Sep
16
2020

IPA Listening Quiz: Vowels

How well do you know the American English vowels? And how well do you know the IPA symbols that correspond to the American English vowels? Test your knowledge with this video! You'll complete 6 listening quizzes that test the monophthongs, diphthongs, and R-colored vowels of American English!

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Sep
06
2020

Word Reductions of Conjunctions

How do native speakers talk so fast? Here's the trick: word reductions! Native speakers will actually change the vowel in a word into a vowel that is easier to say, and this helps the word to be said faster! Word reductions happen often in American English - master these, and you'll sound more like a native speaker! Learn how to reduce the conjunctions "and", "or", "so", and "but" in this video!

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Aug
30
2020

Ten Difficult Words in American English Part 2

American English pronunciation can be tricky - there are silent letters, hidden sounds, and multiple pronunciations for the same spelling. Even native speakers have difficulty pronouncing certain words! Watch this video to perfect your pronunciation of 10 difficult words in American English, with examples that are up close and in slow motion! The words included in this video are: tour, tourist, rural, mural, squirrel, pencil, awful, felt, aspirin, average

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Aug
26
2020

How to Pronounce the OOR /ʊɹ/ Vowel

The American English OOR /ʊɹ/ vowel is a lesser-known R-colored vowel. It's in the words "tour", "lure", and sometimes in the word "you're". This vowel is different than the other R-colored vowels because not all native speakers use this vowel - sometimes they use the OR /ɔɹ/ or ER /ɝ/ vowels instead! Watch to learn some pronunciation tips about this R-colored vowel, close up and in slow motion!

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Aug
25
2020

How to Pronounce the OR /ɔɹ/ Vowel

Perfect your American accent and learn how to pronounce the American English OR /ɔɹ/ vowel! The OR vowel is in the words "door", "order", and "your". The trick to making this vowel is to keep your lips rounded!

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Aug
11
2020

How to Pronounce the AR /ɑɹ/ Vowel

What sound does a pirate make? "ARRRRRR!" If you've ever wondered how to make the "pirate sound", this video is for you! Learn the American English AR /ɑɹ/ vowel, like in the words "car", "heart", and "party", in both stressed and unstressed syllables!

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Aug
10
2020

How to Pronounce the AIR /ɛɹ/ Vowel

The American English AIR /ɛɹ/ vowel is in the words "hair", "dare", and "bear", and it's a great example of how American English spelling does NOT match the pronunciation! Perfect your American accent and learn how to pronounce this tricky R-colored vowel, in both stressed and unstressed syllables!

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Aug
03
2020

How to Stop Overusing "Filler Words"

How often does this happen to you? You're talking to a group of people, and then...THIS comes out of your mouth: "Um...hmmm..well, like yeah..." The dreaded filler words! But don't worry - you CAN learn how to stop overusing filler words in your speech! Watch the video to learn 4 easy tips that will help you to stop using filler words and help make your speech more fluent and effective!

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Jul
29
2020

How to Pronounce the EAR Vowel

The R sound is a distinguishing feature of American English, and if you want to sound more like a native speaker, you need to master the R-colored vowels! Learn how to pronounce the EAR /ɪɹ/ vowel, like in the words "here", "year", and "appear", in stressed and unstressed syllables - close up and in slow motion!

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Jul
28
2020

How to Pronounce the ER Vowel /ɝ, ɚ/

Learn how to pronounce the American English R-colored vowel ER /ɝ,ɚ/, like in the words "bird" and "mother". American English loves the R sound in all forms, so if you want to sound like a native speaker, you need to master the R-colored vowels! There are two different IPA symbols for this vowel, depending on if it is stressed or unstressed. Learn how to pronounce both the stressed and unstressed vowels in this video!

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Jul
27
2020

An Introduction to R-Colored Vowels

Did you know the American R sound can be both a consonant and a vowel? It's a bit confusing, but this video will teach you the basics of the Consonant R /ɹ/ versus the Vowel R. If you want to sound more like a native American English speaker, you need to master the R-colored vowels!

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Jul
16
2020

The Three Types of Syllable Stress

American English is a stress-timed language: some syllables are longer, and some syllables are shorter. But there's more to it than just "stressed" and "unstressed" - there's a third type of stress that occurs in some words that are three or more syllables. Improve your English pronunciation and master the three types of syllable stress in American English!

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Jul
08
2020

How to Pronounce the UH /ʊ/ Vowel

The UH /ʊ/ Vowel is in the words "book", "put", and "could", and if you ask me, this is the WEIRDEST vowel in American English! Learn tips on how to pronounce the UH /ʊ/ vowel in stressed and unstressed positions, up close and in slow-motion!

