Improve your English Pronunciation - taught by a native British qualified teacher. | Serena Greenslade | Skillshare

Improve your English Pronunciation - taught by a native British qualified teacher.

Serena Greenslade, Elocution Teacher since 1994

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42 Lessons (46m)
    • 1. English Pronunciation

    • 2. English Vowels

    • 3. A IN SAT

    • 4. A IN SAW

    • 5. A IN FARM

    • 6. A IN DAY

    • 7. E IN SEAT

    • 8. E IN SET

    • 9. I IN EYE

    • 10. I IN SIT

    • 11. O IN COW

    • 12. O IN DON'T

    • 13. O IN BOY

    • 14. O IN NOT

    • 15. OO IN BLUE

    • 16. OO IN GOOD

    • 17. U IN NEW

    • 18. U IN HUT


    • 20. B

    • 21. C

    • 22. CH

    • 23. D

    • 24. F

    • 25. G

    • 26. H

    • 27. J

    • 28. K

    • 29. L

    • 30. M

    • 31. N

    • 32. P

    • 33. Q

    • 34. R

    • 35. S

    • 36. T

    • 37. TH

    • 38. V

    • 39. W

    • 40. X

    • 41. Y

    • 42. Z


About This Class

This course focuses on voice exercises for most of the vowel and consonant sounds made in English. I cover 39 different sounds. I will show you how these sounds should be pronounced, what shape your mouth should be, where your tongue should be and you will hear what they should sound like. This will help you learn how to pronounce English sounds.

Each lecture concentrates on one sound and there is an opportunity for you to repeat the exercises after me.  This is helpful for anyone who mumbles or wishes to soften their accent.


