First, what is Elocution?
What is elocution, and why it is relevant nowadays?
Elocution is defined as the skill of clear and expressive speech, especially of distinct pronunciation and articulation. Alternatively, we can define it as the study of formal speaking, in all aspects of speech – from pronunciation and grammar to style, tone, and register.
Elocution can also be useful in the following situations:
- to recover full speaking ability after a stroke
- to overcome a speech impediment (eliding vowels, rhotacism, lisping)
- to overpower a speech disorder such as stuttering
- to develop language capability in people who are autistic and those with Down syndrome.
If you are aiming at improving any of these aspects for your speech or grammar elocution lessons will help you achieve your goals. Obama's speech is a great example of how important elocution can be and how it is possible to improve regardless of your difficulties.
How can I improve my elocution?
Elocution lessons help people learn how to speak more clearly and achieve their dream accent or speech.
Although elocution lessons are meant to improve one's speaking ability, it is important to know what type of elocution lessons to take to meet your specific needs.
Once you know if you are only looking to improve the tone, or if you also require help with grammar and other speech exercises. The most recommended option to improve your elocution is to find online or one-on-one classes with a private tutor that will adapt to your specific needs and challenges.
What are elocution lessons?
Elocution courses often incorporate reading out loud, speaking practice, accent modification and phonetics.
However, every situation is different, so every course has its own focus and specific aims according to your needs. The course aspects outlined here can give you a general idea of what to expect in an elocution lesson. Once you have discussed the learning outline with your tutor, you will be ready to start with your lessons.
Most lessons will include the following exercises to gradually help you improve your speech or grammar.
- Warm-up exercises: you will flex and stretch the muscles in your face, particularly your mouth and jaw. You will also warm up your vocal cords prior to engaging in any class activity. You may also do physical exercises or breath work, that will reinforce good posture and breathing.
- Reinforcement: your elocution teacher should take you back over your last session, to assess, what progress was made and how much you practised the assignment you were given.
- Repetition, a lot of repetition: your elocution teacher will have new words, phrases and texts already prepared for you to work on. Your tutor will lead the instruction, coaching you on how to position your lips, tongue, and jaw to form the sounds properly.
- Reading and speaking out loud: many people just starting elocution lessons feel more comfortable reading, while those who have been hard at work don't mind giving a speech of their own. Again, it comes down to whatever suits you and your situation the best.
the materials and pedagogy vary for each adult or child. For example, those working to overcome speech impediments will have different lessons than children who are autistic.
It is recommended to discuss with your child's professional team—doctors, and teachers, to determine which courses are best for their unique situation. If your child or teen is getting prepared for the GCSE exam, he might need someone that is knowledgeable about the test to help them in the best way possible.
Elocution for Adults
Adults usually look for elocution lessons to flatten out some of the more distinctive tones of your regional dialect and prepare for a specific task or job which requires a perfect or specific diction. Such as giving a speech, starting to participate in the theatre, or even just boosting your everyday self-confidence and self-expression.
If you're intent on studying it alone, you will have to have a recorder so that you can play back what you sound like in comparison to the text you're learning from and re-record it as often as you need to until you sound the way you aim to.
However, as stated before, speaking does not happen in a vacuum. Elocution takes time and a lot of practice.
While you could certainly work on your speech patterns without input or help, it would be far more effective to have someone to work with; someone who can guide you and make gentle corrections.
You can easily find elocution classes near you through the internet or on the Superprof platform, where you will find easily someone that can address your exact elocution needs.
Elocution for children
Elocution is not just for adults. Children and teens can profit hugely from taking elocution lessons, even if they don't have a speech impediment or a neurological condition such as autism.
These lessons provide the same benefits as they do for adults: increasing self-confidence and self-esteem, all while helping them earn better grades in school.
Depending on your child’s needs, you could consider an online elocution class or find an elocution tutor near you to help him improve or get ready for a specific exam.
It is recommended to be present during the first few sessions to oversee their work and discuss their challenges with their tutor and be able to address any questions or concerns before the lesson ends.
If your child requires assistance not only with his speech but also with his grammar, you might consider an English tutor that will provide a larger spectrum of help for your child.
How Can You Learn Elocution Online?
It might seem like a strange thing to be able to take elocution classes with an English teacher online. However, since COVID-19, you can study pretty much any subject you would like online, even when those subjects require you to practise speaking aloud.
This obviously includes elocution: all the different aspects of elocution – from intonation to pronouncing vowel sounds, can be now taught online.
Online elocution courses would benefit any teen or adult who sees public speaking in their future or needs a confidence booster.
Keep in mind, though, that speaking well cannot happen overnight, meaning that, improving your elocution, will require practice and patience.
The Best Places to Find Elocution Lessons Online
Whilst the internet is a wonderful place for learning, it is also a great place in which to be led astray. When you are conducting your search for elocution lessons, be smart and savvy. Through Superprof you are able to see a tutor’s profile and see their skills and qualifications, you are also able to request a first free class to discuss your needs and see if the tutor’s teaching style is a good fit.
Besides Superprof, there are other options to improve your elocution, they all vary in price and have different methodologies.
1. Improve Your Elocution with Cambridgeshire Elocution.
Cambridgeshire Elocution is a very professional teaching outfit that has gone completely online. Based in Cambridgeshire, they offer elocution training for the native English speaker and non-native speakers too.
You will pay for an annual or monthly subscription to generic content: video lessons on speaking skills and the desired English accent, the phonetic chart and the correct tongue and lip placement for pronunciation.
With the packages, you’ll also have the opportunity to book Skype lessons with Charlotte, the designer of the course. She’ll help you with any specific issues or difficulties you are having, whilst pointing you in the right direction for future improvement.
2. Get in Touch with UK Speech Academy for Elocution and Accent Reduction Online.
The UK Speech Academy is another elocution training organization/ With tutors that claim to instil improvements in their students after just one session, and with a range of different training opportunities – from business or personal contexts to dealing with nerves and overcoming your accent – there’s a good chance that these are one of the better elocution trainers out there.
As their name suggests, they focus on training for speeches as much as for elocution in a broader sense.
3. Find an Elocution Tutor with Superprof.
Superprof is a platform that connects prospective students with tutors from all over the world. With over ten million tutors globally, there are plenty of elocution tutors to choose from – either online or in person.
The Superprof platform is friendly to use and allows you to search for the subject you want to learn, scroll through the tutors available, check their skills and qualifications, and click to get a first elocution lesson. In the vast majority of cases, they’ll offer their first lesson free.
With Superprof, you’re completely flexible: find the tutor that suits you best according to your budget, needs and location.
How Can I Improve My Elocution?
If you have no time or patience for lessons; if there are no elocution teachers near you and learning online isn't an option, you can still improve your diction and grammar.
Your first step in becoming the speaker you always wanted to be is determining what you want to change or improve about how you speak.
If your case revolves around a lack of vocabulary, playing word games and reading more are good ways to remedy that situation. In the case of excess verbiage, a thesaurus can help you simplify your expressions until they're understood by the majority of people.
If a lack of confidence is negatively affecting your speech—speaking too fast, too softly or not at all are indications of such, exercises designed to boost self-confidence should be your first step.
Once you get in the habit of projecting confidence, your speech patterns will evolve naturally to mirror the new, assertive you.
What are the benefits of elocution?
Benefits will vary depending on your needs and expectations. But most students mention a renewed love of learning and higher self-esteem after taking some elocution lessons.
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