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Native speakers wanted!

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ESL Forum | What do you want to talk about?
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Native speakers wanted! #61 (permalink) Fri Sep 05, 2008 10:40 am   Native speakers wanted!

You can make amendments to obvious mistakes and give your feedback to the hands that feed you, but you should stay on track as far as the cuisine goes (coz this ain't your restaurant).

What does "stay on track as far as the cuisine goes" mean, in this context?
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Brandee's Readings #62 (permalink) Fri Sep 05, 2008 13:26 pm   Brandee's Readings

Ralf wrote:
There are 10 cooks and 10 recipes, and at the end of the day the broth is spoilt.
Ralf, I can't help but feel that you and I are reading different threads. :lol:

Don't forget that Torsten specifically requested feedback. The team feedback has functioned quite well and has also been remarkably harmonious as far as I can see. If you look again, you'll see that there is quite a lot of consensus about Brandee's recording, along with some useful tips.

There has been agreement on all of the following points:

- It is appropriate to slow down a bit in recordings for beginner/elementary level learners.
- It is appropriate to slow down a bit in certain types of texts -- for example, one that gives instructions.
- It is important for the speech in ESL recordings to be natural and not artificial.
- Exposure to a variety of accents is valuable for an ESL learner
- The recordings should be made as interesting and lively as realistically possible

Alex initially commented that Brandee didn't sound realistic. I thought it was valuable to also get some input from a non-native speaker of English. What I got from Alex's comments is that Brandee would have been speaking much too slowly if her recording had been intended for a more advanced learner -- which is what Alex clearly is. Otherwise, Alex seems to agree that Brandee is a good choice. (If I'm misinterpreting here, I encourage Alex to tell me I'm wrong.) :lol:

It seems to me that the main "naysayer" in this thread was Molly. However, Molly also argued in favor of natural speech and liveliness.

I think Brandee may have possibly misinterpreted some of the comments about other recordings as indirect criticisms of hers. She mentioned the word "boring" in her post. Alan said this about Stew's recording:
Alan wrote:
So often information like this read out aloud can sound painfully boring but Stew avoided that trap.
My impression was that it was Alan's intention to give Stew some positive feedback, and then also to make a general point. His general point is a useful tip for anybody who makes makes one of these recordings. If I've misinterpreted Alan's words, I feel certain that he will tell me so.

Finally, you will notice that Brandee made a point of saying she is not an ESL teacher, that she doesn't know who her audience is, and that input is appreciated. I think that's good feedback from her. To simply tell someone "Here, record this text" and then provide no further information whatsoever would definitely not be the best approach to a project such as this.

In a nutshell, I don't see any spoiled broth here at all, and I definitely don't see 10 different recipes. On the contrary, I see that a lot of useful input, support and feedback has been provided, and those ingredients will help the broth to be as tasty and nourishing as possible.
"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." ~ Abraham Lincoln
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Native speakers wanted! #63 (permalink) Fri Sep 05, 2008 13:50 pm   Native speakers wanted!

Thank you all. I probably should not have posted last night as I was recovering from not feeling well and was overly sensitive. Not that I am not always sensitive to criticism, but while sick it seems to be very high!

Thank you Amy for putting it into bullet points,that helps. The ego sometimes takes over and all you see is the negative. Thank you Ralf for your input. I think by the different recordings you can hear me switch gears. Sometimes is it mine, others I am all over the place. I agree. Reading it over several times will help. The stories are quite witty and a great play on words. Sometimes I struggle with the flow if I do not understand it.

Back to a question of mine? Read it like a "story" with emotion? Or read it like text?

Thank you all for taking the time to give input and feedback. Much appreciated! :)
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Native speakers wanted! #64 (permalink) Fri Sep 05, 2008 15:45 pm   Native speakers wanted!

Hi Brandee,

It is in the nature of this forum and no doubt any forum that once you commit yourself to making an appearance online, there are bound to be people offering advice. All I would do is congratulate you on having undertaken to read the texts in the first place and from my point of view it's interesting to hear them read aloud. As for your style in reading them, I would only recommend that you be yourself and simply imagine you are reading them to a group of people sat in front of you. I think both Stew and Ralph have adopted the right style by giving the impression that they aren't actually reading from a script but conversing with the 'audience' out there. Some years ago when I used to read my scripts translated from English into German for the BBC German service, I remember being told by an experienced producer: 'We don't want to 'hear the paper' in your reading. We want to imagine you are talking to the listeners.' And he was dead right.

Good luck

English as a Second Language
You can read my ESL story Present Simple
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Native speakers wanted! #65 (permalink) Fri Sep 05, 2008 17:25 pm   Native speakers wanted!

'We don't want to 'hear the paper' in your reading. We want to imagine you are talking to the listeners.'

I agree with him.
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Native speakers wanted! #66 (permalink) Sat Sep 06, 2008 5:20 am   Native speakers wanted!

