Today, we’re going to be doing a lesson on articulation, the way we use our mouth to form words and sounds. We’re also going to be looking at some tips to make sure you come across as a confident speaker of English in any interview kind of situation.
Now, let’s just imagine that you do have an interview. Your heart’s going to be going “boom, boom, boom, boom.” And suddenly, all your English goes out the window, and you start making mistakes, and you can’t really talk properly. So we need to make sure we’re in our bodies, okay? And that we are present and alive in the room. I’ve worked as an actor for a few years, so I wanted to share a couple of warm ups, a couple of starters that people do — that actors do before they go on stage.
So I know you can’t see my feet, but we might start by making circles with our feet like this. So move them around, okay? Make those joints — so you’re doing this with your foot, and then with the other foot. So I want you to get off your chairs. I know you’re watching me on the Internet. Get up off your chair. Let’s all get involved and move your right foot around. And the other way. And now, do circles with your knees, circles with your knees. Good stuff. And now, with your waist, let’s move our waist around. Move that waist around in a nice big circle, and the other way around. Great. Now, we’re going to do some shoulder rolls. Yeah. We’re making nice, big circles with your shoulders. And the other way. Great. Shake out our hands. I’ve got a pen in it. Shake it out. Move our head around. Be careful with the head. We’re going to do circles with our head, and when you get to the back, make sure your mouth is open. Do a big circle. And if you want to yawn, that’s just a sign that you’re relaxing. Okay? I’m going to move around like that. Great. Have a little shake out. Have a little shimmy, a little boogie. Great. We’re good to go.
Obviously, today, we’re focusing on the tongue, the lips, and the mouth. So let’s start by blowing through our lips. Do it after me. So the pitch, it’s going up and back down again. You try. Good. Now, I want you to imagine that you’re brushing your teeth with your tongue. Okay. You don’t have a toothbrush. You can’t find the toothbrush, so you’re using your tongue. Okay? You’re brushing all of your teeth with your tongue. Okay. Because to make clear sounds in English, you need your tongue to work hard. Okay? And now, brush the bottom jaw. This is a jaw. Okay. We’re going to brush the teeth in here. Great.
And now, let’s just, you know, make some funny faces at me. I’m making some funny faces at you. You make some funny faces at me. Yeah? Move your face around. I know. It’s a bit weird. Obviously, when we’re breathing, we want to breathe from our stomachs. We don’t want to talk up here. So try and think of breathing. Feel your tummy going in and out down here. Not up here. You might feel your ribs move. I want to see if you can breathe using your stomach. Okay?
Now, we’re going to look at some vocal exercises. “Pa ta ka pah.” Okay. So we’re going to look at making sounds which are exercises for the different sounds you make in English. And then, we’re going to look at some actual articulation exercises for really clear speech. And these are things you can practice, you know — I do it when I’m driving my car before today, so I speak clearly. Clearly hasn’t worked.
Vocal exercises. Okay. So we’re going to start with “pa”. So we’re going to go “pa ta ka pah”. “Pa ta ka pah.” I want you to repeat after me. “Pa ta ka pah.” Great. “Pa ta ka paw.” “Pa ta ka poo.” It’s quite a rude word in English. “Pa ta ka pee.” Okay. Bottom lip, top lip, they come apart. The bottom lip is blowing against that top lip. Okay? “Pa ta ka pee.” “Pa ta ka pay.” Okay? So if you become confident with these, then you can repeat this bit a couple of times. So it would be “pa ta ka pa ta ka pah.” Let’s try that one. “Pa ta ka pa ta ka pah.” Have a go. Great. And then, with these ones, “pa ta ka pa ta ka paw.” Okay. You get the idea. Practice those on your own time. That’s your homework, okay?