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08 / 01 / 2009

LEARNING TIPS: READING ALOUD: meaning and examples

Good morning.

When you speak English does it feel (physically) like you just can move your mouth, lips and tongue properly? Does it feel like your muscles are rigid, inflexible or "rusty" (oxidados). Do you think it would be easier to speak if you didn't feel this way?

There is a very physical part of speaking a language. I often compare the physical part of learning English to learning how to dance. Even if you know the dance steps, it will take time to create the movement "habits" in your legs, hips, torso, arms, etc. And the only way to do this is by dancing (not by reading about dancing).

If you want to make things physically easier when speaking English, then practice moving your mouth in English every day for 2-5 minutes.

Read an English text aloud (en voz alta) 2-5 minutes per day; consider doing this activity everyday... even on Sundays and bank holidays. It should be a daily habit.

The text you read can be from a textbook, a newspaper, a magazine, a website, a novel, or (of course) it can be the Ziggurat Daily Vitamin. You don't even have to understand what you are reading, you simply need to practice moving the hundreds of muscles in your lips, tongue and mouth that you need to speak English. Don't worry that you don't pronounce perfectly, just do your best.

I guarantee that if you do this activity every day for at least 3 months, you will notice an incredible change in your ability to pronounce English. You will gain fluency and confidence because that horrible feeling of your muscles feeling rigid will begin to disappear.

Remember that tomorrow we will send the Essential Weekly Vitamin for Spanish-speaking students of English. If you have any questions about today's Daily Vitamin, please post them in the Daily Vitamin Plus! forum section on our website (

Have a great day!