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Reading is an effective way to improve one's understanding of the English language. However, listening is a more challenging skill that requires dedicated practice and development. The Britlish Library offers a variety of activities that focus on the speech features of native English speakers, such as elision, simplification, intonation, stress, and rhythm. These activities aim to help students understand and effectively listen to spoken English, including the nuances and variations that may occur in conversation. By working through these activities, learners can improve their listening skills and gain a deeper understanding of the English language.
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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.
An explanation of function and content words in English. The difference between function and content words is one of the key factors in English sentence stress and the rhythm of English. This lesson help you to better understand them. I’ve used the terms function and content words several times in this course up to now. I thought it was a good time to tell you what they are. Function words are also known as structure words, grammatical words, grammatical functors, grammatical morphemes, function morphemes, form words, and empty words. That list will give you a good idea of what they are.
The Absurdity of English Spelling and Pronunciation. English spelling and pronunciation appears to have been devised by a lunatic. The absurdity of English spelling has inspired many teachers and writers to demonstrate just how ridiculously complicated it is. Chief among these was Gerard Nolst Trenité, who wrote the oft-quoted poem, The Chaos. I first transcribed the entire poem into IPA symbols, double checking the accuracy of the IPA transcript, then fed the IPA transcript through an AI speech synthesis program to produce the most accurate rendition of the poem possible.
Matthew Gregory Lewis (9 July 1775 – 14 or 16 May 1818) was an English novelist and dramatist, who wrote Gothic horror stories. He was often called Monk Lewis, due to the success of The Monk, a Romance, his 1796 Gothic novel. The book, The Monk, a Romance, was first published in 1796 and has become required reading in many literature courses. I have edited the text to modernise some of the spellings to British English, as well as removing most of the strangely capitalised words that are scattered through the original text.
In 1843, a man by the name of Samuel Griswold Goodrich wrote and published a book called Famous Men of Ancient Times. In the book, Goodrich looked at the lives of Mohammed, Belisarius, Attila, Nero, Seneca, Virgil, Cicero, Julius Cæsar, Hannibal, Alexander, Aristotle, Demosthenes, Apelles, Diogenes, Plato, Socrates, Alcibiades, Democritus, Pericles, Aristides, Æsop, Solon, Lycurgus, Homer, and Confucius. I chose to make his chapter on Socrates the subject of the video English lesson and Vocabulary Activation Pack here.
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