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Tag: Pronunciation Tips

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Make your own verbs by “conjugating” any word

When I teach my students a new noun, they often have trouble pronouncing them. It’s hard to know where the strongest sound is – is it at the beginning or at the end of a word? Do you say “REcord” or “reCORD”? Well, in this case, you can say it both ways, but you will […]

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 […]

Those -ed sounds…

The other day, a student asked me what he could do to improve his speaking. I stopped and thought for sometime and said he should focus on one goal, an immediate one, so that he could measure his progress in order to be motivated to achieve further goals. Then we agreed that he should start […]

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 […]

The Oscar: How do You Say It?

The Oscar nominations have always generated quite a buzz in the media; however, the 2014 list of nominees has caught my attention for something other than the great performances given by the actors. The name of one of the nominees is so different that frankly I didn’t even know how to try to pronounce it! I am talking about British actor, […]

Review: Will vs Going to

Hi, dear reader, As the year is coming to an end, I think it’s high time we reviewed some of the basics about English grammar. First, I would like to talk a little about the differences between using will and going to when talking about the future. Basically, what you should know is: Use will when you want […]

Pronunciation Tip – “ss” pronounced as “z”?

Don’t feel embarrassed if you have also mispronounced words like ‘possessive’ or ‘possess’ at least once in your life. I believe everyone has done that! The fact is that the words ‘possessive‘ and ‘possess‘ are pronounced like ‘pozessive’ and ‘pozess’. Click on the words to listen to their pronunciation. But, we, Brazilians, tend to think […]

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 #4

In order to keep up with the pronunciation tip posts, I had to revisit some of the most common pronunciation mistakes my students make. After looking into my notes, I came across one of them that is still current in many of my classrooms, even in the more advanced ones: The mispronunciation of the initial […]

American Football 101

Do you know much about American football?  Better yet, did you know that there are American football teams in Brasília? Casa Thomas Jefferson is sponsoring the Tubarões do Cerrado,  a team that was born in August 2004, when Leandro Barreto and Serginho Dias organized the first unofficial matches. With that in mind and following the […]

The Son of Sobek

Have you read the first saga of Percy Jackson? What about the Kane Chronicles? If your answer is no to any of these questions or to both of them, you have got to start reading them. They are amazing. Well, that is, if you like this kind of adventures that involve Greek gods and teenage […]

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, […]