Expressing Meaning through Intonation

Have you ever been misunderstood because someone thought your sarcasm was serious? It could have been that they missed the intonation of your voice, or it could be that in their culture, intonation is interpreted differently. We all know English is a tricky language to learn, especially when you throw in the voice patterns that make English unique.

Sometimes, intonation, or the rise and fall of your voice while speaking, can really help you out. You know you are hearing a question if the speaker’s voice rises at the end. A flat, monotone sentence can mean the speaker is being sarcastic, or a steady incline in phrasing can build excitement.

This can be a difficult thing for people who are not native English speakers to grasp. Partner and AXIOM friend Lauren Supraner of CAL Learning (Cultural and Language Training) has a half day workshop that focuses on this topic.Register for this intonation workshop here

Intonation is essential in English and gives important clues to help guide the listener.  Intonation shows a person’s meaning, emotions and intent, as well as grammar. Hearing and using correct intonation is often difficult for non-native speakers, especially those from tonal languages. In this interactive workshop, you will practice the most common intonation patterns to help increase spoken fluency.

You will learn intonation for:

  • Yes/no and wh- questions
  • Phrases vs sentences
  • Clarification
  • Lists
  • Parenthetical words and phrases
  • Nuances in meaning

This is part of a 7-part series on accent reduction and pronunciation for non-native speakers. Each session is one topic that Lauren can really dive into. These classes for up to 15 participants are more intensive that a longer session that might include several accent reduction techniques.

They also function singularly, so you can chose to attend one, a few, or all sessions. You don’t need to take them in order and you will not miss anything if you choose to take only a small subset of workshops.

Please contact us if you have any interest in these workshops. We’re happy to set up a schedule that works for your group.

-L&D thoughts
-Have a thought on our blog post? Please comment below, we love to start new discussions!

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