Talking the Talk

So here’s my audio-post.  I got over the fact that I don’t like to hear my recorded voice, wrote a script and read it out (most of it).  There were a few mistakes and err…umms along the way, but I just did what I tell the kids to do, “Keep going, we can edit the mistakes out later.”  I did just that!

Click to play*

This is my speaking voice; I mean this is the voice I use at school in class and with colleagues. I made a conscious effort to change and modify the way I spoke at teachers college 10 years ago. Out of school it’s a little more relaxed, but I maintain the same inflections, vocabulary and syntax. I still encounter occasional blank looks at particular phrases and sometimes I can see people ruminating, trying to decode exactly what I just said, because I used a familiar word in an unfamiliar context, but most of the time my altered English voice serves me well.

But I’m not English. I’m a Yorkshireman. I’m Yorkshire, a tyke. This is my real voice. It’s flatter and my Yorkshire accent is broader. I drop my aitches, miss out words like ‘the’ and the letter T and replace them with a glottal stop. Most vowels become short vowels, others undergo a shift, taking on other vowel sounds. Some words with a double O sound in become U and others are extended into diphthongs. Ends of words are shortened or clipped and unfamiliar dialect words may be used instead of Standard English words. Right doesn’t sound like write, Mother or mum stays much the same, but father is different, dad is not. Boys and girls are lads and lasses who like to play football on the grass and if a lad scored a goal he’d be really proud of himself. They might have brought something for their lunch, but if they haven’t brought anything they’ll have nothing to eat and will be hungry on the way home.

How many times have you heard an adult say, “I hate the sound of my own voice.” Someone (@klandmiles in Singapore) tweeted on Twitter last week, “Of course you hate the sound of your own voice, it’s in the rules.”

I wonder how children hear themselves. So do kids hate the sound of their own voice? Or do they listen and think, “Hey! That’s me!”

We expect children to want to record themselves on audio or video and many of them do, but a small percentage of them will feel as I still do…I hate the sound of my own voice. What can we do to nurture these students? How can we build their confidence and encourage them to participate and create in this way? Do they have to?

*audio recorded on a Nokia N95, three main takes and edited in Audacity

This post originally published at “At the Teacher’s Desk

4 Responses

  1. Hey lad. That wasn’t so bad now was it.

    I tell kids that they don’t like their own voice because they are so used to hearing it resonating inside their own head. If they hear it recorded enough they get used to to hearing it from outside their head and it doesn’t sound so different.

    Next step- a regular podcast???

  2. Congratulations and well done. I too, hate the sound of my own voice and will reluctantly demo how to record voice to my students but then immediately delete the evidence. I certainly can’t do what you have manage and that is to publish it on the www.

    Strangely I have never had a student refuse to record their voice over the years…. may be that is a characteristic of the “digital native”. They are OK with hearing their own voice.

  3. This is going to be a brief congratulations – I love it. Wrote you a lengthy treatise but lost it when the anti-spam malfunctioned (I have an ongoing issue with those things!).

  4. […] you’ve read my earlier post Talking the Talk you’ll know how I feel about hearing my recorded voice.  Yesterday the chance arose to take […]

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