Thank you Alan. That helps quite a bit. However, I think I may have a ways to go on that, as that behavior is indicitive of a teacher. Presenting text is definitely the behavior of a teacher. This subject is foreign to me. The proper use of english would be the foreign subject. I am American afterall. :lol: I am learning quite a bit. :D The last time I read or spoke of prepositions was a minimum of 20 years ago, without completely dating myself. :shock:

I am happy to keep reading, as I am actually enjoying it. I will keep reading and listening to input until someone says to stop! :D

Fingers crossed for Hurricane Ike to not cause too much damage in South Florida.

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Native speakers wanted! #67 (permalink) Sun Sep 07, 2008 23:02 pm   Native speakers wanted!

Hi Alan! :D
I am very excited..I thought on what you suggested and on the others input and tried a different approach. I got into the hand gestures and all to make it more authentic. When the behavior is authentic, hopefully it comes through in the sound! :D I am not sure yet. I only sent them in last night, but I have a feeling these will be much better. Now instead of "reading" the text I am actually presenting the text, but with my own personality. Which...may be too much?!

I am sure everyone will let me know if it is. I just wanted to share that it is coming to me better and making more sense. It takes a bit for things to sink in with me.

I look forward to hearing your opinion on the latest essays! :D

Thank you!
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Native speakers wanted! #68 (permalink) Tue Sep 09, 2008 17:29 pm   Native speakers wanted!

Hello everyone,

What do you make of Michelle Michelle Fiorito's sample recording?

Many thanks,

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Torsten Daerr

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Native speakers wanted! #69 (permalink) Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:08 am   Native speakers wanted!


In general very clear pronunciation.

She seems to have gone for a style in the example sentences that sounds instructive and a little forced as opposed to natural.

I guess it depends what you are looking for, doesn´t it?

Her accent comes through at points. Especially you can hear the difference from my and her recording on words like auxiliary. She has a clear accent to my ears and is quite easily comprehensible to me.

Here though it can be down to the exposure of the learner. Mainstream accents used in the media, as well as less regional versions are easier due to exposure.
However this can also be determined by the teacher, in that a student with for example a Scot as a teacher is more inclined to understand him as opposed to a guy from NY.

I guess it is also in the ball park of making streamlined recordings for levels, or challenging the learner. But it kind of, as all the debate does here, reminds me of one of my favourite websites;

I like this as it gives variety of exposure, and repeated texts for comparison.
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Native speakers wanted! #70 (permalink) Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:09 am   Native speakers wanted!


What do you think of Michele Laboda's recording? You can listen to Michele on this page.

Many thanks,

TOEIC listening, photographs: A picnic
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Native Speakers Wanted! #71 (permalink) Sat Nov 01, 2008 11:12 am   Native Speakers Wanted!

Hi Torsten,

I'm interested in recording for audio cd's, but I'm not sure what texts you are referring to, I'd like some more information please.

I'm not sure how to enable Javascript in order hear the sample recordings.


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Native speakers wanted! #72 (permalink) Sun Nov 02, 2008 4:19 am   Native speakers wanted!

Dear Torsten,

I am interested in working for your company reading and recording your written texts. I have done a lot of reading to children and older adults and have been told that I read well and I have worked at a number of jobs which involved extensive telephone work and have been told that I have a pleasant phone voice and reading voice.

I am a native speaker of English, an American, currently residing in Austin, Tx, usa. I am a retired teacher and currently do freelance writing and research for an American company, writing articles for several of their newsletters and developing educational materials. I have posted on your forum a few times using the name I use on Internet forums and on my writing. You know me as Laura Bright. You commented on my introductory forum post in which I described some things about myself and my life, including the fact that I am totally blind. I have always enjoyed reding aloud and now, with the advances in computer technology that allow me to access information and to do recording via the computer, it seems that I may be able to make a bit of money doing something I love. It has always seemed a bit ironic that reading aloud has generally been a closed field for blind people, with the possible exception of reading to children or older people in nursing homes or people in hospitals who can not read. Additionally, there has been a relatively small amount of literature in Braille from which we can choose to read out loud. Now, however, I can access the printed text of your sample and submit my MP3 recording of it for your review and, hopefully, your approval.

Although your original post about reading seems to be dated in August, I did not come across it until today. If you are no longer seeking individuals to read, feel free to disregard this post. Otherwise, please let me know via private message. I will be happy to submit a recording. Please let me know to which address I may upload the file if you are still seeking readers.

Thank you for your consideration.

Laura Bright
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Native speakers wanted! #73 (permalink) Mon Dec 01, 2008 15:38 pm   Native speakers wanted!

Hi Throsten

I think the first 4 dialogue samples are clear. The accent is not overbearing and they speak clearly - this should be the aim of dialogue. The samples 5 and 6 lean too strongly on American pronunciation, which should be labelled clearly for those who want to speak that way.
S. Becker
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Native speakers wanted! #74 (permalink) Wed Mar 11, 2009 18:42 pm   Native speakers wanted!

I really liked Tom Kane's recording - His voice is brilliant!

I would like to contribute, but my accent probably isn't neutral enough (Somerset).
I'm new here and I like it ;-)

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Native speakers wanted! #75 (permalink) Thu Mar 12, 2009 21:27 pm   Native speakers wanted!

Jimb0678, it has to be more neutral than American, surely. ( Geordielad ) LOL.
Keep it simple ... Keep it interesting.
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