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Record and Roll!

microphone_mouthHave you  ever heard someone say, “If only you can hear yourself speak??”

We are constantly exposed to sources of English in this world like English songs, videos, books, movies, etc. In school and elsewhere, we are taught and shown examples of ‘good’ English, which we often use as a basis to improve our command of the language.

However, being able to listen objectively to our voices can do wonders in helping to identify the weaknesses and strengths of our spoken English. Speaking too fast, words that are often mispronounced, a tendency to drop ‘ending’ sounds of selected words, common grammatical errors, using the same words again and again – these issues can often be identified easily through self-recording.

This is where that smartphone, recording software in your computer and MP3 player (with a built-in recorder) can come in handy. For adults, recording one’s own voice can be easily done. However, for a child intending to improve his or her English through self-recording, it is best to get the help of a parent or sibling. 

Record different types of spoken English – thoughts on an issue, a ‘live’ 2-person conversation on an interesting topic, a passage from a book. Observe and compare the quality of English in each of these recordings. You may well find that when we read from some resource or a book, we intentionally try to speak slowly and sound better. However, when we are expressing our own thoughts, the common mistakes and errors tend to be more visible, and this is where the learning begins.

You can use this process as a guide to improving your English through self-recording:

1. Record your voice

2. Listen to it

3. Identify the mistakes / problem areas

4. Practise the ‘corrected’ sentences/sections

5. Record your voice again

6. Listen and repeat part 3

Try this technique alone or with the help of a supportive facilitator (one with good spoken English) who can help to ‘critique’ your speech. Keep at it - you will be pleasantly surprised with the results of your effort Cool.

Have you tried to do self-recordings to improve your English? Share your experience with us.