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 Senior member  Prolific writer  Famous  Philanthropist
Reputation 6380
Female, From United States
Lives in Ash Sharqia Governorate, Egypt
Speaks English Native
Learning Arabic A1:Beginner
Red Site Tour link, top right, next to your profile link to start. Speaking tips: https://goo.gl/fyD5z8 To benefit most from the site, read: http://goo.gl/TPtd1B http://goo.gl/o4nZtP http://goo.gl/BELJe7
Member for over 5 years
TimeZone: (GMT+02:00) Cairo

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From phone card jan12 145 %282%29  Sindee
over 5 years ago

Hello everyone!  I  just wanted to let you know that there are some changes to our weekly calendar for the English Practice Sessions.  Make sure that you go there and take a look!

First, I will mention again that the clock and the times show have changed, but NOT THE ACTUAL TIME FOR THE SESSION TO START!  Suresh has syncronized the clocks for both session calendars to match.  Hopefully this will help everyone to be able to figure the session time for their location.  Please remember:  Even though the time looks different on the calendar, the session time has not actually changed.  The previous time shown was for my time zone here in Southwest America, now it is shown in GMT so please convert it to your own time zone.  

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From phone card jan12 145 %282%29  Sindee
over 5 years ago

The session calendar has been changed!  Now, both calendars are displayed from the same time zone; don't forget to go take a look.  Take care and talk to you soon! 

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From phone card jan12 145 %282%29  Sindee
over 5 years ago

Hello everyone!  I just wanted to remind you of the English practice session tomorrow here at Speak Alley at our normal time, and to also let you know that we have some changes coming soon to the schedule for this.  Join Suresh and I tomorrow to hear the new schedule or check out the Facebook group for a sneak peak at the changes-Don't forget to read the description of the new group!  Thanks for your support; talk to you soon!

