in touch with real speech
In touch with real speech

Cool Speech: Hot Listening, Cool Pronunciation

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Buy the iPad app here

Downloadable Teacher’s Guides for introducing Cool Speech are here
and Student Guides are here

Cool Speech is a prize-winning English Language Teaching app for listening and pronunciation. It provides intensive listening practice, and teaches fluent pronunciation, using recordings of spontaneous speech. It is suitable for upper-intermediate and advanced students of English, who need to understand everyday speech and to speak clearly and fluently in everyday situations.

Hot listening – tap to understand fast speech

Learners of English find it difficult to catch words in normal speech, even the words that they know in writing. Cool Speech provides the answer to this problem, by taking learners into the fastest, least clear, parts of everyday speech and helps them to understand. Tap once they hear the original, tap twice they hear a clear version.

Buy the iPad app here

Recordings of four men

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Recordings by four men – Toby, Bob, Philip and Terry – are used to help you understand fast speech. Topics include jobs, an exam at Oxford, and banana farming in Brazil.See YouTube demonstrations here.

Recordings of four women

Four_women
Recordings by four women – Emily, Corony, Gail and Rachel – are used to help you understand fast speech. Topics include student jobs, and houses in New Zealand. See YouTube demonstrations here.

Buy the iPad app here

Hotspots

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A hotspot is a chunk of fast speech which is difficult to hear. You tap once on the hotspots, and hear them as they were originally spoken, you tap twice and hear them spoken slowly and carefully. There are twenty-four hotspot exercises. See YouTube demonstration here. 

Speed

Speed

A fast speech unit is a rhythmic chunk of fast speech between six and eleven words long. You learn to get the feel of fast speech by comparing versions of the same speech unit at different speeds. There are eight exercises.  See YouTube demonstration here.

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Rhythm

Rhythm

Rhythm work – you learn to get inside the rhythms of English speech by finding and marking the prominent (stressed) syllables. There are eight exercises. See YouTube demonstration here. 

Dictations

Dictations

Dictations – You see six lines of text from a fast recording. There are ten blanks, one each for very familiar words that sound very unfamiliar when spoken fast. Your task is to listen carefully, identify the words, and type them in. There are eight exercises. See YouTube demonstration here.

Buy the iPad app here

Cool Pronunciation – tap to speak accurately, clearly, fluently.

Cool Speech takes short extracts of spontaneous speech and uses them as the pronunciation model: the vowels and consonants of British English are covered, in both male and female voices. Each vowel and consonant is presented in a rhythmic unit of real speech in three forms: (i) the original spontaneous speech, (ii) a slow, careful version, and (iii) a fluent medium-paced version. You tap and listen, repeat, tap and record yourself, and compare your recording with the versions in Cool Speech.

Vowels and consonants, male & female voices, three different speeds

Vowel_female
You can choose to work with either a male voice or a female voice. You can then choose from four groups of vowels, or four groups of consonants. Each sound is presented in a rhythmic unit of speech, a speech unit. You can work with: (i) the original speech unit (which is usually fast), (ii) a slow careful version, or (iii) a fluent version at a comfortable average speed. You listen, repeat, record yourself, and compare your version with the version you hear on screen. See YouTube demonstration here.

Buy the iPad app here

Vowel_male

Want to know more? Email me: richardcauldwell@me.com

Author – Richard Cauldwell


Cool Speech is written by Richard Cauldwell, who has two decades of experience in turning recordings of everyday speech into learning materials. His first publication Streaming Speech: Listening and Pronunciation for Advanced Learners of English won a British Council ELTon prize in 2004.