1. English Pronunciation : Hi, I'm Serena and I teach elocution, which means I teach people to articulate well and which means I teach them to speak clearly . Now. This course is just full of exercises. There's no theory, no detailed explanations. I just go through every vowel sound and every constant sound. I show you how to exercise. I show you how to open your mouth, how to make the sound on. We have one or two exercises for each sound. These lectures are stand alone so you can just pick on a sound in practice it I've bean teaching since 1994. I know what I'm doing. I've taught Children. I've taught adults. I've taught doctors, lawyers, businessmen, salesman, engineers, housewives, students, shy Children, um, precocious Children. So with a bit of fun, hopefully let's see how you get on with opening your mouth and getting those sounds out. I could have categorized these exercises in two ways. I could have done it by sound, which is the most logical way for a speech therapist or an allocution teacher to do it. But I find most people I teach would rather do it by the letter name. So that's the way I've gone. This means that for some of the letters you will find the exercises are repeated because the same letter makes the same sound. It might not make sense at the moment, but as you go through it will, I hope. 2. English Vowels: to make a vowel sound. Nothing in our mouth touches. We just open our mouth on the sound comes out The thing that changes the sound is the shape of our mouth from ah, e o. Uh, I sometimes actually changes shape during the sound, and sometimes it doesn't. So that's how viable sound is made. 3. A IN SAT: the letter A a vow, as in cat. This is a Monmouth on sound. So your mouth doesn't change shape. It's straight. Board case off. Opening your mouth on the side. Coming out? Yeah. The cat sat in the hat. I had a dramatic time. Okay, you try it. Very good. Very important Sound for the beginning of words. Things like on astronaut. So nice. Open mouth before you say the sound. Okay, Shelton. 4. A IN SAW: ETA a the bow as in the sound or nothing. So it's important to remember here that it's the sound that is important, not how the word is spelled. So it could be a you Well, oh, you w just in a So it's the sound you have to concentrate on. So let's try a sentence. My Joel her When I to I became exhausted. My draw hurt when I told I became exhausted. Now you try very good. Let's travel more sentence. I bought the ball and I placed it in the saucer case. I thought the ball on. I placed it in the saucer. Do you try? Very good. So a nice ALS sound. Lots of different spellings, but the same sound. 5. A IN FARM: the letter A. As in Call my open mouth. It's a month all so your mouth doesn't change shape. You just open your mouth and out comes the sound I would suggest for exercise purposes only three fingers in your mouth. That's how wide it needs to be open in everyday conversation. Not so wide, because you just look silly. So open wide for the exercises. And remember, it's the sound that is important, not how the word is spelled. So oh, it could be heart, which is a e a r t. Or it could be our in farm A are hello, half h A l. So it's the sound always. So let's try a sentence. Mama worked very hard in the castle. You try very good. You may find opening your mouth that wide distorts the world a little bit. But what you're trying to do is exercise all these muscles here so you get usedto open your life wide 6. A IN DAY: the letter? A As in day. This is a distant A. It's made of two sounds, so your mouth needs to change shape. As you say, A close is, as you say, sound so let's try a sentence. The lady with the plane was waiting with documentation. Okay. The lady with the plane was waiting. The documentation. You try it. Very good. If that is mispronounced, sometimes it can come out a bit like an eye. So paper becomes Piper, so make sure it's a nice clear a 7. E IN SEAT: the letter e making on e sound now to make the e your mouth needs to go that way. Like Chris Mining E. Okay, it's a one of the O. It's a longest monath on you can sustain the San e Go forever. It's nice e. So let's try a sentence. She sat in the seat immediately. She could feel the be getting closer. Okay? She sat in the seat immediately. She could feel be getting closer. You try it. Very good. Make sure. Nice long e. You don't want words like field or being toe end up sounding like Phil. Been more of this in later lecture. 8. E IN SET: the letter e as it sounds in the word set. Yeah, mouth over. Nothing touching in your mouth on it is amon a thon, so your math doesn't need to change shape. It is the sound that is important, not the spelling. So it could be leisure e I. Or it could be friend I e. Or it could be head E A. So there's lots of different spellings that give us the same sound. So let's try listened. The architect couldn't spell the word fluorescent. The architect couldn't spell the word fluorescent. You try very good. 9. I IN EYE: the letter I has in Smile or my or Kite? It's a diff thong made up of two sounds. I Your mouth needs to change shape on. DIT needs to open wide. So for exercises, I would suggest middle three fingers that's high wide, so you are going to yawn. So let's try a sentence. The child smile was undeniably terrifying, so nice and wide on the eyes. The child's smile was undeniably terrifying. Now you try. Brilliant. It's a nice, large, open mouth. I. It's a lovely sound on ditz in all sorts of words all over the place. Very good. If you practice properly on, did you do it enough. When you open your mouth on these eyes, your jaw may start to ache a little bit. That's good shows you're using muscles that you're not used to using, I said earlier. Four exercises open your my three fingers. I wouldn't expect you to do that in normal conversation. You just look a bit daft. So perhaps two fingers in ordinary conversation, so the child smile was undeniably terrifying when you're just talking normally, okay, but practice really wide 10. I IN SIT: the letter I as it is pronounced in the world sick. Okay, A short sound mouth doesn't change shape. So she was very particular about the exhibition and didn't know where to sit. You try it. Good thing to be careful of hair. Is that it In the e sound different more of this later? 