PURPOSE... This practice exercise will help improve your English pronunciation.
RECORD YOUR VOICE... Read the short true story below and record your voice. Try to read the story using 'intonation'***.
Use http://vocaroo.com/ (or any other audio recording program).
If you are using vocaroo.com for the first time, see the instructions at: http://www.italki.com/discussion/108503
*** Intonation is the raising and lowering of your voice as you read words, phrases and sentences. Intonation is used to show emphasis and emotions.
COMMENTS, SUGGESTIONS AND CORRECTIONS... All native English speakers are invited to comment and make corrections/suggestions. It would be helpful to the learner if you were to identify your accent based the country of origin.
My Canadian accent reading of the story can be heard at: http://vocaroo.com/i/s1tDdEtsS3Sk
My Sad True Story
When I was 8 years old my family lived in a small town. At Easter one of the stores sold baby chicks as pets. They were painted red and blue and they were so cute. I asked my mother if she would buy one for me and I promised her that I would take care of it and feed it every day.
I took good care of my chick, and after about one year he or she started to get bigger and fatter. Then one day, while we were having dinner (chicken), my father told me we were eating my pet. He did not say it to be cruel. Well .... I almost died ... I ran away from the table to my room and I cried and cried. The experience of eating my pet was quite a shock.
Now when I think about it I understand, but at that time it was such a terrible surprise to learn the truth - that I had eaten my own pet chicken.
I agree with you, Richard. We should never confuse fluency with speed. The faster people speak, the harder it is the follow them. This is especially the case with non-native speakers of a language.