Advanced Speaking Practice: English Imitation Lesson

Lesson Overview

Lesson Summary 

Speaking English clearly and confidently takes practice. This lesson (and my other imitation lessons) will help you to practice regularly; reduce your accent and pronunciation problems quickly, and develop the confidence to speak in English!
(Plus, practice your listening skills!)

Have you practised with my imitation lessons before?
There are three simple steps to follow, and I give clear instructions in the video!
If you know how it works, head straight to timestamp 03:34 to get started!


Video Transcript
Section 1
Hey this is Emma from mmmEnglish! I’m super excited that you’re here and that you’re spending some time with me today to improve your English.

In this lesson, we’re going to be doing some more speaking skills practice and in particular, we’re going to be practising with the mmmEnglish Imitation Technique which is one of the most effective ways to reduce your accent and to fix your pronunciation problems so that you speak more clearly and confidently in English.

And it’s effective because it teaches you to listen to the sounds and the patterns of English and trains you to produce those same sounds yourself through repetition and controlled practise. You’re training your mouth with your ears by listening to the sounds and imitating them rather than training your mouth with your eyes by reading and guessing the pronunciation and the rhythm of words on a page.

Now if you haven’t done a lesson like this before, don’t worry, it’s really simple and I’m going to explain each step for you so that you know exactly what you need to do. You just need to get ready to speak out loud with me. If you’re new to my channel or new to the Imitation Technique, I’ve got some courses available via the mmmEnglish website to help you practise this way and you can find out more about them up here or I’ve added the link in the description below.

To practise with the Imitation Technique, there’s just three simple steps that you need to follow. The first one is, well you just need to listen to what I say and read the words on the screen as I say them. Next, you’ll be listening to what I say but then there’ll be a pause so that you can repeat what I said. You need to copy me exactly as you hear me. This step, you can do again and again and again until you sound or you think you sound exactly as I do. And it’s okay to practise many times before you move on to the third step. You can even slow down the speed so that you can practise a little more slowly before stepping up to regular pace because step three is a challenge, even for a native English speaker. You’re going to be listening to me and saying what I’m saying at the same time and that’s pretty much like practising along to your favourite song, right? You can’t really do it straightaway but with a little bit of practice it gets easier and you’ll start having fun.

Now although this step is also the trickiest one, it’s the best way to fine-tune your natural speaking skills. You’ll get to hear what I’m saying and what you’re saying at the same time so that you can adjust the sounds and the rhythms so that you can match me. You are going to make a lot of mistakes but who cares?We’re going to have fun!

Today we’re going to practise talking about a past trip. Now I’m going to be sharing a story with you about my recent trip to Portugal. Talking about travel is a really great way to start a conversation because there is lots of opportunity to ask questions and to share your own travel experiences with someone. Keep in mind that you can easily exchange my story with your own story about traveling as well especially once you’ve been practising with me for a little while. All right? Let’s get started.

Step 1: Listen and Read

I’ve just come back from a trip to Portugal! Lisbon, actually. Was a bit of a last-minute decision. My friend was attending a conference there and she convinced me to tag along! I don’t usually make spontaneous decisions like that but it all just happened at the right time. I actually didn’t know that much about Lisbon before I went. Have you been? I had no idea what an incredible city it is. And oh my god, the food! I ate so many pastéis de nata, I thought I was going to burst! The city is full of beautiful cobblestone streets. I spent so much time just wandering around in the sunshine, you know? Winding my way through historic neighbourhoods. Actually one of the coolest things we did was jump in a tuk-tuk with a guide. We went up this steep hill and had an amazing view over the city. You know what a tuk-tuk is, right? It’s like a little motorbike with a cabin on the back where you can sit. It was a really fun way to get around. And easier than walking because oh my god, it was so hot! And our guide, her name was Paula, she grew up in Lisbon and she was just a wealth of knowledge. She was full of stories about her childhood and about the history of the city. She took us to cool little back streets and, you know, we explored some amazing street art. There’s just no way that we would have found all of those hidden gems ourselves. I really wish we could have stayed longer! I definitely want to go back there one day! What about you, have you got any travel plans coming up?