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Jun
29
2020

How to Pronounce the OO /u/ Vowel

The OO /u/ vowel, like in the word "too", is fairly common in other languages, so you might have it in your native language. But there are a couple of things that make the OO /u/ vowel different in American English! Learn what makes this vowel uniquely American in this video - up close and in slow-motion!

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Jun
23
2020

American English Voice Placement

If you've been struggling with your American accent, it could be because of your voice placement. This video will teach you the theory behind voice placement and some effective exercises you can do to achieve an American voice placement!

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Jun
18
2020

How to Pronounce the EE /i/ Vowel

Learn how native American English speakers pronounce the EE /i/, like in "see" vowel, in both stressed and unstressed syllables! And sound more like a native speaker with vowel gliding!

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Jun
18
2020

How to Pronounce the IH /I/ Vowel

Perfect your American accent and learn the tricks to pronouncing this unique American English vowel, IH /ɪ/, like in the words "bit", "live", and "window". You'll see this vowel up close and in slow motion, in both stressed and unstressed syllables. And learn tips on how this vowel changes when it comes before the NG consonant, like in the word "sing"!

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Jun
10
2020

How to Pronounce the AH /ɑ/ Vowel

Improve your American Accent! Learn how to pronounce the American English vowel AH /ɑ/, like in "father" - and learn how this vowel has replaced the AW /ɔ/ vowel!

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Jun
05
2020

Learn the American accent with The Office!

This is an in-depth analysis of a scripted conversation from the American TV show The Office. I'll analyze all areas of American English - pronunciation of vowels, consonants, syllable and word stress, intonation, and vocabulary. Take notes - this is a great way to learn!

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Jun
02
2020

How to Pronounce the Schwa UH /ə/ Vowel

Improve your American accent and learn how to pronounce the most common vowel in American English: the schwa! It's so important that it has its own name! The schwa UH /ə/ vowel is in the words about, computer, and banana.

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Jun
02
2020

How to Pronounce the UH /ʌ/ Vowel

Improve your American accent and learn how to pronounce the UH /ʌ / like in "butter" vowel! See the vowel up close and in slow motion, in both stressed and unstressed syllables!

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Jun
01
2020

Introduction to the Schwa UH /ə/ Vowel

Perfect your American accent and learn all about the American schwa UH /ə/ vowel, like in the word "about". You'll learn why the schwa is the most common vowel in American English, and when to use it in word reductions!

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May
25
2020

How to Pronounce the EH /ɛ/ Vowel

Improve your American accent and learn how to pronounce the American English vowel EH /ɛ/, like in the word "red"! See the EH vowel up close and in slow motion, in both stressed and unstressed syllables!

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May
25
2020

How to Pronounce the AA /æ/ Vowel

Improve your American accent! Learn how to pronounce the American English vowel AA /æ/, like in the word "bat" - including how this vowel changes when it is next to an N, M, or NG consonant!

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May
14
2020

How to Pronounce the OY /ɔɪ/ Diphthong

Learn the American accent! The OY /ɔɪ/, like in "boy", vowel is called a diphthong - this means it has TWO sounds! Learn the correct lip, jaw, and tongue placement as you say this American English diphthong vowel, in both stressed and unstressed words!

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May
04
2020

How to Pronounce the AI /aɪ/ Diphthong

Learn the American accent! The AI /aɪ/ like in "time" American English diphthong has TWO vowel sounds. Learn the correct jaw, lip, and tongue positions as you glide from the first position to the last, in both stressed and unstressed words!

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Apr
26
2020

How to Pronounce the AY /eɪ/ Diphthong

The American English AY in "day" vowel is called a diphthong, which means it has TWO sounds! Learn the correct tongue, lip, and jaw positions as you say this common vowel of American English!

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Apr
20
2020

How to Pronounce the OW /aʊ/ Diphthong

The OW /aʊ/ in "how" is called a diphthong, and it has TWO sounds. Learn tips on how to correctly move your lips, jaw, and tongue to say the OW sound! Tip: Make sure you feel movement in your lips, jaw, and tongue as you say OW - and there is a lot of movement with this sound!

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Apr
14
2020

How to Pronounce the OH /oʊ/ Diphthong

The OH /oʊ/ in "no" American English diphthong has TWO vowel sounds. Learn the correct jaw, lip, and tongue positions as you glide from the first position to the last, in both stressed and unstressed words!

