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Study Session- Obama’s in the House!

Use your ears so that you can improve your own speaking skills

Here are the professional techniques that you can use on your own while using a YouTube video. Listen to the podcast here-

Study listening skills using YouTube

Let me introduce you to some behind the scenes techniques. If you are studying to learn to pronounce American English, be sure that you find a native American English speaker. Although to be honest, there are many English speakers that are not native to the US that will also be using this English melody that we are listening to today. Once you find the video that you would like to study from, see if there is a transcript.

Here’s a description of how to find the youtube transcript.

 

Copy and paste the transcript on a word doc so that you can read along and make notations.

 

Also, you may want to slow the speed of the speaking.

I recommend slowing the speaking speed down  one level to .75

At this speed, you will begin to hear

  • how words are grouped together,
  • pausing in-between these word groupings
  • how the words are linked together in each phrase group and
  • one word in each phrase, that is highlighted the most, usually directly before the pause.

This practice will help you comprehend what others are saying. If you need more ideas for finding good speakers, people enjoy playing English speaking TV shows such as the sitcoms (Friends) or movies. As long as there is a transcript.  Using your own listening skills and taking the time to study this technique, is an excellent way to personally understand what you can do to polish your own abilities.

 

Pronouncing Fractions

There comes a time when we all need to pronounce a fraction or two in our lives! We speak of fractions when we are measuring for new kitchen blinds, cooking, ordering a picture frame and even when we are telling time.

Fractions requires multiple higher level pronunciation skills. Who knew, right? For some people, pronouncing consonant sounds at the ends of words is much different than what they are used to.

1. With fractions, we pronounce multiple consonant sounds at the ends of the fraction.  We add the plural /s/ for plural numbers (those are numbers when the top number is greater than one) For example 2/17 is “two seventeenths” /n/ + “th” + /s/.   WHEW!

2. Then, there is the article “a” that is used in place of the number one- for singular fractions beginning with a consonant sound. (hint: almost all of them) For example:  1/2, 1/3, 1/4.  “a half, a third, a fourth”

3. And pronouncing the singular article “an” for the number one that is used for singular fractions beginning with a vowel sound.  (hint: the number EIGHT).  For example:  1/8, 1/18, 1/80   “an eighth”, “an eighteenth” and “an eightieth”

Listen to Pam’s informational podcast and if you would like the complete transcript and a handy guide for pronouncing and spelling fractions  Email Pam  HERE –  and please write “FRACTIONS” in the subject line.

Comments or Questions? You can find the comment section right under the title of this blog. I’d love to hear from you!

Practicing 3 Vowel Sounds in Head-Hat-Hot

The English spelling system has 5 letters that represent the vowels  A-E-I-O-U (and sometimes Y), but when talking, these vowels have at least 20-different vowel sounds!

Pronouncing English vowels are defined by changes made with the tongue, the degree of muscle tension (tense or relaxed), and lip movements. These tiny little changes make a BIG difference successfully communicating your intended words.  For example, the comparisons below show that if  you try to pronounce a word with one vowel sound, ex: head,  but pronounce the word with a different sound, the desired word may sound more like ‘had’, ‘hat’, or ‘hot’.   This week’s podcast will help you hear the differences and give you words to practice saying the differences.

Listen to Ep. 26  Pronouncing English With Pam Podcast

 

/ɛ/ This is a relaxed sound. Our mouth is open slightly, lips are neutral.
pen, men, slept, head, better

/æ/ tense sound (mouth open). lips are back slightly.
fast, had, slap, clap, man, pan, Pam

/ɑ/ tense sound (mouth is open the most), lips are forward a little or neutral.
stop, daughter, fought

Can you say these two words differently?

/ɛ/ – /æ/
head -had
men -man
guess- gas
said- sad
slept -slapped
end- and
then- than

/ɑ/- /æ/
hot-hat
mop-map
rock-rack

How did you do? Do you have difficulty hearing the difference between words?  Tell me in the comments below!

 

Pronouncing WO – Two Ways!

Wow! This week was International Women’s Day.  Let’s celebrate all of the women in our lives and their achievements. Now is the time to raise awareness against bias and make an effort to take action for equality.
In honor of all women in the world, please enjoy this lesson about pronouncing the words ‘woman’ and ‘women’.

Pronouncing the W in English requires the lips to be fully rounded and pushed forward a bit. Many of my students are able to form their lips correctly, but attaching the next vowel sound is the difficult part. In this lesson you will practice W +  (two different) vowels:

  • W + /ʊ​​​​/ the sound in the word “put”​​​ (listen to me on the recording) as in the word WOMAN
  • W + /ɪ/ the sound in the word “it” (listen to me on the recording) as in the word WOMEN.

And finally pay attention to the last syllable in both of the words:

  • woMAN and woMEN are pronounced the same even though they are spelled differently! Pronounce this reduced syllable as if you are saying “MIN”

Use your voice like this pro!

Use Your Voice Like A Pro!

Using Your Voice Like A Pro Learn how to stretch your voice and raise your pitch. This is the cornerstone of learning how to make your voice sound more natural and native to English. Raising your pitch while placing stress on words will help the listener hear what you are saying! First let’s learn how […]

Ordering At Starbucks-Varieties of Coffee and L Sounds!

Practice the American English pronunciation when learning how to order sizes, flavors and menu choices from Starbucks. Let’s listen to some of the L pronunciations. I guarantee you will learn a new pronunciation in this lesson! Listen to this recording and review the words listed below.

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PODCAST- Sound like a native saying the phrase ” I have to”

Learning a new new language usually helps us speak in sentences and read or write in our new language. With advanced studying you can become pretty good talking to others in a variety of speaking situations. You may even be able to say words comfortably. But learning to sound FLUENT and more NATURAL will help you transform into a confident and intelligable speaker. You can do it!

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PODCAST Pronouncing “our” It’s not what you think!

Was your English Teacher wrong? There are major differences with learning how to pronounce a word in it’s complete form and how we actually pronounce words in real conversation. Listen to this podcast lesson and this will change your pronunciation of this simple, common word.

 

PODCAST-Compare Common Words That Begin With “PRO”

Learn two different ways to pronounce words that begin with the syllable PRO.

Practice 12 everyday words!

 

PODCAST- 10 Common Words with Dropped Syllables

Finally a lesson where you can say less sounds!

Become familiar with these common words in American English and you will amaze your friends with your native-like pronunciation skills. Your friends will not know why you sound amazing, they will just notice that you are speaking English the correct way.

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