Lesson Summary 

Want to sound more natural in English? Practise with the Imitation Technique!
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This is an English imitation lesson that uses many of the business English expressions, idioms and phrasal verbs that have been featured in recent mmmEnglish lessons.
In this lesson, you’ll be able to practise using them in context, with the correct tone, pronunciation, intonation and facial expression!

There are 3 simple steps in my imitation lessons.
1. Listen to me and read the text on the screen.
2. Listen and then imitate me when the video pauses. Copy and repeat, exactly what I said, out loud!
3. Lastly, I’ll invite you to shadow me. Speak the words with me and copy the natural rhythm in my voice.

CLICK HERE to read the full lesson transcript.

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Video Transcript
Section 1
Hey this is Emma from mmmEnglish! It’s great to see you again! So tell me, have you got much planned for the weekend? It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, this is a really common question that gets asked all the time, right? At work, after class, when you’re just hanging out with friends. So do you know how to answer this question in English, really well?

I know how much you love speaking practice so in today’s lesson, we’re going to practise talking about the weekend. And after this lesson you’re going to be ready with some really common phrases and expressions that you can use in conversations all the time with your workmates, with your classmates or any other English-speaking mate of yours. And to make sure that you get the most out of this lesson, we’re going to be practising with the lesson, we’re going to be practising with the mmmEnglish Imitation Technique and it’s one of the most effective ways that you can reduce your accent and fix your pronunciation problems so that you speak English more clearly and more confidently. So stay tuned!

If you already know how the Imitation Technique works then feel free to skip ahead to step one. It starts right here. But if you’re new to the Imitation Technique, well you might be wondering what is it and how does it work. This technique is super effective because it teaches you to listen to the sounds and patterns of English and it trains you to produce some of those sounds yourself through repetition and controlled practice.

But most of all, it’s just a lot of fun. You’re going to be training your mouth with your ears by listening to the sounds and imitating them by listening to the sounds and imitating them or copying them rather than training your mouth with your eyes by reading and guessing what the pronunciation and the rhythm of those words are.

Now if you haven’t done a lesson like this before, stay cool, it’s okay. Don’t worry. There’s three really simple steps that you need to follow. And the first one is that you just need to listen to what I say and read the words on the screen as I say them. The second step is you’re going to listen to what I say but then there’ll be a pause so that you can repeat. but then there’ll be a pause so that you can repeat. You can copy what I’ve said exactly as I said it. You can copy what I’ve said exactly as I said it. And this is a step that you can repeat over and over again until you sound exactly like I do. And it’s okay to practise this step several times before you move on to step number three. You can even slow down the speed of the video down here so that you can practise slowly first and then return to normal speed. And you might want to do that because step number three is a bit of a challenge even for a native English speaker. So you’ll need to listen to what I’m saying but say it at the same time as I do, so you’ll speak as I speak.

Now it’s pretty much like singing along to your favourite song right? You’re not going to get it perfect the first time you try and it’s okay to make some mistakes. We’re going to have fun and you’ll improve over time with practice.

Today we’re going to be talking about our plans for the weekend. So this dialogue is going to be in future tenses because it hasn’t happened yet, it’s happening in the future. Now when someone asks you about the weekend, they might say:

“So what’s happening this weekend? Have you got any plans?”
“So, what are you guys doing on the weekend?”
“What are you guys up to on the weekend? Got much on?”

Now often your answer might be quite short especially if you don’t feel comfortable enough to have a full conversation yet but after our practice session today, I’m hoping that you’ll grab the opportunity to share as much detail as you can in English. We’re going to be practising a range of expressions that you can easily adapt to your own situation. So let’s try.

Step 1: Listen and Read

This weekend? I’m really looking forward to it, actually! I’ve got my sister visiting from overseas so I’m going to be playing tour guide for a few days! And Saturday is looking pretty good weather-wise, so we might go somewhere for breakfast, Bib and Tucker’s my go-to whenever I have people staying. Have you been there? Everything there is amazing and the view over the ocean is to die for. So yeah, I think we might start there, since it’s going to be nice. And then do a bit of exploring. Maybe we’ll stop in for lunch at the Botanic Gardens, it’s so beautiful there at this time of year. And they often have free concerts actually, so that could be pretty cool. And then on Sunday I think I’ll take her to the National Gallery and we’ll probably wander around the markets for a while. Actually, my friend’s playing in a band and she’s offered us free tickets so we’ll probably check that out too as long as we’re not too tired. So, I’ve got a lot planned! How about you? Have you got much on?

