Author Archives: Miracle

The Humming Test

The Humming Test is unique to The Towajo System.  Miracle will often direct her students to hum so that she can assess their shapes, sound patterns, and the amount of tension present in their mouths, throats, tongues, and soft palates.  In case you are not familiar, humming is like singing but with the lips closed.  The sounds that are produced when a person hums gives several indicators as to the speaker’s vocal patterns.


Native English speakers produce sounds high in their mouths, and the sounds resonate high in the speaker’s head.  Speaking English is like making music.  The muscles and the air move together in harmony.  They move together fluidly; naturally.


Many people who speak English as a foreign language will produce the humming sound in a very different way than native English speakers.  These same non-native English speakers will often times produce sounds very low in their throats.  In these instances, the muscles will be relatively tense and there will be a feeling that the speaker is attempting to “control” the sounds.


Standard English, as spoken by native English speakers, will flow and have a melodic feel to it. The muscles and the air move together in unison, creating smooth, melodic sounds.


Focusing on where and how sounds are produced may seem trite.  It may even seem non-sensical. But, this is actually a foundational step of the Towajo Pronunciation System. Understanding how, exactly, a student produces sounds helps us to assess their needs and develop a plan which will help them to achieve their goals.


For our students, learning how to “hum,” the Towajo way, opens the door to teaching a student how to speak English more clearly and naturally.

Grand Opening

The Towajo English Language Institute has undergone a complete re-design.  In addition to our new website, we are also preparing to launch a new line of online services for students who wish to study English pronunciation, independently.


The Towajo Pronunciation System is different from other systems because Towajo actually guarantees measurable results. We have created a unique way of teaching English pronunciation to non-native speakers, depending on the specific needs of the individual.  And to demonstrate the efficacy of our pronunciation system, we have documented the efficacy of our methodologies over the years.  Participating students have been recorded at the beginning of their pronunciation journey, then again at 6 week intervals.  Miracle L. Smith, Towajo’s founder, even uses The Towajo System to learn to pronounce a number of foreign languages clearly: Chinese, Korean, Farsi, Spanish, and Finnish.


Over a period of 5 years, The Towajo Pronunciation System has been used by thousands of students in more than 50 different countries. Until recently, our pronunciation services were mostly available through large companies like LinguaLeo, Verbling, Italki, and Colingo.  But, as of January 18, 2016, we have launched our services independently.


An initial group of Alpha Testers have been enlisted to use our services and to provide initial feedback on their experiences. And we are currently in search of Beta Testers to join our team. All participants receive English pronunciation lessons for free during the entire time that they help test our services.


We invite you to visit the official website to learn more about our unique services.  And if you are interested in improving your English pronunciation for free, we encourage you to apply to become a Beta Tester.  We would like to officially welcome you to The Towajo English Language Institute.


We teach students to speak English clearly, confidently, accurately, and naturally.

The Towajo Method – Effective or Not?

Many of the students who approach us with the intention of learning to speak English more clearly often times expect us to teach them according to the way that they have experienced language learning in school.  But, we ask new students to consider something very important.


How long have you been speaking English?  Are you pleased with the results that you have achieved thus far with your spoken language skills?  Think of what you have been doing to learn to speak English clearly and ask yourself, “Is this working for me?…Have I achieved the results that I wanted?” Have your efforts to speak English more clearly been effective or ineffective?


Chances are that if you are on this website, you are interested in improving your spoken English skills.  And if you are on this website with these specific interests, then you may be curious about the effectiveness of the Towajo System.


The Towajo Pronunciation System is unlike anything that you have ever encountered before. There is absolutely nothing traditional about our methodology.  And so, while our system is nothing like any other system that you have encountered, there is one thing that we can guarantee you, and that is that our system is effective.  We help students help students to achieve results.


100% of the students who follow our system achieve measurable results within 6 months.  So, while our methodology is, without doubt, untraditional, it is also extremely effective.  Our methods will undoubtedly be different from anything you have ever attempted when learning English sounds, but our methods will also deliver amazing results for you.



The Towajo Method guarantees results.

Alpha Tester: $100 Prize

Alpha Testing is an important event for us.  Alpha Testers are individuals who have been personally invited by Miracle to utilize the services at Towajo University as our very first students.  On Tuesday, March 1, 2016 an Alpha Tester who has proven to be a particularly helpful participant will be awarded $100 for his/her dedication to our project.


