Britlish

Connected Speech

Pronunciation | Speaking

Pronunciation

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 your English won't be much good as a means of communication. You might be good at grammar, have a broad vocabulary, and be able to explain all the aspects and tenses of English, but it's not much good if you can't be understood when you speak. I have designed these Activities to help you to improve your pronunciation, as well as other areas of your English.

Speaking

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 Activities 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 Activities and, by recording your own speech, you can adjust your pronunciation to more accurately match that in the Activities.

Newest All Categories Top Random Courses IPA Challenges Word Games

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.  

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. Many students speak English by producing each word in isolation, like little islands disconnected from those around them. Anyone listening to such speech will understand it, but it will not sound natural nor particularly English. •Such island words will not carry the rhythm of English because the rhythm of English comes from the joining together of the words. Anatomy, not rules, plays the greatest part in how words join together in connected speech. It’s easier to drop sounds or change one sound to another as the mouth, lips, teeth, and tongue move from one position to another as they produce the sounds of connected speech. Linking sounds and simplification are important parts of pronunciation, and I’ll introduce them in this lesson. We will explore them in detail later in the course. English has an underlying rhythm which arises from the main stress in each word and the prominence of the important, or content, words. It is important to connect the words in your speech in order to achieve the inherent rhythm of English. Even when speaking slowly and deliberately, as when explaining something important, your words should still be connected and not spoken in isolation. In connected speech, you may hear unexpected sounds which can be confusing. If I say the words one and apple separated from each other, you can hear each one clearly. One / wɒn / apple / ˈæp.l̩ /. If I say them together, as I would in normal speech, you will hear one apple / wɒˈnæp.l̩ / / ˈnæp.l / is formed by a linking consonant which happens when a consonant sound is followed by a vowel sound. In connected speech, you may also not hear sounds that you would expect to hear. If I say, I’d like an apple, you will notice that the simplification, or weakening, of the function words, I, would, and an, makes them difficult to hear clearly. •You hear the content words, like, and apple, clearly, as these are carrying the information in the sentence and are thus emphasised by the speaker. •I’ll talk about function and content words later in this course. 

If you are on a mobile device, or want to open the lesson in a new window, click the button below. The lesson will open in a popup window.

Popup Lesson



Use your study record to set lessons as completed, rate them with a 1-5 star rating, record vocabulary from the lesson for future reference, and take notes about the lesson for future reference.

Not Complete!

You have not completed this lesson yet. To complete it, click the Complete Lesson button.

Complete Lesson Completed Lessons


Lesson Rating

You have not rated this lesson.

Rate This All Ratings


Lesson Vocabulary

You have not created any vocabulary items for this lesson yet.

Add New Vocabulary All Vocabulary


Lesson Notes

You have not created any notes for this lesson yet.

Create Notes All Notes


Learn English with the most innovative and engaging English lessons available anywhere on the Internet and all completely free of charge! To personalise your experience in the Britlish Library and to keep track of the lessons you have studied and the vocabulary you have recorded, or the notes you have made about each class, sign up for a free account today.