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17 Speaking British English Lessons

It's not easy to teaching speaking skills remotely through a website, however good the site is. To really practice your speaking skills, you need someone to speak to who can correct your mistakes as you go. The lessons here will go some way to helping you to improve your speaking skills by helping you to mirror the speech you hear in the lesson. In this way, you can notice how your speech differs from that in the lesson and, by recording your own speech, you can adjust your pronunciation to more accurately match that in the lesson.

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10 of our 17 Speaking British English Lessons

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How to Talk About Mealtimes

This lesson looks at the vocabulary of meals. It looks at the difference between meal and dish. It looks at the names of the meals that we eat throughout the day including, breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, high tea, afternoon tea, teatime, and supper. You will also learn some vocabulary that useful when talking about meals including, course, dietary, dish, filling, foray, full, meal, pastries, pudding, replete, snack, starter, stuffed, and sweet. I have used a video English lesson from the Daily Dose of English series that I made back in 2010. This lesson is finally what I would have liked to have made back then, had the technology been available at that time.


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Sunny London - Pronunciation Activator

Many students see the letter O and feel that it should be pronounced like the O in on /ɒn/ or clock /ˈklɒk/. This lesson will show you that many common words are not pronounced as you might think. The words in this lesson include: clock, funny, god, honey, London, money, monkey, moth, son, sun, waffle, wag, wallet, wand, wander, want, warrant, warrior, wash, wasp, watch, wax, won, and wonder.   


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Teen or Ty Numbers

In this lesson: We will look at how to distinguish between teen and ty numbers. We will look at the stress patterns in words. We will look at stress shifts in English words. We will look at making syllables prominent for effect. Whether it's thirty or thirteen, forty or fourteen, fifty or fifteen, or anywhere up to ninety or nineteen, this lesson will help you to make sure you never make a mistake with these numbers.


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Soft Drinks - Elision

Say the words soft and drinks in isolation and we hear the /t/ at the end of soft. We rarely hear the two words in isolation, however, and when we bring them together as soft drinks, we no longer hear the /t/ sound. This is an example of elision, or deletion of sounds at word boundaries. This lesson will help you to use this elision to sound more natural when you speak English. By understanding elision, your listening skills will improve as well as your general pronunciation.


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The Weak Was

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.


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Linking Consonants - An Introduction

An introduction to linking consonants in British English. Linking consonants occur when a consonant at the end of a word is followed by a vowel sound during the unbroken sound stream within a speech segment. This lesson explains how linking consonants work, gives examples of sentences containing linking consonants and examines why each linking consonant happens, and then moves on to activate your ability to hear the linking consonants in sentences. By understanding how linking consonants work, you will improve your listening skills, too.


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Syllabic Consonants -ism

-ism is a suffix appended to the end of many English words. It means taking sides with or imitation of. Pronunciation-wise, -ism has a syllabic consonant /m/ at the end. In this lesson, we’ll look at how we pronounce some common isms. The -isms include, ageism, asceticism, atheism, Buddhism, capitalism, communism, Cubism, Druidism, dualism, Expressionism, Judaism, racism, Romanticism, sexism, and socialism.


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The Glottal Stop

This lesson will tell you what a glottal stop is and then tell you how to use it. A glottal stop is also known as the voiceless glottal plosive and it’s used in many languages besides English. In fact, you probably use it without being aware of it. The glottal stop is called the glottal stop because the sound is made when the vocal cords close and stop the flow of air. The gap between the vocal cords is called the glottis. The glottal stop is also known as the voiceless glottal plosive, which means their air flow is obstructed between the lungs and the mouth by the closing of the vocal cords. The most pronounced use of the glottal stop can be found in Cockney English where the glottal stop replaces the /p/, the /t/, and the /k/ sounds when they are preceded by a stressed vowel sound and are followed by an unstressed vowel sound.


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Syllabic Consonants in Words Ending *LE

A syllabic consonant is a consonant that is pronounced as a syllable. The two main syllabic consonants in English are /l/ or /n/ sounds. The /l/ syllabic consonant occurs at the end of the word bottle, while the /n/ occurs in words like listen. Syllabic consonants occur mainly in the final syllable of words. In this lesson, we will look at the 11 possible letter combinations that can result in a final-syllable /l/ syllabic consonant: a syllable which has a consonant not a vowel as the peak. I have chosen one word for each of the following endings which produce a syllable consonant: -ble, -cle, -dle, -fle, -gle, -kle, -ple, -sle, -tle, -xle, and -zle. Some of these combinations have many examples, while others have few. There are no other -*le endings in English words which produce the /l/ syllabic consonant.


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S or Z

When do we use the /s/ sound and when do we use the /z/ sound, and what’s the difference? Let’s find out… The two sounds /s/ and /z/ are very close and cause endless confusion for students. There are some rules and the rules are normally to do with the voiced and unvoiced sounds. A voiced sound is that made when we use our vocal cords. /z/ is the voiced form of the sound /s/, which is unvoiced. Put your fingers on your throat when you say the word buzz. You should feel a vibration in your throat at the end of the word. This is caused by the vocal cords vibrating and adding to the sound. Now say hiss. This time you should not feel any vibration in your throat. Your vocal cords are not involved in making the sound /s/.  


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10 of our 17 Speaking British English Lessons


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