Don’t native speakers use it? What do you think why he laughed?

  3. alsensei at #

    Hi Misa!

    It’s a very common phrase especially among younger people. I would consider it a slang phrase.

    Don’t worry. Your instructor wasn’t laughing AT YOU. He laughed because he never expected to hear such a natural slang expression in class. I’m sure he was happily delighted!

    However, the thing about slang is that it has to be delivered and spoken in a very specific way. When asked in a serious setting out of context, it tends to be funny naturally! It’s like if I asked my college professor, “What does まじで mean?”

    So it IS a natural expression, usually used by young people to express, “Yes, that sounds good” or “Sure, I’d like to do that.” You can use it but you have to do it with confidence, or it will sound funny to a native speaker.

    Great question!

  4. Misa at #

    Good evening.
    Thank you for your reply. I’m relieved to hear it.
    When I learn natural expressions, I think I have several steps. I mean, 1. find and notice 2. understand its meaning and nuance 3. check the situation that I may use it 5. practice. It’s hard for me to learn natural expressions. But, I’ll never give up.
    Thank you.

    • alsensei at #

      I’m glad to hear that! Your process looks wonderful. Just follow it and you’ll be fine!