Step two. So now you need to imitate exactly what I say and that means you’re trying to copy my pronunciation, my word stress and the pauses in my sentence. You can even try and imitate my facial expressions and body language if you want, because that’s extra practice about communicating with more than just words. There’s going to be a pause after each sentence so that you can practise with me. There’ll be time for you to say it too so just relax and go with the flow. It’s just you and it’s me, there’s no one else here right now so let’s just have some fun.

Step 2: Imitate, Listen and Copy

This weekend? I’m really looking forward to it, actually! I’ve got my sister visiting from overseas so I’m going to be playing tour guide for a few days! And Saturday is looking pretty good weather-wise, so we might go somewhere for breakfast, Bib and Tucker’s my go-to whenever I have people staying. Have you been there? Everything there is amazing and the view over the ocean is to die for. So yeah, I think we might start there, since it’s going to be nice. And then do a bit of exploring. Maybe we’ll stop in for lunch at the Botanic Gardens, it’s so beautiful there at this time of year. And they often have free concerts actually, so that could be pretty cool. And then on Sunday I think I’ll take her to the National Gallery and we’ll probably wander around the markets for a while. Actually, my friend’s playing in a band and she’s offered us free tickets so we’ll probably check that out too as long as we’re not too tired. So, I’ve got a lot planned! How about you? Have you got much on?

Before we move to step number three, a really quick shout out to our friends over at Skillshare who’ve made it possible to bring you this Imitation Lesson for free. Skillshare is an online community with thousands of classes covering all kinds of subjects that you can do in your spare time or maybe you could even do them on the weekend.

There are two reasons why I recommend Skillshare to my students. Firstly because not only are you learning new skills, but you’re also learning new vocabulary and real-world expressions to talk about the things that you’re into. And secondly, because it’s affordable. For less than ten dollars a month, you can get access to a huge range of courses from teachers around the world. I find myself using the Skillshare library all the time whenever I need to upskill. In fact, just this month my mum has been getting our family home ready to sell so I thought I’d love to help her to get the place looking amazing before it goes on the market and people come around to have a look. I found a brilliant interior styling course, taught by a professional stylist that had me taught by a professional stylist that had me filled with ideas in just over an hour. It was just the kind of expert guidance that I needed to make everything happen. So if you want to try it out, jump online using the link in the description below this video to get yourself two months of premium level access for free. And let me know what Skillshare courses you end up taking. Alright, let’s get back to step number three.

Now we’re moving on to step three which is a little more challenging so don’t forget that you can pause right here, go back and practise section two as many times as you need before you keep going. This is just going to take a little bit of practice. So now you’re going to shadow me and that means listening and speaking at the same time. So try to copy the rhythm and the tone that I use even if it means that you get yourself a little tongue-tied for a while there. It’s okay. Don’t worry about it.

Step 3: Shadow

This weekend? I’m really looking forward to it, actually! I’ve got my sister visiting from overseas so I’m going to be playing tour guide for a few days! And Saturday is looking pretty good weather-wise, so we might go somewhere for breakfast, Bib and Tucker’s my go-to whenever I have people staying. Have you been there? Everything there is amazing and the view over the ocean is to die for. So yeah, I think we might start there, since it’s going to be nice. And then do a bit of exploring. Maybe we’ll stop in for lunch at the Botanic Gardens, it’s so beautiful there at this time of year. And they often have free concerts actually, so that could be pretty cool. And then on Sunday I think I’ll take her to the National Gallery and we’ll probably wander around the markets for a while. Actually, my friend’s playing in a band and she’s offered us free tickets so we’ll probably check that out too as long as we’re not too tired. So, I’ve got a lot planned! How about you? Have you got much on?

How about you? Have you got much on? The best thing that you can do is save this lesson to a playlist and come back to it to practise it each day or a few times a week. You’ll be amazed at how much progress you make in such a short amount of time. And once you get comfortable talking about my weekend, you can try adapting it to talk about your weekend.

In fact, what are you doing this weekend? What have you got planned? Let me know down there in the comments. I’m keen to hear your stories. And if you have a request for different types of Imitation Lessons, then make sure you let me know as well. If you’d like to support what we do here at mmmEnglish, we’ve got packs of Imitation Lessons available for sale via our website. They’re affordable and they’re going to give you hours and hours of speaking practice. The link is in the description below. Thanks for watching and I will see you in the next lesson!

mmmEnglish Video Lessons are a series of video lessons created to build confidence in English learners and focus on English in daily life. Download them and watch them anywhere! Subscribe to my YouTube Channel to be the first to get my new videos, and come and say hi on my Facebook page!!