The Towajo Pronunciation System

The Towajo Pronunciation System

What is T.O.A.S.T.S?

The Towajo System identifies 6 elements that should be addressed when teaching (or learning) to speak a second language clearly: T.O.A.S.T.S. (Tension – Openness – Airflow – Sound Placement – Transitioning – Shape).  When these components are addressed, students absolutely, and without fail, improve their spoken language skills on a consistent basis. We have found that younger students achieve favorable results considerably faster than older students.  But, regardless of age, when students pay attention to the 6 T.O.A.S.T.S. elements, they achieve remarkable results, and on a consistent basis.


Background Information

The Towajo Pronunciation System has come about as a result of more than 5 years of linguistic research. Founder, Miracle L. Smith, has studied and documented the patterns of language learners from more than 2 dozen countries over the past several years.  She has strategically used her findings to address the issues that specific groups of language learners experience.

 

Miracle discovered that Russian speakers (for example) have vastly different “tension” and “shape” patterns from Spanish speakers.  This, of course, is just a single example of her findings.  The fact is that students who have spent their entire lives developing a specific set of speech patterns, for a particular language, are going to approach speaking English very differently from other students who have spent their lives developing another specific set of speech patterns.  This means that each individual group of students will have their own set of strengths and weaknesses when it comes to learning English; and we prefer to teach according to a student’s individual needs.

 

We do not subscribe to the “one-size-fits-all” methodology.  It has proven to be largely ineffective for decades now. If you do not take our word for it, then simply look at the results. The average student can study English as a second language for 10, 20, or even 30 years.  The odds are that their ability to speak English clearly will be limited.  Their reading comprehension may be very high – along with their vocabulary.  But when it comes to learning to speak English sounds, they are usually using the speaking patterns developed for speaking their native language(s).  This can lead to varying degrees of a spoken accent, which often results in the student being very difficult to understand; and this also has a direct impact on the way that a student “hears” English sounds, as well.

 

In short – the “one-size-fits-all” methodology often leads to a student’s spoken English being difficult to understand, and to that same student have great difficulty understand native English.

 

But, what does work, and without fail, is the Towajo System.  We take the time to become familiar with our students’ needs so that we can address their needs directly and help them to get the results that they desire.