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From phone card jan12 145 %282%29  Sindee
over 5 years ago
While I am not as young as most of you here, and I do understand why some of you would want to call me “Teacher”, I want to mention to everyone that while these practice sessions with me are somewhat structured, they are not meant to be a formal class. The structure is simply a way to give everyone a chance to practice speaking English and for me to give some, hopefully helpful, feedback on how you can improve and sound more like a native speaker. I want this to be a relaxed way for people to interact, not a formal classroom setting, and hopefully you will also be encouraged to connect with others here on Speak Alley and use the PRACTICE link to engage in sessions that will further your speaking abilities. Though I have had the responsibilities of creating and conducting adult classes in the past, I am not, nor have I ever been, an English teacher; we do have some real teachers here and I truly appreciate their coming and speaking with me and supporting our English Practice Sessions so regularly. I want to invite everyone to just call me by my name, “Sindee” and while I appreciate the respect being shown to my age, etc. with titles such as “Ma’am”, “Teacher”, “Ms Sindee”, or anything else, I really do prefer that you just call me, “Sindee”; we are all just friends here!
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From phone card jan12 145 %282%29  Sindee
over 5 years ago
I just wanted to say hello to all the new people that have joined me in the last few days and to say thank you to those who have been following me, I hope you will join me in the English practice sessions and I look forward to meeting all of you. I think most of you have actually joined me so if the name on your profile is different than the name that I know you by in the sessions, please message me and let me know or make sure that you tell me in the sessions. Thanks again and I hope to talk to you soon!
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From phone card jan12 145 %282%29  Sindee
over 5 years ago
One last thing that I want to mention is that it helps to remember where I am from when comparing accents, etc. I was born and raised in Southwest USA. My accent will be different from those who live, not only in Europe and Australia, but from those who live in other parts of this country. I have been told that I have a Michigan accent sometimes, though it is rare, but I have never been to that state. It comes from my mother who is from that area. Most of my “Michigan” accent has faded as I have grown older, but some have still recognized it. When meeting those from North America, you must remember that there are many accents here, some very noticeably different from other parts of the country. The word used for something as well as the meaning of some words will also change between these areas, as well as from the other English speaking countries. Attitudes, mannerisms, phrases and even some customs will also vary from area to area in this large country. Also, Americans in general love their slang, their idioms and phrases, but those too change from area to area. This being said, I do not want to make it sound like learning English is harder than it should be. Most of these things you will understand as you broaden your speaking talents by speaking with others on a regular basis.
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From phone card jan12 145 %282%29  Sindee
over 5 years ago
The next tip: Enunciate clearly. This ties into my last suggestion. You must slow down to be able to enunciate clearly. These points are also the same advice that you would get when learning public speaking methods and are beneficial to know if you ever have to give a presentation before a group of your peers or others. One way to help you to learn to enunciate clearly is to stand in front of a mirror. While speaking slowly, exaggerate the sound of each syllable of each word. Pay particular attention to the areas of your speaking that you have the most trouble with, for instance, if you have trouble with your vowel sounds, slow down and exaggerate that part of the word even more; open you jaw wide, exaggerate the formation of your lips and mouth, this exercise should look strange in the mirror if you are doing it correctly but practicing it this way will help you enunciate more clearly when you speak. If you have trouble with the consonants, make an effort to make those sounds more forcefully when you practice. Do not just say, “and” say, “anDUH!”. Obviously, you won’t say, “and” this way when you speak normally, but for practice it will help to train you for more understandable speech. It doesn’t matter what you say, just that you practice. Reading something will help because you will have to look at the word and see the consonants in each part of the word. Use this reading as a practice to unlearn bad habits by having a visual reminder to make the consonant sounds and therefore remember how to properly pronounce the word.
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From phone card jan12 145 %282%29  Sindee
over 5 years ago
Hello everyone. I have to cancel one more session, but I should be back for the following session. I will adjust the calendar to reflect this. Thanks!
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From phone card jan12 145 %282%29  Sindee
over 5 years ago
I want to mention a few things that I have found myself saying repeatedly when I meet new people. I hope this will help all those who are new to our sessions. Here is the next point: Slow down! I cannot emphasize this enough. This is the one piece of advice that I have found that will usually improve your ability to be understood by a native speaker. From what I have seen, this is the fastest way to go from hardly being understood when you are speaking to being very understandable. Fast speech does not equate to understandable speech nor does it equate to the appearance of intelligent speech, in fact, it works the opposite. It does not seem to make a difference where you are from, or what your accent is, if you slow down while speaking to a native speaker you will have the best possible chance of being understood. This goes for both slowing down while speaking the entire sentence as well as slowing down on the words themselves. Often, when a native speaker cannot understand the word you are using, simply slowing down while speaking each syllable of the word will allow the person listening to decipher what it is you are actually trying to say; many times, slowing down when you speak is all that is needed to be easily understood.
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From phone card jan12 145 %282%29  Sindee
over 5 years ago
Here are a couple of things that I have noticed are common issues for those from certain parts of the world: Persons from the Middle East to India, tend to not enunciate their vowel sounds. It is also beneficial to understand that the English language has two sounds for every vowel; a long vowel sound and a short vowel sound. The most important between these two, in order to be understood, is to actually ensure that a vowel sound exists clearly when pronouncing a word. Which vowel sound (long or short) isn’t as important as making sure that a vowel sound can be easily discerned. Slower speaking ensures that these vowels are pronounced enough to be heard and the word understood. People from areas East of India tend to not pronounce all of the consonants in a word. Usually, the consonants that are missed are those that have two different consonant sounds together, and/or the last consonant(s) sounds of the word gets left off (“cloud” is the perfect example of both; it often sounds to us like “cow”). Practicing these combination and ending consonant sounds will help you in being able to speak more like a native speaker; slowing down while speaking will make the biggest difference in how well a native speaker will be able to understand your speech and therefore your meaning. Also, slowing down when speaking allows you to concentrate on pronouncing all of the consonants correctly enhancing the ease in which you are understood. Connect, Comment and Communicate! Take care all!
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