No matter how good your English grammar and vocabulary may be, if your pronunciation is so bad that nobody can understand a word you say, then you are at a grave disadvantage in regards to your English. These lessons have been designed to help you to improve your pronunciation, as well as other areas of your English.
Whenever we learn something new, there is always room for improvement. Let’s enter the Room for Improvement, shall we, and see how it can help us improve our English. In this lesson we will improve our knowledge of birds and some of the more common words we use to talk about birds. We’ll learn about hens, roosters, ducks, drakes, geese, ganders, pigeons, sparrows, and owls. You will also be able to practice reading IPA phonetic symbols.
A lot of jokes in English depend for their humour on the way completely different words can sound identical due to the speech features we find in spoken British English. This is one of those jokes. Listen to the joke and then do the exercises so that you can learn about why it is so funny. English humour can be difficult for non-native English speakers. This is why simple English jokes are a very good way of teaching vocabulary, and why I’ve chosen a very simple joke for this lesson. I’m not going to write the joke here as it depends for its humour entirely on a homophone.
Practice hearing the changes in fast spoken speech. When we speak quickly, sounds that we expect to hear may be missing. It’s not only sounds that go missing in fast spoken English. Whole words may disappear, too. Sounds also change in fast spoken English and some words will not sound the same as they do when spoken slowly, or the way they are shown in dictionaries. In these exercises, I want you to try to hear what changes are taking place in the fast spoken sentences. We will look in greater detail at the changes in later lessons in this Sounds British Pronunciation Course. Changes in Fast Speech.
The word choir is a difficult word to spell and to pronounce. In this lesson I’ll tell you what choir means, show you how to pronounce it with a standard British English accent, and give you some examples of its use. I’ll also look at other vocabulary which begins with CHO but do not necessarily have the same pronunciation such as chocolate, choir, choke, cholesterol, chondrite, choose, choosy, chop, choral, chord, chore, choreographer, chorister, chorizo, chortle, chorus, chosen, chough, chow, and chowder. You can also practice your knowledge of the IPA symbols and pronunciation with some IPA transcriptions of these CHO words.
Comfortable is not an easy word to say, is it? While comfortable only has 3 syllables, many students try to use 4. Comfortable is so uncomfortable a word to pronounce that in 1829 someone decided that it might be better to use only the first syllable and a -y suffix. The informal word comfy was born and what an improvement, I’m sure you’ll agree. Comfy is a comfy word to pronounce, isn’t it? Let’s see how we use comfy in conversation, shall we?
Learn about pronunciation in connected speech and how it can lead to missed or added sounds. When students begin to learn English, they learn words in isolation. Teachers drill their students to pronounce individual words as though these words will always sound the same. Yet, words are seldom heard in isolation, and are usually produced in a stream of sound. In the stream of sound, words join together, and interesting things happen where one word meets another word. In this lesson, we will try to identify what added information we can hear in sentences. We will also try to hear what information is missing in sentences. Noticing how your speech differs will help you to correct the way you speak to sound more English. Connected Speech.
An introduction to Britlish English Consonants (I have hayfever so had to use AI voices for this pack). There are 24 consonant sounds in British English. The consonant sounds are shown in the blue box at the bottom of the British English IPA chart, under the vowels. A consonant is a basic speech sound in which the breath is at least partially obstructed and which can be combined with a vowel to form a syllable. Consonants can only be produced with a vowel. There are 21 letters in the English alphabet which represent consonants but there are 24 consonant sounds. The consonant letters of the alphabet are, B, C, D, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, N, P, Q, R, S, T, V, X, Z, and usually W and Y. The consonant sounds are grouped into several types. There are the plosives, the fricatives, the affricates, the nasals and the approximants. English consonants are classified by technical terms which refer to the way air escapes as we say the sound, where the obstruction to the air flow takes place, and whether the vocal cords are used.
Ellipsis is the missing out of words or sounds. When writing, it is shown by the ellipsis sign of three dots … When speaking, we just don’t hear certain words in a sentence. It’s not that the words are not present, just that they are obvious and need not be spoken. Ellipsis can cause considerable problems for students of English who are used to saying every word in a sentence. Knowing how ellipsis works is one of the ways you can improve your listening skills. Don’t worry! Ellipsis and near ellipsis are not essential things to learn how to do. You will still be understood by all listeners if you don’t use ellipsis. However, you need to know how and why it happens if you want to fully understand native English speakers. We’re a lazy bunch, us English speakers, and anything we can do to get the message across with the minimal amount of effort we will do.
The pronoun, it, can be used for what is sometimes called the empty pronoun, or the dummy subject, because it does not to stand for anything in particular. Ellipsis or near ellipsis is a feature of English pronunciation that we see with many pronouns at the beginning of sentences, and particularly when we use the empty pronoun. Ellipsis is when the empty pronoun disappears completely, while near-ellipsis is when we are left with a little of the empty pronoun. Of course, we don’t have to leave out any of the sounds and can say the sentence in its entirety. We will still be understood, but it may not sound quite as natural as a native speaker. By learning about ellipsis and near ellipsis, you will also be priming your ear to better hear what native English speakers are saying. We will do some exercises to see if you can hear and identify this speech feature when listening to normal, fast-spoken English speech.
The word eschew is a hard word to spell and to pronounce. In this lesson I’ll tell you what eschew means, show you how to pronounce it with a standard British English accent, and give you some examples of its use. I’ll also look at other vocabulary of refusal or acceptance such as abandon, abjure, avoid, disdain, embrace, eschew, forego, forswear, give up, grab, grasp, hold, keep clear of, refrain from, renounce, repudiate, seize, shun, spurn, take hold of, and welcome. You can also practice your knowledge of the IPA symbols and pronunciation with some IPA transcriptions of these verbs of refusal or acceptance.
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