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Tag: pronunciation

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Knock, knock. Who’s there?

You may have heard one of these jokes in movies or series, they are a “call and response” type of joke. It starts when one person pretends to knock on a door and the other person (supposedly inside the fictional place) has to ask “who is there?” and the fun of it consists in having […]

Tongue twisters

Tongue twisters are challenging phrases that contain many hard to pronounce syllables or alternation of similar but distinct phonemes. They can be a used as a kind of word game because the speakers usually cannot articulate properly the words in a fast and clear manner, causing confusion and good laughs. They are also a good […]

Apps to Gamify Your English Practice

When you feel a little unmotivated to practice English, gamification, the concept of implementing elements of games into non-game contexts, might be the answer to give a boost to your language learning. Here are two very good examples of gamified practice in free apps for Android and iOS. Duolinguo has several lessons involving English practice to improve your […]

Pronunciation Tip #1

After listening to many of my students mispronounce the “Th” sound in words like “Think,” “Thought,” “Through,” “Thigh,” “Thief,” and “Theft,” as if it were an “S” sound, I kept thinking about a way to improve their pronunciation and reduce the misunderstandings caused by such mispronunciation. Thinking about the “Th” sound goes beyond we, Brazilian Engish […]

Pronunciation tip: Silent L

Hello, reader, The English language has plenty of silent letters, and one that is often forgotten by speakers of Portuguese is the silent l. It’s common for people who speak Portuguese to overlook that because in Portuguese silent letters are not common. Take for example the following words: Salmon, half, calm, talk, would and should […]

Vocabulary & Pronunciation: Political Terms

In times of political campaign, let’s see some confusable words related to politics. To start off, politics is the art or science of government or influencing governmental policy. Politics is the job of politicians. Right now, because we’re in the middle of an electoral process, they come up with plans to guide their future terms. […]

All Varieties of English Are Welcome

Picking up from where we left off, many students worry about their accent when speaking English. Some would like to have one closer to Americans; other would rather go towards British English. There are even those who think if you don’t make up your mind between which one to follow, you’ll end up not speaking […]

Teens vs Adults in English Pronunciation

I’d like to start my participation in this blog by approaching a very interesting topic related to pronunciation. More specifically, to the difference between adults’ and teens’ pronunciation in English. Many adult students of mine have complained that their teen children “don’t study at all, but have awesome English pronunciation.” They also add that they […]

Pronunciation in English – The Web Can Help You

As you, dear reader, have realized by now, pronunciation in English is always a challenge. You never really know how a word should be pronounced unless you either check it in a dictionary or hear someone say it correctly. In English, the spelling and the pronunciation of a word are so at odds with each […]

Do you speak English or American?

It is often said that the United States and England are two countries divided by a common language. Although for the most part the two varieties are mutually intelligible, there are a lot of differences between the two, especially as regards to pronunciation. In this video, you can explore some of these pronunciation differences.   […]

Do you speak English or Engrish?

It’s no news that English has become a necessity, making communication across geographic borders much easier. However, embarrassing mistakes often arise when people with a poor proficiency in English attempt to translate local vernacular into English. To give you one example, I once saw “fried chicken cookie” (ugh!) on a menu in a posh bakery […]

Practicing Listening with Podcasts

Most students learning English say that one of their biggest problems is listening. There are many reasons they give: English speakers speak too fast, or they use too much slang, or they don’t pronounce words clearly enough, or… The list of reasons is endless, but the truth is that most people have a lot of […]

Pronouncing “their”

Some English words look easy and we take their pronunciation for granted. One example is the word “their“. Even teachers mispronounce it sometimes. We should pronounce “their” as we pronounce “there“. Do you want to check? Just click on the links below and you’ll be directed to an online dictionary. Just click on the sound […]

Pronunciation Tip #5

What do the words “numb,” “thumb” and “debt” have in common? Well, they each have a silent “b.” Yes, we do not pronounce the “b” in these words, and that has been another pronunciation challenge for us Brazilian speakers of English. So, in order to help you identify more words in which the “b” is […]

Pronunciation Tip #3

I kept thinking about pronunciation difficulties since our last pronunciation tip. Then, I started to notice how some of my students mispronounce the following past participle forms: Caught Bought Thought Sought Brought Many of them do not pronounce the /ɔː/ sound as they should. Instead, they pronounce them as if they had the following diphthongs […]

Pronunciation Tip #2

After seeing that students were glad to be able to practice the correct pronunciation of the “Th” sound in words like “Think” and “Theft, ” I came across the mispronunciation of the “Th” sound in other words like “That,” “Those,” “This,”  “These”and  “The.” So, I began searching for ways to assist my students on that, […]