Do you remember the first time you heard your recorded voice? It’s kind of strange, isn’t it?
Have you ever heard a recording of yourself speaking a foreign language? Even stranger, isn’t it?
Who is that person? Do I really sound like that?!
Apart from all that, I’m here to convince you that recording yourself speaking English is a great step towards better fluency and pronunciation.
Essentially, my motivation for getting my students to make voice or video recordings of themselves is mainly focused on three things:
1) Efficiency – because in a busy week, it’s usually easier to find 5 minutes to record something every day, then schedule a one-hour English lesson once a week.
2) Consistency – because again, doing just one lesson a week, you often only focus on English and your studies that one day and then forget about it until the next week. Instead, if you are doing something little, but every day, you are developing a regular habit of studying every day and keeping English top of mind.
3) Self-reflection – although it may initially make you feel uncomfortable, it’s an important habit to develop when studying a language. You aren’t always going to have an English teacher by your side checking your work and the ability to evaluate yourself and think about where you could improve is a valuable skill to develop. Record, listen, re-record, what can you improve?
COMMUNICATION IS THE KEY
I’d also like to emphasise that communication is your main objective. Don’t obsess about being 100% grammatically correct, most of the time the person you want to communicate with won’t even notice your mistakes, they will be focused on your message.
And just like practising by speaking to your teacher and real people, the act of voice recording helps you build the confidence to just feel comfortable speaking to anyone, anywhere.
Finally, as a teacher, I am also able to really listen and focus on what my student’s are saying, without distraction. I can listen to something more than one time, checking details like pronunciation, or writing down the word order carefully so I can give detailed feedback. It also gives me time to think about other expressions that could be useful for the student to use.
Many of my students complain that they always use the same vocabulary all of the time. With the feedback I give to my students, I often give them new ideas.