Now you need to imitate exactly what I say and that means you’re trying to copy my pronunciation and my word stress and even the pause in my sentence. You could even try and copy my facial expressions to practise communicating with more than just words. There’s going to be a pause after each sentence so that you can practise out loud with me okay? Or after me. So just relax and go with the flow. It’s just you and me here right now, okay? So let’s just have some fun.

Step 2: Listen and Imitate

I’ve just come back from a trip to Portugal! Lisbon, actually. Was a bit of a last-minute decision. My friend was attending a conference there and she convinced me to tag along! I don’t usually make spontaneous decisions like that but it all just happened at the right time. I actually didn’t know that much about Lisbon before I went. Have you been? I had no idea what an incredible city it is. And oh my god, the food! I ate so many pastéis de nata, I thought I was going to burst! The city is full of beautiful cobblestone streets. I spent so much time just wandering around in the sunshine, you know? Winding my way through historic neighbourhoods. Actually one of the coolest things we did was jump in a tuk-tuk with a guide. We went up this steep hill and had an amazing view over the city. You know what a tuk-tuk is, right? It’s like a little motorbike with a cabin on the back where you can sit. It was a really fun way to get around. And easier than walking because oh my god, it was so hot! And our guide, her name was Paula, she grew up in Lisbon and she was just a wealth of knowledge. She was full of stories about her childhood and about the history of the city. She took us to cool little back streets and, you know, we explored some amazing street art. There’s just no way that we would have found all of those hidden gems ourselves. I really wish we could have stayed longer! I definitely want to go back there one day! What about you, have you got any travel plans coming up?

Now we’re moving on to step three which is a little more challenging. Don’t forget that you can pause here right now, go back and practise section two as many times as you need to before we keep going. This is going to take a little bit of practice but right now you need to shadow me and that means listening and speaking at the same time. Try to copy the rhythm and the tone that I use even if it means you get a little tongue-tied at first. It doesn’t matter.

Step 3: Shadow

I’ve just come back from a trip to Portugal! Lisbon, actually. Was a bit of a last-minute decision. My friend was attending a conference there and she convinced me to tag along! I don’t usually make spontaneous decisions like that but it all just happened at the right time. I actually didn’t know that much about Lisbon before I went. Have you been? I had no idea what an incredible city it is. And oh my god, the food! I ate so many pastéis de nata, I thought I was going to burst! The city is full of beautiful cobblestone streets. I spent so much time just wandering around in the sunshine, you know? Winding my way through historic neighbourhoods. Actually one of the coolest things we did was jump in a tuk-tuk with a guide. We went up this steep hill and had an amazing view over the city. You know what a tuk-tuk is, right? It’s like a little motorbike with a cabin on the back where you can sit. It was a really fun way to get around. And easier than walking because oh my god, it was so hot! And our guide, her name was Paula, she grew up in Lisbon and she was just a wealth of knowledge. She was full of stories about her childhood and about the history of the city. She took us to cool little back streets and, you know, we explored some amazing street art. There’s just no way that we would have found all of those hidden gems ourselves. I really wish we could have stayed longer! I definitely want to go back there one day! What about you, have you got any travel plans coming up?

Wow! Congratulations for making it through! Make sure you save this lesson to a playlist and keep coming back to practise with me. Once you get comfortable telling my story, then you can try adapting your own travel stories.

In fact, have you been to Portugal or had a trip like mine? Let me know about it in the comments. I’m super curious. Portugal is amazing! Many of you have been requesting more Imitation Lessons lately so that you can practise your speaking skills with me so let me know what lessons you want. Do you want conversations about work, about travel, about disagreeing with someone or arguing? Let me know what you want in the comments and I’d be really happy to make them for you.

If you’d like to support what we do here at mmmEnglish, we’ve got packs of Imitation Lessons for sale through our website. They are really affordable and they give you hours and hours of speaking practice. The link is in the description below so you can check it out anytime.

Thanks for watching and I’ll see you next week!

Links mentioned in the video

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