Better pronunciation with Audacity

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If you want to have better pronunciation you could try using some free software called Audacity. Audacity is a free open source programme which is perfect for recording your voice, listening to yourself and comparing yourself with a native speaker. Here I am giving details about exactly how to do it!

1. Go and download the Audacity software from their website: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

2. Now you can record and listen to yourself and see your speech patterns. Press on the red circle to RECORD yourself. Say something. Press the yellow square to STOP it. Press the green arrow PLAY button to hear yourself. But of course you can do that with any old sound recorder. What you want is to listen to yourself next to a native speaker. I have made an MP3 file for you to practise with.

3. Download my MP3 file here to your computer: World Poverty (right click on your mouse and save link)

4. Then you have to import my MP3 file into Audacity. In Audacity under the PROJECT menu choose IMPORT AUDIO and choose the MP3 file you downloaded World Poverty.

5. PLAY the MP3 file by hitting the green arrow and listen to my talk. It is the start of a presentation about World Poverty. As you listen, read along with my voice:

Hello and thank you for coming to my presentation. Today I’m going to talk to you about world poverty. Did you know that approximately half the population of the world, and that’s about 3 billion people, live on less than $2.50 a day? And that 1/3 of those people live on less than $1 a day? Yes, less than $1 a day, every day. Research tells us that 25 000 children die every day because of poverty. This ongoing injustice should be a concern to all of us and this is the subject of my presentation today. First of all, I’m going to look at some of the effects of living in poverty and then I’ll move on to examine some possible ways of relieving some of the poverty we see in the world.

6. Now you are ready to record yourself and compare your pronunciation with mine. In Auduacity go to the EDIT menu, choose PREFERENCES at the bottom and make sure that the box Play other tracks wile recording the new one is ticked.

7. Press the red RECORD button. You can hear my talk. Audacity will record your voice too. Read along with me for the first part of the talk. The second time that I read I have left pauses for you to repeat my words. These are the breaks:

Hello and thank you for coming to my presentation.
Today I’m going to talk to you about world poverty.
Did you know that approximately half the population of the world,
and that’s about 3 billion people,
live on less than $2.50 a day?
And that 1/3 of those people
live on less than $1 a day?
Yes, less than $1 a day, every day.
Research tells us that 25 000 children die every day
because of poverty.
This ongoing injustice
should be a concern to all of us
and this is the subject of my presentation today.
First of all,
I’m going to look at some of the effects of living in poverty
and then I’ll move on to examine
some possible ways of relieving some of the poverty we see in the world.

You will get used to how it works quickly. When you have recorded your voice press the yellow STOP square.

8. PLAY the file to listen to my voice and then your voice.

As you get used to Audacity you will see that you can focus in on parts and you can use the visual pattern to help too. My students admitted that they had never listened to themselves speaking English. I think you should!