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Mastering the tongue-twister

Have you tried tongue-twisters? A tongue-twister is a phrase that is deliberately designed to be difficult to say. Especially, at speed!  These can be a lot of fun in small groups or even when practicing them alone. Some tongue-twisters are designed to produce results that are amusing when mispronounced. Others simply rely on creating confusion when mistakes are made. The idea of the tongue twister may have originated from the art of alliteration. An 'alliteration' as wikipedia puts it, is the conspicuous repetition of identical initial consonant sounds in successive or closely associated syllables within a group of words. For example, Black bug bit a big black bear. Over the years, tongue-twisters seem to have been offered up for everything from curing hiccoughs to testing the fit of dentures. More recently researchers into neuroscience have also used them to monitor brain functions. https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/the-athletes-way/201312/tongue-twisters-reveal-quirky-

Speaking better English - More Tips on Speaking more fluently

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Don't be afraid of making mistakes. We all make mistakes. Look at what you want to do and that is to speak better English. The key is to Practise. This is where the articulate app is incredibly useful. You can choose a book and then read it out loud. The Book has chosen the vocabulary for you so you don't need to wonder what to say, but instead practise getting the sound just right., so that others can understand you clearly. Listen carefully to what other people say. Watch the news, especially using the subtitles. Listen to as many different people as you can. How do they talk? Practise, Practise and Practise. The articulate app allows you to practise as much as you want and doesn't put you down.  Celebrate your successes. When you get what you said just right then give yourself a reward. Each time you get something right you are one step closer to speaking better English. Be proud of yourself and use this success to spur you on to improve once more. Many people sa

Speaking better English - Tips on Speaking more fluently

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The key to increasing fluency is speaking more often. Who would have guessed? But what do you do if you don't have a native speaker to converse with? Perhaps, you've heard linguists recommend practising in the mirror? If you're not too self-conscious that is.  Though it might seem rather silly, it might not be such a bad idea. Speaking aloud to yourself in your target language can be really useful, and it certainly takes away the pressure of having others listen. Though, perhaps you might get a little stuck with what to say? This is where the articulate.xyz app comes in. With the articulate.xyz app you can read out loud. Choose from several different books. From easy books, like Peter Rabbit, to more difficult books like "On the Origin of Species". Sure, you may still make mistakes but unlike just reading out loud on your own, the app listens to you. It works out what words you're having trouble with and builds specific practice lists and suggests lessons with

Speaking better English - alternatives to "and"

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As mentioned in previous posts, when getting to grips with a new language, repetition is the key. Some words in English can get used a little too often, making the speaker sound flat or monotonous. This is very typical of the word "and". You can improve your speech with a few alternatives and this can help maintain engagement with listeners.    "And" is typically used to connect two sentences with related ideas (conjunction). And it can be used to introduce new ideas or act in a list (this and that and the other).   Some examples:- " The boy laughed and jumped out of the tree. " "The wallpaper was red and black." " I love you more and more every day "   Alternative ideas:- Instead of using "and", consider whether you can use one of the alternatives below? together with along with with as well as in addition to including also too besides further more moreover plus what’s more Try adding some of these words to 'My List'

Speaking better English - alternatives to "but"

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When getting to grips with a new language, repetition is the key. Once you learn a new word or phrase, try to use it straight away. Then look to work that new word or phrase into a conversation whenever you can; And keep doing so until it begins to feel comfortable. Let's try some of these. Some words in English can get used a little too often, making the speaker sound flat or monotonous. Spicing up your speech with a few alternatives can help maintain engagement with listeners.  An example of an overly used word is "but".  "But" is typically used to connect two sentences, with contrasting ideas or exceptions. "The film had great special effects but no storyline" "Well, she sounded like she was telling the truth, but I wasn't 100% sure." "But really, would they do that?" Instead of "but" consider using an alternate Nonetheless Whereas However Otherwise  Yet Still Nevertheless Notwithstanding Try adding some of these wo

iOS and Android support

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The articulate.xyz app targets both Android and Apple iOS mobile devices. I have been successfully using the articulate.xyz app on my home iPad for quite a while now. We started the original development on the Apple platform using Swift and are now in the process of moving the development code over to Flutter. If you’ve not heard of Flutter it is a software development kit that allows developers to target both Android & iOS platforms at the same time. There are still a few bugs for us to squash but generally, the porting is going well. If you’d like to test drive the alpha app we’d love to hear from you, sign-up to be a tester on the main website. If you would like to to get the app and try it out on your Android or Apple phone or ipad then visit  https://www.articulate.xyz/Alpha-Testing.html

Why speak English well?

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by Paul Evans Founder, articulate.xyz Ltd   It’s estimated that over ¼ of the worlds’ population (over 2 billion people) speak or are learning English. That’s a lot of people. At the same time it’s estimated that there are around 378 million native speakers, again, a lot of people! What’s interesting is what the difference between those two numbers implies. It tells us that the chances are the person next to you in that meeting, coffee shop, theatre, sport centre, park or historical site, isn’t a native English speaker. Consequently, to interact with that person you are going to require a common language.   Speaking English well not only helps bridge that gap, but opens up a world of opportunities.   Career advancement A growing number of multinational companies are using as English their main language. Some just at executive levels and others are mandating English usage throughout the whole company.   English has become the global language of business, the common o