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Everyday English 1
Everyday English 1

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Articulation

Sometimes it’s difficult to understand what people are saying because they don’t say the words clearly or they run the words into each other. It may sound as if they’re talking too fast, but it’s just that they’re not taking the trouble to speak clearly. Saying each word clearly is called articulation. Some people can speak very fast but still manage to say every word clearly: newsreaders, for example.

Activity 4 The importance of articulation

Timing: Allow about 5 minutes

Note some occasions when it is important to articulate clearly.

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Discussion

You might have thought of some of the following:

  • Speaking on the phone or leaving a voicemail message
  • Speaking to someone from another country
  • Speaking to your boss
  • Speaking to an official
  • Giving an announcement
  • Speaking in a meeting.

Activity 5 Say what?

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

Listen to the two short audios below. What is the difference between the two?

Download this audio clip.Audio player: 02_aud_articulation_b_muffled_master.mp3
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Download this audio clip.Audio player: 01_aud_articulation_a_clearly_master.mp3
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Discussion

You probably found the first audio difficult to understand as it sounds muffled and unclear. The speaker’s articulation is not good.

The second version is much easier to understand. The words are clear. The speaker’s articulation is good.