11. O IN COW: the letter O as it sounds in the word house. How it's a system so your mouth needs to change shape. Spelling isn't important. It could be Oh, you sound house. Or it could be Ow! Shower flower. So let's try a sentence. The sound ground out the shouting, you try it. Good. Make sure your mouth changes shape. How good? 12. O IN DON'T: the letter O as it sounds in the word home Oh, it's a diff phone. Your mouth changes shape as you say it. Oh, it closes into a circle. So let's try a sentence. The boat is owned by a lady who liked to so close you try it. The spelling isn't important. We have Oh, as in boat Oh, a so e w So you might just have an O so anything, It just sounds Oh, your math needs to change shape in turn. Lovely. Oh, sound, I think in English the sound is used very, very often. We use it in words like don't Andi won't all the time without thinking If you're not careful, if you're o is no, quite on Oh, the worst won't on want may become confused Nice. Oh, 13. O IN BOY: the letter O as it sounds enjoying. Oy, It's a deferral. Your mouth needs to change shape. Oy that which miss? Circle to smile. We doesn't matter what Hispanic be. Why war? Oh, I So let's try a sentence. The boy was annoyed because it ruined his enjoyment. You tried good. 14. O IN NOT: the letter O as it sounds in the word no. Oh, Mom. Ethel, Mouth doesn't change shape. Just a straight Good. So let's try a sentence. I want the dog to solve the problem. I want the dog to solve the problem. You try it. Staying not important want is w A. But it has the same sound as hope. Oh, you need to be careful with the all sound in the o sound again. If you're not careful, want Andi won't will sound the same. The likelihood is that both signed very similar to one suitable oh, different shape of mouth. 15. OO IN BLUE: the letter u as in would you? Um, now get this sound with all sorts of different spellings and different letters. So who? We have things? Well, let's try the sentence first. Who will chew the blue suite? Who will chew the blue suite? You try it. Now you can see that we have who? Which is an O true, which isn't e. Then we've got move, which is a you. So we think of it as a you sound But it could be different letters. Why? I'm only saying is this sound that is important? Not the letter. The new circle who? 16. OO IN GOOD: the letter U as it would sound in the word like quote the o sound. So you should who again? The spelling can be misleading. It's the same sounds you getting good, which is a double o good would put. Let's try a sentence. It would be good if you could look at the football. Please. It would be good if you could look, but for please. Now you try. It was good. 17. U IN NEW: the letter U As in this sound music or you very occasionally, this you sound is difficult and your math needs to change. Shape You, you new and music is not often, but in English. It is occasionally so he wouldn't have music. Music. Let's try sentence. I see you people like the new music. Try very good. 18. U IN HUT: the letter you as it sounds in the world hut. Yeah, Monos. All of math sound comes out. No change of shape. So it was, like much, um again Spelling Not important. Cousin is saying. Oh, you couple cynical cup. Let's try a sentence. Does my cousin charge justice much to stay in the country? Does my cousin charge just as much to stay in the country? You try it Very good. 19. ORGANS OF SPEECH: in order to make a constant sound. Two of our organs of speech need to touch. Now we have five main organs of speech. We have our lips, our tongue, our soft palate, our hard palate and our teeth. So, for example, the F sound for your teeth Touch your lip for for a t sound tha your tongue touches the top of your mouth. So for any constant sound, two of your organs of speech need to touch. 20. B: constant being which makes a book sound on the sound is the important thing. No, my labial to lips touching so explodes out of the mouth. But so let's try a sentence. I did better by bananas. You try it. Don't Let's try another one. Both Bose bust. You try very good. 21. C: the letter C Now on its own, it can have two different sounds. Have a hard sound or softer sound So cut in the back of your throat. Link your gut rule cup so very much like Okay, sentence. Can the color off the kind be cream? You try. Very good. That's a good Sometimes it can be a sub just like an s, which is more hissing sound coming outside of your tongues. Your tongue probably touched the back your back teeth. I told you so. We would have. The cinema is in the center, off the town. You try it. We also have a sound for a C when it's a C H, which we will cover in another lecture. Look out for it. 22. CH: see within an inch, which gives us a chip sound. I have occasionally talked Children who find this very difficult to say. It's very similar to a J just so words like chair Children jam. Sure, your tongue needs to touch always top of your mind. And that's how I would teach somebody who can't say this. So it's almost a tension Tom must touch top of the mouth before you say the sound. Let's try sentence. The champion was cheerful when he achieved the wing. The champion Waas cheerful when he achieved the wing. So nice, Chuck. Now you try it. Very good. They c H. Tung touches the top of the mouth. 