November 9, 2003 – Tongue Twisters

Original post

Language exchange in Yokohama today. I am meeting with an English grammar teacher who wants to improve her spoken English. I got to practice some Japanese, show off pics of Winnipeg, and exchanged tongue twisters. While she is practicing “How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood” and “She sells seashells by the seashore”, I will be trying out “namamugi namagome namatamago” and “tonari no kyaku wa yoku kaki kuu kyaku da”. I got pretty good at saying “namatamago” but everything else was very challenging.

2013 Update

She sells seashells by the seashore was one of my favourite teaching tools. In Japanese there is a sound for “she” but not “sea”. Walking through this slowly was good pronunciation practice. For more advanced students, I would use this to practice emphasizing certain words in a sentence. For example, I would ask “What does she sell by the seashore” and the student would respond “She sells seashells by the seashore.” with the emphasis on seashells. It was a bit cruel, but also a lot of fun.

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