Who will it help?
ClearSpeak provides training for many different organisations and the Catholic Church is one of these. Priests and seminarians who speak English as their second language may need help in pronouncing English clearly. However, it is not only ESL priests who may find clarity to be an issue.
If you are a priest:
- ESL and accented speakers – Do you wish to change to Standard Neutral English sounds with appropriate vowel length, stressing, rhythm and intonation?
- Native English and ESL speakers – Do you wish to increase overall speech clarity or overcome a habit of rushed delivery?
If so, this training aid will help you improve your diction when conducting the mass.
ClearSpeak’s Pronunciation of the Order of Mass consists of a workbook and USB data stick of ‘listen and repeat’ audio tracks. The workbook gives you useful information on how to improve pronunciation but reference is made to the Perfect Pronunciation book should you need further detail on producing Standard English sounds. With some basic knowledge of these sounds, attentive repetition of the audio exercises will enable you to deliver the mass in a clear and well-paced manner.
Variety of English
The voice coach uses Standard Neutral English. This can best be described as a ‘softer’ variety of British Received Pronunciation (the Queen’s English). In short, it sounds less ‘over the top’ than RP but will be perceived as ‘good English’ anywhere in the world. It is known for its clarity and blends naturally with any ESL accent.
This 57 page booklet gives you a printed copy of the key words and mass script for use with the audio tracks. It also outlines all English sounds and how to identify your sound ‘errors’. It provides techniques for changing pace and pronunciation clarity.
Memory stick audio exercises
You get ‘listen and repeat’ practice with key words in the mass before moving on to the mass itself. The key words selected occur frequently in the mass or are typically difficult for those with accent issues. Each word is presented leaving a gap for it to be repeated out loud.
The mass script is presented twice, in different modes. In both cases, the goal is to listen and then mimic what is heard as precisely as possible.
The script is delivered in phrases of around two to five syllables at a time, called a grab. These grabs deliberately do not divide words at normal phrase boundaries. This forces you to listen carefully to sounds and individual words rather than repeating familiar phrases automatically.
Here the coach delivers the script in a manner that observes normal language phrasing. Particular attention has been given to phrasing that supports the intention of the mass wording.
About the voice coach
The voice coach is Alison Kimble.