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
Note some occasions when it is important to articulate clearly.
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?
Listen to the two short audios below. What is the difference between the two?
Have you ever thought how wonderful it would be to live in a country cottage? Away from the fumes and smoke of the city you could enjoy a happier life in a real community setting. People in the country always have time to stop for a chat. Not like in the town where nobody cares about their neighbours.
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.