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Apr
08
2020

The Basics of Voice Production Part 6: Articulatory Exercises

This video is the final installment of the Basics of Voice Production Series. Learn to speak with precision as you practice these challenging tongue twisters!

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Apr
07
2020

The Basics of Voice Production Part 5: Phonatory Exercises

This video is part 5 of the Basics of Voice Production series. A clear and strong voice is powered by vocal cords that vibrate easily and efficiently. Learn some quick exercises to improve your vocal cord vibration - no equipment required!

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Apr
06
2020

The Basics of Voice Production Part 4: Resonatory Exercises

This video is part 4 of the Basics of Voice Production series. The Resonatory System is the reason why YOU sound like YOU. Learn how to maximize the resonance in your voice so that your voice sounds more rich, full, warm, and pleasant, with minimal effort!

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Apr
02
2020

Sentence Analysis: Parks and Recreation Part 1

Test your English pronunciation skills with sentence analysis! This video discusses all areas of English pronunciation - vowels, consonants, syllable stress, word linking, word reductions, and vocabulary - using a scene from Parks and Recreation!

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Mar
29
2020

AH /ɑ/ and UH /ʌ/ Vowels: Minimal Pairs Listening Quiz

How well can you hear the difference between the words "cot" and "cut"? Improve your listening and speaking skills of the AH /ɑ/ in "father" and the UH /ʌ/ in "butter" vowels with this minimal pairs listening quiz!

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Mar
27
2020

EE and IH Vowels: Minimal Pairs Listening Quiz

How well can you hear the difference between the words bead and bid? Perfect your listening and pronunciation of the EE /i/ and IH /ɪ/ vowels in American English with this listening quiz!

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Mar
26
2020

The Basics of Voice Production Part 3: Respiration Exercises

This video is Part 3 of the Basics of Voice Production Series. The breath is the power source of the voice - learn exercises to increase your breath support and control your respiration for strong, consistent voicing!

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Mar
25
2020

The Basics of Voice Production Part 2: Vocal Warm-Ups

This is Part 2 of the Basics of Voice Production series. All muscles need to be warmed up before they are used, and the voice is no exception! Learn some quick and effective exercises to warm-up the voice so you can speak with clarity and precision!

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Mar
22
2020

How to Pronounce 10 Difficult Words in English: Part 1

Learn the best tips on how to pronounce 10 difficult words in English (that you may be pronouncing wrong!), including milk, girl, world, million, clothes, months, vegetables, comfortable, three, and thirty.

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Mar
16
2020

How to Pronounce the N /n/ and NG /ŋ/ Consonants

Learn the tips to pronouncing the N /n/ in "sun" and NG /ŋ/ in "song" - and learn when you can reduce the NG sound!

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Mar
10
2020

Basics of Voice Production Part 1: Voicing Subsystems

Where do our voices come from? And how do they work? If you want to become a better English speaker, you need to learn the fundamentals about how you make your voice! In this video, you'll learn about the body systems involved in voicing and speech production!

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Mar
02
2020

How to Pronounce the TH Sound

Here are the BEST tips to pronouncing the American TH sound - including the variations of the TH sound!

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Feb
23
2020

How to Pronounce the Light L and Dark L Sounds

How is the L in "love" different from the L in "tall"? Learn about the light L and dark L sounds in this video!

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Feb
16
2020

Rhythm in Sentences

Perfect the rhythm of your spoken English with this easy musical activity!

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Feb
04
2020

The Best Way to Practice Your American English Pronunciation

Learn the most effective tips at improving your American English pronunciation!

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Feb
04
2020

The Vowels of American English

What makes the vowel in "beat" different from the bowel in "bit"? Learn about the front, central, and back vowels of American English!

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Feb
04
2020

Place, Manner, and Voicing of the American English Consonants

How is the "P" sound different from the "B" sound? Learn what makes the American English consonants different from each other!

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Feb
04
2020

Stress in Sentences

Where does the rhythm come from when Americans speak? Learn about stress in sentences!

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Feb
04
2020

AH and UH Vowels: A Visual Test

How well can you pronounce the AH (father) and the UH (butter) vowels in American English? Test your pronunciation skills with this visual test!

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Feb
04
2020

EE and IH Vowels: A Visual Test

How good is your pronunciation of the EE (beat) and IH (bit) vowels in American English? Test your skills with this visual test!

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Feb
04
2020

The American R Sound as a Consonant and a Vowel

How is the R in "right" different from the R in "learn"? Test your knowledge of the American R sound with this video!

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Feb
04
2020

The American T in Sentences

The American T sound can be pronounced three different ways! Test your knowledge about the three American T sounds with this video.

