What makes us sad at Rethink Speech is when the people who most need to rethink speech walk away from it, thinking it is a course for phonetics students – which is not right at all.
Rethink Speech is designed for some very specific kinds of people
Read on to see what kind – you might be surprised to discover you are one of them!
Let’s start with who doesn’t need to rethink speech
Rethink Speech aims to help you recognise false beliefs about speech, and replace them with more reliable knowledge.
Now, honestly, if all you want to do with speech is talk to familiar people about familiar things – false beliefs about speech won’t do much harm. You can safely leave Rethink Speech aside – unless you happen to be a curious person who prefers true beliefs to false ones.
It’s when you step outside these everyday skills that false beliefs become problematic
Confident false beliefs about speech are a serious hindrance in practical areas like
- speaking to less proficient speakers,
- teaching pronunciation or literacy, or
- ensuring juries interpret forensic recordings accurately.
If you are engaged in one of these areas, especially at a level of responsibility and authority, you really do need to get involved with Rethink Speech.
Rethink Speech has a very specific aim. Unfortunately it is one that is easy to misunderstand, so it’s worth taking a moment to make it as clear as possible.
Let’s start by saying what Rethink Speech is not.
Rethink Speech is not an introduction to phonetics. It’s an introduction to the nature of speech and how it works. That might seem like a subtle distinction but it is really crucial.
Though Rethink Speech presents some very advanced findings of phonetic science about the nature of speech – in a purely conceptual way.
Its focus is not on giving you factual information about speech, but on helping you unlearn false beliefs you have held confidently since childhood.
The intention is to clear the decks