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These Activities are designed to help you improve your pronunciation and communication skills in English. Whether you have a strong grasp of grammar and vocabulary or not, clear pronunciation is essential for effective communication. Through these activities, you will learn the nuances of English speech, including elision, simplification, intonation, stress, and rhythm, and develop the ability to understand spoken English. Additionally, you will gain a deeper understanding of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) symbols and improve your pronunciation, making you a more confident and effective communicator in the English language.
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Activate the Vowel in Pure / ʊə / with this English Pronunciation Activation Pack. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the one sound on the British IPA chart that is in danger of disappearing in many words. The sound is the / ʊə / sound which used to be heard in words like pure and poor. I say used to be heard, because since the middle of the 20th Century, the / ʊə / sound has been replaced by the / ɔː / sound, so pure / pjʊə / is now / pjɔː /. Though the / ʊə / sound has been replaced by the / ɔː / sound among the young, middle aged RP English speakers may still use the old / ʊə / sound. For anyone who was born after the 1950s, myself included, these pronunciations sound rather old-fashioned and are difficult to produce. This gliding vowel sound has, or rather had, these letter combinations: OOR, OUR, URE, UR, UE, and UA. The biggest problem for students is that the / ʊə / sound is one of the least frequent vowel sounds in British English. It is also becoming less frequent as time goes on, so students ought to follow the modern pronunciation and use the / ɔː / sound in place of the older / ʊə / sound. Purists, particularly older ones, might disagree, but I would argue that the proof of the pudding is in the hearing.
Activate the Vowel in Owl / aʊ / with this Pronunciation Activation Pack. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the eighth and last of the gliding vowels / aʊ /. This is also the last of the 20 British English vowels on our IPA chart. We will look at the letter combinations that give the / aʊ / sound. We will look at lots of words which have the / aʊ / sound in them. Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produce the / aʊ / sound correctly. Letter Combinations for / aʊ / - This gliding vowel sound is the vowel sound with the fewest letter combinations, being formed from only: OU and OW. There are two vowel sound which have the potential to cause confusion with the / aʊ / sound. These are the / ɔː / and the / ɑː / sounds. I looked at the minimal pairs / ɔː / vs / aʊ / in Pronunciation Activation Pack 8 – the Vowel in Horse, so I will not cover it in this lesson. In this lesson, I will look at the / aʊ / vs / ɑː / minimal pairs.
Learn to distinguish and produce the vowel in Insect / I / with this Pronunciation Activation Pack. The biggest problem for students is hearing and producing the difference between the vowel / ɪ / and the schwa / ə /. These two sounds are next to each other on the IPA chart and are thus very similar. Both vowels are common in unstressed syllables and even native speakers have trouble distinguishing them. The schwa / ə / rarely carries stress. The Pronunciation Activator and Listening Activator will help you practice using minimal pairs containing the vowel/ ɪ / and the schwa / ə /.
Activate the The Vowel in Horse / ɔː / with this Pronunciation Activation Pack. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the eighth of the pure vowels / ɔː /. We will look at the letter combinations that give the / ɔː / sound. We will look at lots of words which have the / ɔː / sound in them. Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produce the / ɔː / sound correctly. Letter Combinations for / ɔː / - The long vowel sound / ɔː / can be found in the following letter combinations: AR, OR, ORE, OUR, OAR, OOR, AU, AUGH, A, AL, AWE, OUGH, OU, OA, and WOR. There are three other vowel sounds that cause confusion with the / ɔː / sound. These are the short pure vowel / ɒ /, and the gliding vowels / əʊ / and / aʊ /. I will focus on these minimal pairs in this Pronunciation Activation Pack. For more information about minimal pairs, look again at Pronunciation Activation Packs 1, 2, and 3.
Activate the Vowel in Food / uː / with this English Pronunciation Activation Pack. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the fourth of the pure vowels / uː /. We will look at the letter combinations that give the / uː / sound. We will look at lots of words which have the / uː / sound in them. Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produce the / uː / sound correctly. Letter Combinations for / uː / The long pure vowel sound / uː / can be formed by these letter combinations: U, OO, O, OU, EW, UE, UI, and OW. A minimal pair is a pair of words which are almost the same except for one different sound, in this case, the vowel sound. There are very few minimal pairs in English using the / uː / sound which can confuse learners.
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