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Feb
04
2020

Word Reductions: Function Words

Where does American English get its rhythm and flow? Learn how to reduce the function words in American English in this video!

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Feb
04
2020

Vowel to Vowel Linking in American English

Improve the flow of your spoken English through linking words together!

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Feb
04
2020

Best Resources in Accent Reduction

Learn about the best resources to help you improve your English pronunciation!

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Jan
15
2020

Linking In Connected Speech

Spoken English sounds like one, long connected word.

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Jan
15
2020

Unstressed Syllables and Word Reductions in American English

In spoken English, some syllables are longer, or more stressed, compared to the other syllables in a word.

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Jan
08
2020

Syllables and Stress of American English

Clear English pronunciation is not only about pronouncing consonants and vowels correctly.

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Nov
20
2019

How to Pronounce the AH /ɑ/ Vowel and the UH /ʌ/ Vowel

Pronouncing the "ah" and "uh" vowels can be difficult for non-native English speakers to pronounce.

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Oct
16
2019

How to Pronounce the L sound: Light L vs. Dark L

There are a few sounds in American English that are consistently tricky for most of my clients, but one that also deserves a spot at the table is the L sound.

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Sep
21
2019

I'm a Native American English speaker...With an Accent

There are many, many regional accents throughout the United States. And even within the same region, there are even more specific differences in pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar.

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Aug
31
2019

5 Tips to Ease Presentation Anxiety

It happens to the best of us.

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Aug
19
2019

Six Vocal Warm-ups Everyone Should Be Doing

Most of us can agree on the importance of warming up our bodies before we start exercising. Without a proper warm-up, our muscles may be stiff and be more susceptible to injury.

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Aug
06
2019

What Can a Corporate Speech Trainer Do For You?

How many times during any given day would you guess that you communicate with other people?

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Jul
22
2019

How to Improve Your Spoken American English

Many of my clients ask me how they can sound more like a native speaker. Even if you know how to pronounce all of the vowels and consonants of English, you may not sound as natural as a native speaker when you’re talking in a conversation.

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Jul
17
2019

What's Voice Got To Do With It?

Consider this scenario: You have to give a speech at your daughter’s wedding. You prepared your speech weeks ago...

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Jul
13
2019

Where Do American Accents Come From?

We know that accents are everywhere. We all have one, and depending on where someone has lived and how old they were when they lived there, we may have a combination of many accents in our speaking pattern.

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Jul
03
2019

Let's Learn the IPA! American English Vowels

The IPA is a notation system that uses symbols to represent the sounds of spoken language. Each symbol corresponds to a distinct sound, and as long as you know the symbol-to-sound correspondence, you should be able to pronounce any word you encounter. Today I’d like to focus on the IPA symbols of American English Vowels.

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Jun
20
2019

The Top 5 Problematic Sounds in American English: The AY /eɪ/ "bait" and EH /ɛ/ "bet" vowels

Learn the tricks to pronouncing the American English tense/lax vowel pair AY /eɪ/ (bait) and EH /ɛ/ (bet)!

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Jun
18
2019

Let's Learn the IPA! American English Consonants

The International Phonetic Alphabet, or IPA, is a notation system that uses symbols to represent the sounds of spoken language.

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Jun
09
2019

The Top 5 Problematic Sounds in American English: The “eee” and “ih” vowels

This is Part Four of the Top 5 Problematic Sounds in American English.

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Jun
03
2019

The Top 5 Problematic Sounds in American English: The "r" Sound

This is Part Three of the Top 5 Problematic Sounds in American English.

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May
25
2019

The Top 5 Problematic Sounds in American English: The TH Sound

This is Part Two of the Top 5 Problematic Sounds in American English. Based on my experience with accent modification, most people have difficulties with these same 5 sounds, regardless of their native language. So let’s continue with the next sound: The TH sound.

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May
11
2019

The Top 5 Problematic Sounds in American English: The "t" Sound

Based on my experience with accent modification, most people have difficulties with these same 5 sounds, regardless of their native language. I’ll begin this series with the first sound, “t”.

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May
08
2019

Exciting news! I've been featured in a newly published book!

I’ve been featured in the book Here's How to Do Accent Modification: A Manual for Speech-Language Pathologists , written by my colleague Robert McKinney!

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May
01
2019

American Accent Basics: What is an accent? Why do I have one? How do I reduce my accent to sound like a native American English speaker?

Let's consider the definition of an accent to be: “A distinctive mode of pronunciation of a language, especially one associated with a particular nation, locality, or social class.” According to this definition, we all have an accent.

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