“Long” Vowels and “Long” Stress – What’s the Difference?

Long Vowels Stress English Pronunciation Accent Reduction

Are you confusing "long" vowels and "long" stress? These are not the same!  When you study English intonation and melody, you learn about strong stress and weak stress. In English, the vowels in stressed syllables are longer, louder, and have a higher pitch. (In many language they are only louder).  More about English stress here. Here's the tricky part:  ...

Tongue Twister Fun

Tongue Twisters ESL English Pronunciation

Tongue Twisters are poems that are tricky to pronounce, even for native speakers! Trying to say a tongue twister poem fast often has hilarious results!  But they can be very good practice when you say them slowly.  Here are a few of my favorites: She Sells Seashells, Peter Piper and How Much Wood? She sells seashells by the ...

Linking Help

linking English pronunciation

In our English Pronunciation Class we continue to practice linking when speaking English. Linking is very important and must be learned to improve your compensability and efficiency of spoken English. If you are speaking sentences without linking expected words and sounds together, it is probably very difficult to understand your English. Let's look at linking consonants to vowels. A ...

Shortcut for Pronouncing -ed Endings

Shortcut -ed endings

Pronouncing -ed endings correctly makes a big difference.  When a student can pronounce the -ed endings he will be much easier to understand.  Comprehensible English is the goal of accent modification. There is a common method of teaching -ed endings by using /d/, /t/ and /id/.  This was a little confusing for my lower students, so I ...

Pronunciation & ESL Classes in San Jose CA

ESL classes San Jose CA accent reduction

Our ESL classes are still accepting new students!  Two locations are available in south San Jose, CA, on Mondays and Wednesdays. Printable flyer here - Monday ESL Class Mondays,  9:30 - 11:30 a.m. Westgate, South Hills Campus 6601 Camden Avenue San Jose CA 95120 Our Wednesday location is temporarily moved during our renovation to: Wednesdays, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. Almaden Hills UMC 1200 Blossom Hill ...

Reducing “Your” and “Our”

Pronouncing your our Accent Reduction Classes San Jose CA

Have you learned these common reductions of English? "gonna" is a reduction of "going to" "hafta" is a reduction of "have to" "I wanna" is a reduction of "I want to..." "I gotta..." is a reduction of "I've got to..." Some think reduced English forms are lazy or sloppy, BUT THEY ARE NOT.  Reduced forms are EXPECTED in most conversations, ...

Online Pronouncing Dictionary

Cambridge Dictionary Online

You have a lot of choices with online dictionaries these days! I really like the Cambridge Dictionary Online which has an audio clip, often with both the British and the American pronunciation of words. Access it on your computer or laptop here: Cambridge Dictionary Online See the free app in the app store (iPad and iPhone products) here: Cambridge Dictionary ...

Short A & Short O Minimal Pairs

Short A English Pronunciation Accent Reduction

When working with myofunctional or accent reduction clients, it's important to look at tongue placement and jaw height. I'm working with a young man who substitutes short O for short A. His Dad sounds like dodd, his sack sounds like sock, and his laugh sound like loff. It means he uses the right jaw height for short A (as is cat) , with ...