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Justin
Professional Teacher
Shadowing vs Repetition | Which is better for improving pronunciation?

Which is a better for improving pronunciation shadowing or repetition?

It seems to me like shadowing which is repeating what you hear simultaneously, is unnecessarily difficult. When repeating you can repeat what the speaker said in chunks, thus allowing you focus more on how the speaker is saying what they said.  You can pause, repeat, take a break breath and continue when you're ready.

When you are shadowing sometimes you've already pronounced something incorrectly so you have correct yourself in a microsecond and still worry about keeping up with the speaker.

What do you think? Which would you recommend to students who want to achieve native-like pronunciation?

Apr 21, 2019 6:44 PM
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Comments · 3
I agree 100%. Plus, the pause and repeat method actually requires keeping the language in memory for more than a few microseconds. In fact, we can often get better results by deliberately extending the time between listening and repeating, sustaining the audio memory in our short-term memory as long as possible. I honestly don’t know why so-called “shadowing” is such a buzzword. By the way, it's rather easy to go through the motions of shadowing without actually achieving accurate pronunciation (which means the student is practicing bad pronunciation). From what I've observed, the best first step is to study the phonology of one's target language before trying any sort of trendy technique.

April 21, 2019
I agree with @Phil  You could play around for a while doing repetitions to gain some input and recognize the difficult areas, but at a certain point, it's important to study some phonetics because there are some sounds that you may not know how to articulate correctly. I struggled for years trying to pronounce a simple "sim" (yes) in Portuguese, uttering things like "sim", "sin", etc,  until I studied a little of phonetics to realize that "im" is a simple nasal i vowel. 
April 21, 2019
In my view, for improving pronunciation is better repetition, and for improving intonation is better shadowing.
April 21, 2019
Justin
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, Portuguese, Spanish
Learning Language
Portuguese