23. D: the letter day makes done. Your tone touches the top of your mouth. No. Yeah. Okay. It's a lingual, palatable, tongue touching top of mouth. So let's try Daisy. The donkey danced on different days. Try Brilliant. It just explodes out of your mouth. 24. F: the letter makes us sound. So your front teeth actual bottom lip go again. It's just explosives. The math. So? So let's try a sentence. Fighting. Fred was foolhardy. You try it good. Or we could have. French fries are laid ism. You try good. 25. G: the letter G. Just like the letter C can have two different sound. It could be a hard sounded Go the back of your throat, go or it consigned like a J joke. So let's try a couple of sentences. Gail giggled when she got the gift. Gail giggled when she got again. You try now. Let's try the soft G giraffe's Ah, gigantic you try, which is very similar to the J Sound. John Jaws are just for fun right now. So giraffe, jaw, jaw. So get sound important. Not the letter or spelling. 26. H: the letter age. Now this is all a Really. It's a It's like a whisper, but it's a bit louder, huh? Come to the back of the throat. Capital hurts your throat. A lot of European countries don't pronounce the h, but in English, we should on it. Sounds very, very lazy if you missed it off. So let's try a sentence. Harry, the hedgehog hate how you try. We don't want Ari are really a joke. Eight home. What? Harry creates it. Harry hates it, huh? OK, so is very important. One little note I will say here, which is very irritating to any elocution teacher. The letter is H A I T c H h. It's not hold. Okay, A bit of a auditing. That English language. In a word, you would say hotel or hedgehog. What is the letter? And 27. J: Well, let's a J. Now if you've bean through these lectures in order. You know, we've come across this sound already with the letter J. Joe, as in Jack. But it can also be a G as in your off. So we're just trying to save sentence again. Jam jars are just for fun. You try it for these just sounds. Your tongue will probably touch the refuel mouth slightly. Just Joan Jam. I should start sound jam, so save that G giraffes are gigantic. Try that. I say, Be aware of where your tongues 28. K: the letter K. It's made in the back of the throat. Lynn. You a natural? Very much the same as the heart. See in color. So we insane? Can the color off the kind of cream which is the same with cuts? Sound to try that good with Kay, Can you kindly keep the key? Can you kindly keep the key? You try so true. Different letters. The same sound. Okay, Homsi. 29. L: the letter. L makes a look sound so your tongue must touch the top of your mouth. It's a sustained sound so you can make it longer. Look, let's try a sentence. Little Lilly loved large capitals. You try good now the letter l cars in the middle towards the end of some words and it should also be heard very slightly. So things like smile, right, not smile. Smile. Your tongue should touch top of your mouth If I just say smile. My tone didn't touch the top of my mouth. If I say smile, it does so look. So let's just try a few. The child's smile writes a child smile. You try it good. We also get a l, which we should hear at the end of some words. So things like still well still I say Still, there's no little off the end of it. So still. Okay, Will. So let's try sentence. I feel as though I'm still ill. Okay, try good. What's it? Look 30. M: the letter and more. Two lives, Ma by labial ma Sustained So my money made me some mom leg. Nice moon. Sounds like a humming. So you try very good. 31. N: the letter. And luck is the sound Your tongue touches top of your mouth. No, no, you can sustain. It is a long sound doesn't explode out of your mouth. So let's try a sentence. The noise is never necessary in the night. The noise is never necessary. In you try it. Very good. 32. P: the letter P a constant by labial to lips touching lips together explodes out of the mouth . The Portuguese are polite people. The Portuguese are polite people. You try it good. 33. Q: the letter Q comes from the back of your throat. Leave you ago. True. So cut like a k were heart. See, in some instances so things like, um, key where I used to live in the south of England was pulled key. The second largest natural harbour in the world. Que you a wife key. But queen is a quote like a w minute. And then we got was like, quiet, clean. So come what? Who? I So you've got your sound in the back of throat and you've got almost approximation to buy labial point. Cool. White starts in the room, so let's try some. The queue for the King was quite quiet. Okay, the queue. But the king was quite quiet. You try it. Very good. 34. R: the letter. Ah, makes a roof or even a sound, But most people rule. Um, now your site of your tongue should touch top of your back in your teeth. Europe is all to do with the flexibility of your tongue on sound comes from the back here. So that's try sentence. Roger is ready to repeat the race. Okay. Roger is ready to repeat the race. You try it now in English. A lot of words and e r don't driver, brother, you don't, brother. That's a very Dorset way of speaking. I would say restore our. So it's almost as though it wasn't there. But you don't want words like brother to become brother. It's a brother. It's a very quick, uh, same. I just said Dorset, the horse. That's my strong Dorset accent coming out. You need to soften it. If that's what jewels is like. You don't like your accent. So I always have to think that Dorset, that being d o r s e t was de a w s e t Dorset. Fourth, not a joke R S E. But H a W s e horse. So the arm is slowly disappearing from the English sound, but I think that's a shame. I love it. Dorset horses so nice are sound is lovely. However, if you want some little bit more professional prep, soften it slightly. 