How To Speak English Clearly So People Understand You Ep 549

A cute baby crawling on a bed and a mother speaking to him. Great Tips To Speak English Clearly And Make Sure People Understand You

📝 Author: Hilary

📅 Published:

💬 2411 words ⏳ Reading Time 13 min


How To Identify English Pronunciation Problems And Fix Them

Continuing with this week’s English speaking theme, in this English lesson we are going to make sure people who are listening to you speak, understand what you say in English. There is no point learning a new language, if when you come to speak it nobody understands what you are saying. This lesson will not only help IELTS speaking test students, it will help all English language learners, even students who can speak English well.

There are a lot of things that can get in the way of speaking clearly in English. How difficult the move from your native language to English depends on your native language. Your native language may not have some sounds we expect you to use in your English. You many have a native language which uses English spellings or sounds differently. Your accent, pronunciation intonation all affect your spoken English clarity and ultimately, if an English listener will understand you.

The good news is we can fix any problems with some explanation. Once you know what English language problem sounds and spellings to look out for, you are more than halfway to fixing any issues you are struggling with. With a lot of listening and some speaking practice, you will soon make a big difference to the clarity of your spoken English.

If you find today’s lesson helpful, please look at our pronunciation course here. It’s a complete deep dive into helping you identify any pronunciation problem areas, and lots of listening and speaking practice to fix them.

Most Unusual Words:

Intonation
Clarity
Rollercoaster
Taste
Mechanic
Particular
Noisiest
Vegan
Champagne

Most common 2 word phrases:

PhraseCount
Give You5
You Can4
Your Speaking3
To Speak3
Focus On2
Lots Of2
Learning English2
Listening Material2
To Practise2
Our Podcasts2
English Pronunciation2
English Consonants2

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Transcript: How To Speak English Clearly So People Understand You

Hi there. Just wanting to say a big 'thankyou' to those of you who comment on our podcasts on YouTube. And an even bigger 'thankyou' to those of you who subscribe to our podcast, especially on YouTube and Spotify. That really helps Adept English and commenting is a good way to give us feedback.

In your feedback, I noticed that you would like more English speaking practice. So here it is today - some English speaking practice where you can speak too and with a particular focus on English pronunciation.

Hello, I’m Hilary, and you’re listening to Adept English. We will help you to speak English fluently. All you have to do is listen. So start listening now and find out how it works.

Normally our podcasts give you English listening material and lots of it. And when you're learning English, the most important thing to work on first of all, is your understanding of spoken English. That's why we give you lots of listening material, but obviously speaking is important too.

And if you're learning a language past a certain point of understanding, you need to focus on your speaking skills.

Practising speaking

When you are learning English and you want to improve your speaking, there is no substitute for conversation in real life with other English speakers. And a good second is conversation online with other English speakers. But your speaking will be behind your listening skills. When we learn a language, the best way to do it is in the same way we learnt language as babies and as small children. You do a lot of listening, you accumulate a lot of understanding and then eventually you start to speak. So let's start to speak today.

The Adept English Consonants Pronunciation Course

I thought I would give you a little taste of the Adept English Consonants Pronunciation Course today.

Boost Your Learning With Adept English

Helping you learn to pronounce ALL the English Consonants, using the Listen & Learn approach to language learning you know and love.

This course addresses the challenges of English consonant pronunciation and the course is available on our website at adeptenglish.com, but let's have a little taste and I will give you some sentences to practise saying as well, so that you can get active too, in this podcast.

Test Your Modal Verbs And Enhance Your English Speaking Skills

Speaking practice - say it with me!

I'll give you some sentences that you can repeat after me so that you get to practise too. I'll build each sentence as we go.

Pause the video as you go to repeat after me, or I'll say each sentence more than once, so you can just join in and speak as I speak. Try to match my pronunciation and I'll discuss after each sentence, what the particular challenges are for the English consonants in that sentence. Here goes:-

'Th' sounds - the 'unvoiced' TH practice

Number one. Thank you for having a bath, cleaning your teeth and looking after your health.

So in this sentence, we're practising the 'th' sound and it's the soft unvoiced 'th', as opposed to the 'th' sound that you find in the word 'the'. I'll say it again. Let's do it with the Southern English pronunciation for 'bath' now.

  • Thankyou for having a bath, cleaning your teeth and looking after your health.

Slower?

  • Thankyou for having a bath, cleaning your teeth and looking after your health.

So those nice soft 'th' sounds.

  • Thank you for having a bath, cleaning your teeth and looking after your health.

That gives you practice at the unvoiced 'th' 'th' 'th' sound.

'Th' sounds - the 'voiced' TH practice

And in contrast, this next sentence gives you practice at the harder voiced 'th' sound. So it's still spelt T H, but it's a 'th' sound.

  • Number two Although their father liked their new clothes, he preferred their other shoes.

Can you hear the 'th' there?

  • Although their father liked their new clothes, he preferred their other shoes.

Again...

  • Although their father liked their new clothes, he preferred their other shoes.

I hope you're saying this with me. That's practice with the firmer voiced 'th' sound. The next one?

S and Z sounds practice

Number three Tuesdays and Thursdays are the noisiest in the classroom because everyone is anxious about tests.

What are we practising here? Well, we're practising the different S, 's' and Z, 'z' sounds. A zed is a 'zzz' sound. Often in English a word will be spelled with an S, but we pronounce it as though it's a Z. So it's a 'zzz' sound. Listen again.

