Goals

This workshop training aims to give priests the skills needed to:

  • produce spoken English in a way that is easy for Americans to follow

  • proclaim the Gospel and other liturgical texts in a listener-friendly manner for North American audiences.

Method

Using techniques from the Compton P-ESL (Pronouncing English as a Second Language) method, participants will progress systematically through the essential elements of producing the target accent, including individual sounds, words, sentences and elements of prosody (rhythm, stress, intonation and phrasing). Participants will then apply these principles to their proclamation of liturgical texts, as well as by negotiating meaning in interpersonal encounters.

Format

This training is delivered in eight sessions, typically over two or three days, depending on the needs and availability of the diocese and the participants.

Sample Schedules

Materials

Speaking Pastoral English in America Course (S.P.E.A.C.) is the textbook created by instructors Jeff Jenkins and Clare Haden to help priests and other ministers serving in the United States produce listener-friendly speech patterns for U.S. audiences. S.P.E.A.C. targets each sound in North American Standard English and gives the speaker ample practice and techniques to produce the sound accurately and clearly. 

In addition to sound work, S.P.E.A.C.has sentence-level practice so that speech is produced with proper stress, phrasing, rhythm and intonation, all of which contribute to more comprehensible speech patterns. Words found in the practice list are compiled from the Roman Missal and the New American Bible Concise Concordance. The words are chosen because they are likely to be used in liturgical and pastoral contexts. An audio CD is included for the practice word lists.

Speaking Pastoral English in America Course (S.P.E.A.C.) is available in electronic form (PDF) from Lulu 

Sessions

Session 1: Introduction to North American Speech - Vowels, Part 1

This session focuses on how to train the ear to detect derivations between one's current speech patterns and those of target speakers and provides techniques that can be used to practice the target speech patterns for vowels.

Session 2: Introduction to North American Speech - Vowels, Part 2

Continuation of Session 1.

Session 3: Introduction to North American Speech - Consonants

This session focuses on how to train the ear to detect derivations between one's current speech patterns and those of target speakers and provide techniques that can be used to practice the target speech patterns for consonants.

Session 4: Speech Patterns for Increased Comprehensibility - Stress, Part 1

This session teaches how to apply target speech patterns to important features of linguistic comprehensibility. Particular attention is given to stress at the word level.

Session 5: Speech Patterns for Increased Comprehensibility - Stress, Part 2

This session teaches how to apply target speech patterns to important features of linguistic comprehensibility. Particular attention is given to stress at the sentence level.

Session 6: Speech Patterns for Increased Comprehensibility - Rhythm

This session teaches how to apply target speech patterns to important features of linguistic comprehensibility. Particular attention is given to sentence rhythm.

Session 7: Speech Patterns for Increased Comprehensibility - Intonation

This session teaches how to apply target speech patterns to important features of linguistic comprehensibility. Particular attention is given to the rise and fall of pitch in words and within sentences.

Session 8: Speech Patterns for Pastoral and Liturgical Ministry

This session focuses on how to apply target speech patterns to important speech tasks for priests, including proclamation, homiletics and spontaneous speech. Particular attention is given to phrasing, linking, volume and speed.