35. S: the letter s now This can cause problems. My tongue is touching my top teeth at the sides. It's not touching it off. My mouth's says, Obviously changes life with H After it shook you didn t after you guessed or hey spot So all these different sub sounds Let's try a sentence and see how it goes Sally is scared off washing the shells You try Good Gullah scuff a shot That's so They're all suspicious Very good. 36. T: the letter T. This is very important you tell touch is talking about. So it comes at the beginning of what, in the middle off words on at the end of words and is very important to make your speech nice and clear. Let's try a sentence. 22 teachers trying to type you try now sustain is in middle beginning end word. So 20 in middle beginning the 20 not 20. That beauty that 20 at the end of the word is important. Things like hat, cat, sat coat, No coat. I don't if the end of the world isn't career people, I guess a bit what you've said, things like bet and then beg. They will be getting back the list of needs to hear the end. It doesn't mean you have to be very slow. Very particular. Just get your tongue used to moving quickly. 22 teachers trying to type trying to quickly brilliant 37. TH: the sun, So T h, this has to be said with your tongue between your teeth so your tongue has to be outside of your teeth. Excited your mouth Before you start the sound, it is putting the tongue back into the mouth. That makes the sound. So things like, well being thing my tongue is that first saying in a word when it's in the middle, rub ra No, your tongue has to be that first because you have to take you back in to make the sound. I know some languages don't have a Andi. I can sound like a duck. So the becomes on something are lazy. So said the same thing they'll say thing. This is the fourth time I have thought about that. This is the fourth time I have felt about that. You try it now. If you know you have trouble with this sound, I suggest you repeat that over and over again. Look in a mirror and you should be able to see the tip of your tongue every time you come across a sound very simple and very quick exercise is this is my finger. This is my thumb. So this and some. You should see your tongue. This is my finger. This is my farm. Nice. Those now the felt can change. Sounds likely visit th I. This who teach? A That that's more to do. The vowel sign that follows it rather that the mechanics of the same your tongue must be outside of your mouth. Some people find it more difficult if it's at the end of a word, because it sounds to them as though they are over doing it. So where's my mouth? And it's even more noticeable it as an s. So clothes Okay, close got understand, um, months. But it's the same for everybody. It is a horrible sound, but to say it correctly, you need to take your time. 38. V: Yeah, The letter J the do you on bottom lip, but okay. Lets you dental but good business, errand boys. But so let's try. Send him. Vera is very thing. Vera is very vain. You try it. Good can come in the middle of the work. I love dogs. You try brilliant. 39. W: the letter. W what it's an approximation of Ah, my lady, of your lips. Almost touched, but not quite. What? Okay, what? Um, some worse doubling age I walked. Why? When I was always talked that they should have a little bit of an H death. What? I don't teach people to say it like that home. If they do, they do. I still do. I think it's going out of fashion slightly and probably in 50 years time. Nobody will. But for mate, this is different city when and when so up to you. But let's try sentence with W's. I always read the words on the wall. When I walk to work. I always read the words on the war. When I walk to work, you try good. My work was a bit Dorset work. 40. X: the letter X. Now I have to admit I had to sit and think about this. How do we make that sound? Andi, It's very big cup in the back of your throat. Yeah, books exist. The vocal that sounded them. But apart from that there quite different. It can come at the beginning of the world. Things like X ray or the girl's name. Zegna becomes a center. Then it can be at the end of the world like box. It can become a middle of a war like acts. Although it sounds like it's at the end or 60 it's in the middle. So it's a sound. I'm probably the best way to demonstrate. This is to just used to worth text, which is what we will do now. Today text people s tests, text your text and test on. That really is the easiest way to explain the sound. We could just try sentence. Oh, she had to text to ask if she could fix 60 boxes. Okay, so she had to text toe, ask if she could fix 60 boxes. You try it. Good 41. Y: the letter. Why a lot of people say this is like a vowel sound. Um, not as far really is making the sound is concerned. It's only really has a sound once at the beginning of like yellow or young, and it comes from your throat. This got since sound voice to it. It is at the end of a word, pretty. It has the any sound, so we go back to the sound rather than how it's spelled. So that's just think of the sentence. The young yellow butterfly looked very pretty. The young yellow butterfly looked very pretty. You try it. Otherwise, at the end of the words, really don't have a sound of their own, they're in I or E. So again, sound is important. 42. Z: but that is it Very similar to an S. But it has most sounded more voices. So let's try sentence. There was zeros, emperors at the zoo. There's there is zero zebras at the zoo. You try good. We occasionally get it towards the end of the word. Like snoozy snooze again. Very. Symington s with a little bit more sound to it.