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Learning Languages

Posted in Random Reflections

At the time of writing, I just finished watching a fascinating three-part video series about North American Accents. It’s definitely meant for linguists or language enthusiasts, referencing multiple terms I didn’t quite understand.

However, it got me thinking on a topic I’ve pondered before.

In order to speak a language, you must make the correct mouth and tongue movements. You have to be sure that your lips and jaw form the correct shapes, and that your tongue is in the right location to make authentic sounds.

Somehow, as children, we pick this up easily, without needing explicit tuition, for the most part. However, as adults, that seems to elude us. Dialect coaches teach, even focus on, these movements with — from my point of view — a better success rate than traditional language education.

Why then, are these movements and positions not explicitly taught in school, especially when language is taught later, as it is in much of the USA? I don’t have an answer, it’s just something that’s been buzzing around in my brain for a while.

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