Fun English Conversation Practice Exercise
In some ways, English conversation practice exercises can be boring. So Adept English is always on the lookout for ways to keep your English conversational practice interesting.
This time we've decided to use something that small children love when learning to speak English (any language really) and it's called a "tongue twister."
Hi I’m Hilary and this is the latest podcast from Adept English. Today it’s Thursday, so this is our short podcast – intending to be a bit easier, a bit shorter and sometimes more fun, more light-hearted than the regular Monday podcast. But the Monday podcast is still good!
Have you heard the English term ‘tongue twister’? Well, your tongue is the pink thing in your mouth. It helps you eat your food – but your tongue is also used when you speak. You can make a noise with your tongue in your mouth, which sounds like this…. That’s your tongue. And a twister – well the verb ‘to twist’ means something goes round and round. It turns round on itself. A twister is a word that is sometimes used to mean a tornado – a wind which goes round and round and round and causes a lot of damage. But that’s not what’s meant here. A ‘tongue twister’ is a saying, a phrase or a rhyme that ‘twists your tongue’ because it’s so difficult to say.
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So in English we have lots of tongue twisters – silly sayings, or phrases, or more often verses or rhymes, rather like a poem. But the whole point of them is that they’re hard to say. I’ll give you an example in a minute.
I’m not expecting that you’ll be able to say it – I’m not even sure I’m going to be able to say it, but it’ll show you what a tongue twister is – and if you practice and you can say it, then I’m sure that lots of other English words will seem really easy by comparison!
We Have Enough Interesting Conversational English To Keep You Busy All Day Every Day
The other thing to say about tongue twisters – they don’t necessarily have to make sense. They can be what is called nonesense. The one I’m about to say for you is from a book called Fox in Sox by Dr Seuss. It’s American, it’s quite old, and it’s very good.
And Dr Seuss books contain a lot of tongue twisters. Children love them, especially little children interestingly, when they’re just learning to speak English!
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"Tongue Twisters" Are Fun Speaking Practice For English Language Students
Just a bit of vocabulary first of all to help you. The tongue twister that I’m going to say to you talks about ‘cheese trees’. This is nonesense – it just means trees made out of cheese, which of course don’t exist. And it talks about fleas, F-L-E-A-S. Fleas are little insects – the sort that might live on your dog or cat – and which might bite you.
So the rhyme talks about ‘Three – that’s the number three, free fleas’. Free F-R-E-E just means that the fleas are not in prison, they have their liberty. So again, it’s nonesense - fleas don’t usually get put into prison.
The rhyme uses the words ‘Freezy breeze’ - so again, the point is that it rhymes and it’s hard to say. ‘To freeze’ in English means to become icy, to set solid with the cold – and freezy F-R-E-E-Z-Y isn’t actually a word. It’s made up – but you can kind of tell it means ‘cold’. And a breeze? A breeze just means a light wind, air which blows.
So ‘freezy breeze’ means a cold wind. And to rhyme with this, the tongue twister then uses the word sneeze, S-N-E-E-Z-E. This is the verb ‘to sneeze’ - and it means when you go ‘Atishoo’ like that! So here goes, will I actually be able to say it?
- Through three cheese trees three free fleas flew.
- While these fleas flew, freezy breeze blew.
- Freezy breeze made these three trees freeze.
- Freezy trees made these trees’ cheese freeze.
- That’s what made these three free fleas sneeze.
Well, there you are – huh - that was our first tongue twister. And what a difficult one. Anyway, if you want something more serious and dedicated to learning, check out our courses at adeptenglish.com – and if you haven’t already, sign up for our free course, the Seven Rules of Adept English. All the secrets of learning to speak a language fluently are in there. And of course, have a go at our tongue twister.
Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.
As you will have heard, this lessons was difficult (in a fun way) even for a native English speaker to finish. If you found it difficult then do not worry, we offer many English language lessons online for English learners. You can choose from over a hundred different English conversation topics and exercises here.
We have lots of other tips on learning to speak English here.
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