Development of Effective Oral Communication Skills for African

Report
Principles and Strategies Behind
Successful Dialect Modification and Accent
Reduction Among Ethnocultural Groups
Dr. Harold Mitchell
Dr. Tina T. Smith
Tennessee State University
What is Communication?

Communication is:
–
–
–
–
The transmission and reception of information
among persons
An active process
Verbal (speech)
Nonverbal (gestures, facial expressions, etc.)
What is Communication?

Communication has
paralinguistic cues and
is an interaction
between two or more
people.
What is Communication?

Communication can
occur through many
mediums such as:
– Telephone
– The Radio
– The Television
– The Newspaper
– The Computer
Components of Verbal
Communication
Sender
(Person talking)
Message
(Conversation)
Receiver
(Listener/Decoder)
Setting
(Interaction Location)
Components of Nonverbal
Communication
Prosody
Kinesics
(Pitch, Duration,
Loudness, Rhythm)
(Visual Signals, Eyes,
Gestures, Hands)
Proxemics
Paralanguage
(Social Space)
(Emotions, pitch, rate of speech,
volume)
Other Components of Nonverbal
Communication
Nonlinguistic Cues
Metalinguistic Cues
(Gestures, Body Language,
(Ability to talk about, analyze,
Facial Expressions, Head and
Body Movement)
and judge language)
What Makes a
Communicator Effective?



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Speaking and expressing your thoughts and feelings
in a clear and non-defensive manner.
Being an active listener by using both verbal (un huh)
and nonverbal skills (leaning forward)
Being aware of your body language and what it
communicates to others.
Learning to code-switch in different professional
versus social settings.
–
Example from using African American English to Standard
American English when appropriate.
What is a Dialect?



A dialect is a variation of a language.
There are many different dialects
Dialects usually differ grammatically and/or
phonologically from what is considered the
standard language.
–
–
Both vowel and consonant production may differ
Suprasegmental features may differ
What is Accent Reduction?

Accent reduction occurs when the speaker
changes his or her speech production (either
consonants or vowels), suprasegmental
features, or grammatical features to become
more similar to the standard language.
Developing Effective Oral
Communication

The purpose of this presentation is to review
strategies that one can use to code switch and/or to
improve the oral component of communication by
focusing on a speaker’s:
–
Articulation

–
Grammar

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The manner in which the speaker produces sounds.
The manner in which the speaker uses sentence structure,
wording endings, and vocabulary.
Voice

The pitch, loudness, and quality of a speaker’s voice.
The Influence of Culture on
Communication


Voice, articulation, and grammar have cultural
influences.
For example:
–
African American English speakers use different
phonological and grammatical features than do Standard
American English speakers.
NOTE: Speaking a dialect does not mean that a person is not
an effective communicator. However, learning to code
switch is an important skill depending on the environment in
which the person is communicating.
Phonological Features of AAE

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/l/ omitted (a’ways)
/r/ omitted (doah)
f/th (teef for teeth)
d/th (dis for this)
v/th (breave for breathe)
Cluster reduction (des
for desk)



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
Metathesis (aks for axe)
I/E (pin for pen)
Deletion of final
consonants (ba’ for bad)
n/ng (walkin’ for walking)
b/v (bes’ for vest)
Grammatical Features of AAE
Omission of:
 Noun possessive
 Noun plural
 Third person singular
 Is and are
 Have
 Past tense endings

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Subject-verb
agreement
Multiple negatives
(don’t have no more)
Distributive “be”
“At” at the end of
where questions
Additional auxiliaries
Do/does
Social Dialects

In this global society, people are seeking to
learn a standard dialect with the following
features:
–
–
–
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Clear articulation of vowels, consonants, and
diphthongs
Accurate pronunciation of words
Placement of stress on the correct syllable
Use of vocabulary words to express acceptable
meanings.
Fundamental Facts About Articulation



Each sound of Standard American English is
produced differently.
Each person will make a slightly different
articulatory adjustment to produce the same
sound.
Articulation of any sound is affected by the
sounds that precede and follow it.
Identify an American Accent

www.gotoquiz.com/what_american_accent_do_you_
have

www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vbn2_iabzM
Do I Have An Accent?

“To most Americans, an accent is something that only other
people have, those other people usually being in New York,
Boston, and the South. And of those other people, half of the
ones you meet will swear they "don't have an accent. "Well,
strictly speaking, the only way to not have an accent is to not
speak. If you're from anywhere in the USA you have an accent
(which may or may not be the accent of the place you're from).
Go through this short quiz and you'll find out just which accent
that is.”

Xavier Kun
Do I Have An Accent?


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What is your age?
What is your gender
We're going to start with two ordinary
words, "cot" and "caught." Do you think
those words sound the same or different?
What about "don" and "dawn"?
OK, what about "stock" and "stalk"?
Do I Have An Accent?


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Now then how do "collar" and "caller"
sound?
Do you think the word "on" rhymes with
"dawn" or with "don"?
Moving on, what do you think about
"Mary," "merry," and "marry"?
Our next word is "horrible." How does
that first vowel sound?
Do I Have An Accent?


