Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 99 | Pronunciation for Speaking | Rhythm in Rhetorical Devices

Effective speakers use pronunciation features to highlight and emphasize rhetorical features. Variation — cahnging speed, volume, pitch, and use of pauses — keeps your delivery interesting and listeners engaged.

  • Pauses highlight important ideas or give listeners a moment to consider what has been said.
  • Stress emphasizes the key words and contrasts the speaker wants to make.
  • Pitch changes show the speaker’s attitude to what is being said.

Be aware of the effect your voice has on what you say. For example, sarcasm is often expressed with a low pitch on the key word, with the word being lengthened. Make your voice work for you, as a deliberate choice, not against you.

Read the extracts containing rhetorical devices. Predict where the pauses, stress, and major pitch changes are and mark them. Then you will listen to the podcast down below and see if you’re correct.

  1. It destroys local culture, local language, local customs, local food, local notions of how to live.
  2. Multiculturalism totally depends on it; without a common language, it cannot exist.
  3. The stink bug is now your neighbor, my neighbor, everyone’s neighbor.

Check out the extracts below containing rhetorical devices. Mark the pauses, stress, and major pitch changes.

  1. What language are all these things in? You’ve guessed it, English.
  2. We will give you three reasons, three reasons that cannot seriously be denied, three reasons that prove our point beyond any possible doubt.
  3. In almost every country in the world, there is a recognition that to fail to learn English is to fail to join the international community.


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