Theodore wrote:I'm not sure if the fact that I'm Asian that gave me the advantage over people from else where but I believe there are some other factors here:
Anyway, I can't learn to speak English by watching people's tongues because I can't get close enough and it's rather dark in their. Will Someone lend me a pair of binoculars and a flashlight?
Your race has nothing to do with learning a language! I come across that type of ignorance everyday! It's the type of teacher you have, your native language as compared to the one you're learning, and how much time and effort you put into your studies. I should have no barriers in learning Korean next, since it's similar to Japanese grammar, and they only have 24 characters. Chinese is actually easier for me to listen to than Japanese.
I also had a wonderful teacher that never went into teaching my class romaji. We went straight to hiragana first then katakana. She also worked on pronunciation with us.
As for your English, how about asking where the person's tongue is instead of trying to find it? I tell my students where their tongue should be and then pronounce the word for them. It's up to them to listen to me, and practice.
http://www.uiowa.edu/~acadtech/phonetics/# a good website if you need to get into someone's mouth and see where their tongue is.