To win, you must excel at utilizing the resources available at Towajo University.  We are looking for a student who is self-motivated when it comes to learning, who is an excellent communicator, and who provides valuable feedback that allows us to improve our services.


Selection criteria will be based on:

  • Course participation & Feedback
  • Course grades & Feedback
  • Forum participation & Feedback
  • Community participation & Feedback
  • Ability to learn independently, with limited assistance from Towajo staff




To claim your prize, you MUST have an active PayPal account that is in good standing, and that allows us to transfer funds to you.  If you do not have an active PayPal account, or if there are issues with your account that prevent us from transferring funds to you, you will not be eligible for this reward.


Unfortunately, PayPal is the only way that we can transfer funds internationally.  We sincerely apologize to participants who reside in countries that do not allow PayPal – but, please know that there will be no exceptions to this rule.


If you are a minor and you do not possess a PayPal account, the prize will be transferred to the PayPal account of the adult of your choosing.


We are not responsible for prize funds once they have been transferred to the indicated recipient.

Set a Goal

No matter where you are on your English journey, you surely have pronunciation goals that you have set for yourself.  Maybe you have big dreams of being able to speak English like a native. Maybe you want to earn a promotion at work.  Maybe you want to study at a university in the US. Maybe you just want to be able to sound cool with your friends.


Whatever your English pronunciation goals are, you have to identify them clearly before you can expect to make any significant progress in the desired areas.


Once you have identified your goals, you will then want to identify the key tools, resources, and people who can help you reach your goals.  Keep in mind that a person is not necessarily able to teach you native English pronunciation, simply because they speak the language.  It is better to seek out someone who has been trained in the field of language sounds and how to pronounce them if you really want to maximize results in this area.


The majority of our students have the goal of speaking English clearly.  They want to be understood. They do not want to have to repeat themselves over and over again because the listener does not understand their pronunciation.  They want English speakers to engage in conversation with them with ease – with a certain comfort level.  It is considered a great compliment in these cases if native speakers understand a non-native speaker’s English with minimum confusion.


Then there are the students who set the goal of sounding as much like a native speaker as possible. They take pleasure in receiving feedback that they pronounce English words like native speakers.  They work hard to master the techniques required to speak a foreign language correctly.  Often times, such individuals are teachers, professors, and linguists.


But, no matter if you simply want to improve your English pronunciation, or learn to pronounce English sounds like a native speaker, or even if you strive for some sort of balance between these two extremes – understanding your goal is the first step to success.  From there, you will need to find a qualified individual who can help you achieve your specific goals.


Students who move forward with learning without understanding their goals often find themselves frustrated.  They go in circles without feeling like they have achieved any significant success.



And as you set your goals, we would like to remind you of the following:  A language cannot cannot be said to be truly mastered unless the speaker communicates in a way that is understood, and unless the listener possesses the skills to decipher spoken language correctly.


Good luck to you as you set your goals and set out to meet them.  We wish you great success on your English journey.  And if we at The Towajo English Language Institute can do anything to assist you, just let us know.



Why Pronunciation Is Important

No matter which language you wish to learn, you will want to ensure two things:

  1. That you are understood when you speak
  2. That you understand others when they speak


The very foundation of spoken communication is sounds.  So, you first have to realize that the sounds used in your native language are not the same sounds that we use in English.  Some of your sounds may be similar to English sounds, while others will not even be close.


This is especially important to keep in mind with English vowel sounds.  Most other languages have somewhere around 5-10 vowel sounds.  English has 19 basic vowel sounds.  Yes…19 basic vowel sounds.  And, if that were not incredible enough, the full Towajo System also teaches 10 additional sounds for our most advanced students.  This gives our students a total of 29 vowel sounds.  Keep in mind that these are vowel sounds only.  We are not discussing consonants in this articles.


So, this is why significant challenges arise when students attempt to communicate in English using the vowel sounds from their own native language.


Take a look at the words listed below.  Can you correctly pronounce the vowel sounds in each of these word groups?  Can you correctly identify the vowel sounds of these word groups if someone else speaks them?


cup, cop, cap, kept

luck, lock, lack, lept
run, Ron, ran, wrecked

Remember that learning the vowel sounds in English is extremely important to speaking the language well. This video listed above is a prime example of how a single vowel sound can change a word – especially in English. This English teacher (a native Korean speaker) is teaching a lesson on how to ask for “Coke” in a restaurant.  The only problem is that she is pronouncing the word like “cock.”  This is a big problem, folks!


“Cock” usually means “penis” in English.  (On rare occasions it can mean “rooster.”)