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Now for "pen" and "pin." Don't worry about what
others say is correct, just tell us how they come
out in an ordinary conversation .
What about "feel" and "fill"?
When you say "about," does the "ou" sound like
the "ou" in "loud"?
Last question. When you say "bag" does it
rhyme with "vague"?
Fundamental Facts About Articulation


Since articulation is a physical and muscular
activity, the ability to move fluidly and adroitly
from one position to another is extremely
important for clarity and accuracy.
Person will vary their articulatory positions
under different emotional states and social
situations.
Improving Articulation:
Three Conditions To Meet

Is my articulation (diction) up to the standard of my
own expectations?

Regarding articulation, are there any sounds or
sound combinations that need improvement?

Three conditions must be fulfilled to articulate clearly:
–
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The sound must be accurately formed.
The sound must be sufficiently supported by the breath.
The sound must be completely finished.
Accurate Sound Production

Learn the characteristics of the sound
–
What articulators are used to produce the sound?

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What is the manner of airflow?
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Lips, teeth, tongue, gum ridge,
hard palate, soft palate, glottis
Is the airflow stopped then released (e.g. /p/, /t/, /g/)
Is the airflow continuous (e.g. /s/, /f/, /th/)
Is the sound voiced or unvoiced?

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With vocal fold vibration (e.g. /b/)
Without vocal fold vibration (e.g. /k)
Articulation Practice
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Watch yourself in the mirror
Practice for short periods several times per day.
Relax
Breathe deeply and abdominally
Concentrate on vocal efficiency
Read aloud slowly
Repeat difficult words and phrases several times
Check with a competent listener
Let practice become a habit
Sufficient Breath Support
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To produce normal speech, air must be
exhaled.
To convert airflow into sounds, the breath
stream must be strong enough to withstand
friction, redirection, and stoppage.
Strength and accuracy in the use of the
respiratory system are part of the skills that
lead to clear articulation.
Completeness

One of the most noticeable articulation
problems is incompleteness (failing to
produce all of the sounds in a word.
–
For example, sounds such as t, d, k, and g when
produced in words require an audible explosion of
air. Say the following words:

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Bat
Bed
Cook
Log
Articulation Improvement:
Illustrative Sites

http://www.uiowa.edu/~acadtech/phonetics
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Allows you to see the articulators for all
consonant sounds to practice place, manner, and
voice. Also, allows you to practice each sound
production in isolation and in words.
Articulation Improvement:
Illustrative Sites

www.manythings.org/lar/
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The listen and repeat machine- provides the
person with different exercises each day to
improve intonation, rhythm, and pronunciation.
Articulation Improvement:
Illustrative Sites


www.MNSU.edu/comdis/phonetics/phonetics
.com
My Vowel Practice – Helps you learn how to:
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Pronounce words and sentences loaded with
American English Vowels
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Front vowels
Mid-vowels
Back vowels
Diphthongs
Speech Sound Exercises:
Consonant Clusters (ts)

He trusts her, but she insists that he doesn’t.
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He casts his eyes always in her direction, but she
notices it not.
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He boasts that Sarena is his beloved, but she
insinuates that she detests the thought.
Difficulties with “Ask”
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I will ask him to shut the door for me.

He wants to ask me a very important
question.

He asks me to close the door each time I
enter.
Improving Grammar:
Sentence Difficulties

She studied her lessons, while he dribbled
the basketball.

He watched her disappear, but he prayed
that she would return.

He bothered her too much for her to stay.
What is an Effective Voice?

An effective voice:
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is responsive to a speaker’s intentions.
allows a speaker to share his or her
attitudes, feelings and nuances of thought.
does not detract from the speaker’s
message.
The Effective Voice


Vocal effectiveness is related to vocal
appropriateness, which is related to sex, age,
and physique.
For example:
–
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A man’s voices should be different from a
woman’s.
An adult’s voice should be different from a child’s.
The Effective Voice

A high-pitched voice may be acceptable from
a small delicate child, but it is not likely to be
acceptable from a man or a physically
mature-looking woman, or a large boy.

An effective voice is one that can be heard
without conscious effort or strain.
The Effective Voice

An effective voice should be as loud as the
specific speaking situation allows.
–
If a speaker is talking to a group, his or her voice
should be heard by every member of the group
without being disturbing because of the loudness.
Objective Self-Listening:
Voice Improvement

Is my voice pleasant?

Does my voice have any characteristics that I
would consider as undesirable?

Does my voice reflect what I intended to
convey in thought and in feeling?
Objective Self-listening:
Voice Improvement

Were the changes in pitch, loudness,
duration, and quality appropriate to the
changes of thought and/or feeling that I was
trying to convey?

Would I listen to this voice if I were not the
speaker?
Objective Self-Listening:
Voice Improvement

Does the voice reflect me as a personality?

Is it the personality I want to express?
Objective Self-Listening

If you are satisfied with the answers that you
gave to the questions, and your voice and
speech appear to be acceptable, then you
are very fortunate to be so endowed.
Objective Self-Listening

But if you are not satisfied with your speech
and voice then you are like many other
listeners and speakers and you should be
willing to do whatever is necessary to
improve your voice and diction.
Steps For Voice Improvement
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Learn the characteristics of the ideal voice.
Recognize your vocal strengths and correct
your weaknesses.
Develop vocal efficiency and flexibility.
How to Become
an Effective Communicator
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Know your Audience.
Know your Material.
Structure your Presentation.
Practice your Delivery.
Prepare for the Delivery.
Calm Yourself from Nervousness.
How to Become
an Effective Communicator

Wear a Winning Smile.

Be open and Confident.

Be Yourself.
How to Become
An Effective Communicator

Be Positive.

Be Courteous and Attentive

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