Podcast 1: Introduction to English Pronunciation
Saturday November 8th, 2008
Front Vowel Review:
This podcast is a review of the vowels which we have learned in the previous podcasts: the front vowels /i/, /I/, /ɛ/, /eI/ and /æ/. This podcast provides practice exercises which will make your pronunciation of these important vowels clear and distinct.
In this weeks podcast, we’re going to review the front vowels . The front vowels are the vowels which we’ve covered up to this point:
/i/, /I/, /ɛ/, /eI/ and / æ /.
These vowels are called” front vowels” because our tongue is more forward when we pronounce them.
** I strongly recommend that you listen to the previous lessons about these vowels if you haven’t already, before using this podcast.
Podcasts #2, #4 and #6 give complete detailed instruction as to how to pronounce these vowels.
The Importance of Review:
One of the main purposes of this podcast is to emphasize the importance of reviewing material when studying accent reduction.
Some of my best private students in New York have told me that they are always reviewing the material from past lessons. This is called maintenance of the fundamentals. Maintenance of the fundamentals will keep your pronunciation skills strong and consistent.
It’s like a professional musician who still practices the same scales everyday, or a dancer or athlete who warms up with the same routine everyday.
Build a Strong Foundation:
Practicing the fundamentals is essential because these are the building blocks of more complex communication. Review and practice of past lessons keeps the foundation of your skills strong. A strong foundation will allow you to build more advanced and complex pronunciation patterns
Exercise: Review of front vowels /i/, /I/, /ɛ/ eI / and / æ /. This exercise creates a clear distinction between these vowels . Listen and repeat the groups of words, paying careful attention to the vowel differences within them.
/i/ /I/ /ɛ/ /eI/ /æ /
seat sit set sate sat
meet / meat mitt met mate mat/Matt
dean din den Dane Dan
heel/heal hill hell hail Hal
beat bit bet bait bat
read rid red/read raid “rad”
keen kin ken cane can
Exercise : Listen and repeat the following sentnces containing the /i/ , /I/ and /ɛ/ sounds.
I couldn’t sit in my seat during the set.
Walking uphill in high heels is hell!
We weren’t too keen about meeting Ken’s kin.
Jen and Gene are drinking gin.
Exercise: Listen and repeat the following sentences containing / æ /, /ɛ/ and /eI/ :
Matt has met his perfect mate.
Can* Ken walk without a cane ?
Jen, Jane and Jan are sisters.
* “can” in this case is unstressed, so it will usually be pronounced /KIn/ by native speakers. (See podcast#8)
Training tip: Practice these sentences on a daily basis . It only takes a few minutes to repeat these sentences a few times.
Start by saying them slowly and gradually bring them up to your regular rate of speech.
Improving your pronunciation and reducing your accent is all about reviewing and practicing regularly. The more you practice regularly, the easier it will become to say the sounds distinctly and correctly.
Just ten minutes day of practice can really make a difference!
It’s important to have good tools to practice with. I recommend Best Accent Training mp3s!
Any questions, comments or suggestions ? Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you and see you next time!