I am becoming a geek… and loving it.
I always secretly admired geeks. My ex was an electric organ geek, as well as a cycling geek and I happily listened to him for hours as he described in minute details the workings of a 1960 Hammond Organ and the gradients of another vertical mountain pass.
Now it’s my turn. I am absolutely fascinated how the tongue controls how we sound! And the natural resting position of the tongue varies enormously depending on which country you or even your grandparents are from.
For example, if you are Chinese, the tongue rests quite far back in the mouth thus making it really difficult to make the l sound until you learn the English speaking position.
Also, which I find fascinating (!) even if you were born here, if your parents came here as immigrants, you will probably use your tongue like them EVEN though you assimilated the English sounds – and that is why there are some interesting English speaking habits of second generation British which are incredibly subtle but are so intrinsic to the sounds, they have to be recognized and modified before one achieve perfect clarity of English speech.
For example, how my tongue makes an L after a vowel, is completely different from second or third generation British with family from India/Pakistan/Poland or Italy. Hence it is so difficult for somebody to change their accent – before they find me!
Having spent years learning other accents myself, for voice over work, I too, have had to learn different positions of the tongue to speak different accents authentically – hence my students are learning these shortcuts and it’s a fast, pain free way of speaking clear, unaccented English!
English public speaking with confidence – what a result!