  • Tuesdays and Thursdays are the noisiest in the classroom because everyone is anxious about tests.

You'll notice some of them are S's in pronunciation and some of them are Zs TueZdayZ, ThurZdayZ. That's more like a Z and noiZiest. The first S is a Z and the second is a 's' sound, an S. Tests - all S's there.

And then there's that word 'anxious', where that X in the middle is pronounced as though it's an SH sound - 'sh'. Once again with me?

  • Tuesdays and Thursdays are the noisiest in the classroom because everyone is anxious about tests.

L and R pronunciation practice

OK. What about some practice pronouncing L and R? Some people will find this difficult. Let's see.

Number four.

  • Do you feel the fear on the rollercoaster and then the relief when it relents?

This is for people who like rollercoasters, isn't it.

  • Do you feel the fear on the rollercoaster and then the relief as it relents?

Was that difficult? It probably depends on whether you have L and R sounds in your language and whether you're used to differentiating them. That means 'making a difference between them'. Again?

  • Do you feel the fear on the roller coaster and then the relief as it relents?

Try and say this with me one last time.

  • Do you feel the fear on the roller coaster and then the relief when it relents?

Lots of L and R practice for you there.

Magic E pronunciation practice

OK. What about some practice with Magic E words? These words are the ones that have a vowel in the middle and an E at the end, which changes the sound of the vowel. So it tends to make it a long sound rather than a short sound. So 'man', M A N is a short 'a' in the middle, but 'mane', M A N E is an 'ay' sound, a long sound. That's the effect of Magic E.

That sentence? Say this with me.

  • Drive with care. On long journeys, don't let your focus take a dive. Give yourself five minutes break and arrive alive.

That's good motoring advice, isn't it?! Once again, slowly.

  • Drive with care. On long journeys, don't let your focus take a dive. Give yourself five minutes break and arrive alive.

What's clear from this example - that Magic E may be the rule for most of the words, but sometimes the pronunciation is different. So drive, dive, five, arrive, alive - they're all long I sounds because of the Magic E. But then 'give' is pronounced as though there's no Magic E. And 'care', C A R E isn't the normal 'ay' sound that you would expect. The challenge in English pronunciation is often that there are rules, but it's inconsistent. There are always exceptions to the rule, or almost always.

V and W pronunciation practice

Two sentences in our next bit of practice. These ones will help you practise the difference between V or 'v' and W or 'w'.

  • Number six, Vladimir was a vegan who avoided vegetables.
  • Vladimir was a vegan who avoided vegetables.
  • William was a wise and worried old man, who only washed on a Wednesday.
  • William was a wise and worried old man, who only washed on a Wednesday.

Can you hear the difference between the 'v' and the 'w' - the W pronunciation there? Let's go once more. Pause the video if you need to, but ideally say it with me.

  • Vladimir was a vegan who avoided vegetables.
  • William was a wise and worried old man who only washed on a Wednesday.

📷

A photograph of man in a shoe shop choosing shoes. Tips To Help You Speak English Clearly And Confidently

©️ Adept English 2022


B and P pronunciation practice

OK. What about some practice with B and P - making those sounds different? It's also a tongue twister too, that I seem to have invented here.

Number seven.

  • Bert's brother Paul, beat up Bert's pal, Ben.

A 'pal', P A L means a friend.

  • Bert's brother Paul, beat up Bert's pal, Ben.
  • Bert's, brother Paul, beat up Bert's pal, Ben.

Nothing like a bit of physical violence when you're practising your English pronunciation, is there?! And eccentricity with Vladimir and William perhaps?!

SH and Ch pronunciation practice

OK. Final set of sounds today. What about some practice with S H and C H sounds? Now on the whole, S H is pronounced 'sh', like the sound of a shower or the 'sh' in English, whereas CH is pronounced 'ch' - 'ch ch ch' - more like the sound of a printer, perhaps? Depends what sort of printer you've got, probably.

  • My dog chews my shoes and shares my chair.
  • My dog, chews my shoes and shares my chair.

So you can hear the difference there. 'Chews' and 'chairs' are CH and 'shoes', and 'shares' are SH. But CH can be pronounced in a number of different ways in English. What about the following sentence?

  • Christopher was a mechanic from Chicago who enjoyed champagne, but liked to attend church.

Again?

  • Christopher was a mechanic from Chicago who enjoyed champagne, but liked to attend church.

In this sentence, you can hear a variety of CH pronunciations. So if you look at 'Christopher' and 'mechanic', they're pronounced as though they're a hard C, almost like a K. In the word 'church', you've got two normal English pronunciation C H sounds - 'church'. And then in 'Chicago' and 'champagne', you've got a sound that's more like an SH, a 'sh' sound. The reason for this is in the origin of the language. So it really depends on what language that word came from before it arrived in English.

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Check out the course - and tell us how you found this practice

There's lots more information like this on our English Consonants Pronunciation Course, which you can find on our website at adeptenglish.com. There's much, much more on the course - I've just given you 'a taster' for today. But in terms of this podcast, let us know whether this was useful speaking practice, useful pronunciation practice. We love your feedback. We love hearing from you.

Goodbye

Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.

Thank you so much for listening. Please help me tell others about this podcast by reviewing or rating it. And, please share it on social media. You can find more listening lessons and a free English course at adeptenglish.com

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Hilary

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The voice of Adeptenglish, loves English and wants to help people who want to speak English fluently.
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