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.
The Vagabond is one of the poems from Robert Louis Stevenson's Songs of Travel and Other Verses published in 1896. In this lesson you will learn some of the vocabulary in the poem, as well as improving your pronunciation skills and your knowledge of the British English IPA chart and symbols. Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) was a Scottish travel writer, poet, essayist, and novelist. He is best known for Treasure Island, the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and Kidnapped. He is the 26th most translated author in the world.
In normal fast-spoken speech some words are not prominent, and we only hear the strong form of these words in certain circumstances. The words that we normally only hear the weak form of include was, as well as the other forms of the verb to be: is, am, are, and were. The children’s rhyme, Fuzzy Wuzzy Was a Bear, shows how these weak forms are necessary for the correct pronunciation and rhythm of English.
Widely anthologised, The Windhover, by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1884-1889), though dedicated To Christ our Lord, is a rapturous love poem to life itself. Hopkins struggled to balance his vocation as a Catholic Jesuit servant of God and his poetical yearnings. Because of this, and his experimental use of new metrical forms, and his religious faith, his poetry was largely unrecognised when he died aged 44. It was not until 1918 that his poems were first published. This poem remains one his best known and will help you with your pronunciation, your vocabulary, and your mastery of the IPA symbols. The lesson also has a prose interpretation to help you better understand the poem.
Do you ever have problems specifying dates in English? This lesson will help put an end to any such issues. I’ll talk you through the way we specify future and past dates in English. I’ll give you some practice with choosing the best way to specify what date you want to talk about. I’ll show you how we reduce complex consonant clusters which form between words in speech segments.
A quick look at how not all English from Britain sounds the same and how it can be quite confusing for students. There are 100s of regional accents and many distinct dialects in Britain. Many English people have difficulty understanding some of the more unusual varieties of English found in the British Isles, so it's no surprise that students of English are completely confounded when they first encounter such English. This lesson will introduce you to the wonderful world of the English heard in Yorkshire, a region of North East England, and a part of the country in which I spent some of my formative years.
Many English multisyllable words are made up of many parts including prefixes and suffixes, and if you learn the most common prefixes and suffixes, you can expand your vocabulary dramatically. The word unpredictability has two secondary stresses as well as the main stress that is found in all English words. It’s unusual for a word to have more than one secondary stress, but this is the result of unpredictability being composed of so many parts. There are several negative prefixes in English. The most common are: de, dis, il, im, in, ir, mis, and un. This lesson will introduce you to some of them as well as helping you to pronounce them. I also look at prominence for effect.
Activate the Vowel in Ant / æ / with this English Pronunciation Activation Pack. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the ninth of the pure vowels / æ /. We will look at the letter combinations that give the / æ / sound. We will look at lots of words which have the / æ / sound in them. Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produce the / æ / sound correctly. Letter Combinations for / æ / - The short vowel sound / æ / has these letter combinations: A in 99% of cases and rarely with AI, EI, and I. There are three other vowel sounds that cause confusion with the / æ / sound.
Activate the Vowel in Art / ɑː / with this English Pronunciation Activation Pack. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the eleventh of the pure vowels / ɑː /. We will look at the letter combinations that give the / ɑː / sound. We will look at lots of words which have the / ɑː / sound in them. Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produce the / ɑː / sound correctly. Letter Combinations for / ɑː / This long vowel sound has these letter combinations: AR, EAR, ER, A, AL, AU, and OIR. There are two other vowel sounds that cause confusion with the / ɑː / sound. We already looked at the following minimal pairs: / ɑː / vs / æ / – Vowel in Ant – Pack 9 / ɑː / vs / ʌ / – Vowel in Sun – Pack 10 I won’t be repeating these minimal pairs in this Pronunciation Activation Pack. Instead, we’ll look at the important Trap-Bath Split. I will explain all about the Trap-Bath split in the Pronunciation Activator and show you why it is important in RP or BBC English.
Activate the Vowel in Bear / eə / with this English Pronunciation Activation Pack. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the third of the gliding vowels / eə /. We will look at the letter combinations that give the / eə / sound. We will look at lots of words which have the / eə / sound in them. Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produce the / eə / sound correctly. Letter Combinations for / eə / - This gliding vowel sound has these letter combinations: AIR, ARE, A, AR, AE and EAR and rarely EIR, ERE, AYOR, AYER, and ER. This can be a huge problem for students as words like ear and bear, and are and rare, have the same letter combinations but completely different sounds. The only other vowel sound that can cause confusion with the / eə / sound is the / ɪə / sound, and I covered this in Pronunciation Activation Pack 13 – The Vowel in Ear. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack I’ll look at words which have the same letter combinations as give us the / eə / sound but which have different pronunciations. Pronunciation Activation Pack - 15 The Vowel in Bear / eə /
Activate the The Vowel in Bird / ɜː / with this English Pronunciation Activation Pack. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the seventh of the pure vowels / ɜː /. We will look at the letter combinations that give the / ɜː / sound. We will look at lots of words which have the / ɜː / sound in them. Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produce the / ɜː / sound correctly. Letter Combinations for / ɜː / - The long vowel sound / ɜː / can be found in the following letter combinations: ER, EER, UR, URR, IR, YR, YRR, W+OR, EAR, OUR, and rarely OLO, EU and EUR.
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