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Study English conversation skills with one of YouTube's most popular English as a Second (or third!) Language teachers, Rachel of Rachel's English. Most beneficial for intermediate to advanced students, Rachel's specialty is the nuance and musicality of spoken English. Learn about English stress, sounds, and melodies, in addition to American slang, idioms, phrasal verbs, vocabulary, common phrases, culture, and more! Each episode is a CONVERSATION, so join the conversation now and learn how ...
 
It's a new year... join me Tamsin from English Brick by Brick to smash some English language learning goals and flex your pronunciation muscles! English Sound Building is an advanced pronunciation podcast where *you* do the work to build muscle, muscle memory, and master new sounds. Each episode will focus on one or two British English sounds, looking at how they're pronounced in common words, and then practising them in some trickier phrases. Always remember that successful communication is ...
 
Zapp! English Vocabulary and Pronunciation is based on *Real* unscripted English conversations featuring speakers with different accents. Each podcast also contains interactive audio classes with a teacher to work on your vocabulary and pronunciation. Every podcast comes with an e-book available on Zappenglish.com. The eBook includes the complete conversation and class transcripts, vocabulary lists, and additional practice exercises and answers only available in the eBooks. We charge a small ...
 
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To play something by ear has two meanings. One is the musical meaning: when you play a song by ear, it means you play the song without any sheet music, so you’re not looking at the notes. You know the song, it’s in your head, so you can play it without needing to look at written music. The second meaning of “play it by ear” means to do something wi…
 
Welcome back to season 4 of English Sound Building! Today, we’re picking back up on the /ɪ/ and /e/ sounds from last week, and seeing how they behave in two schwa diphthongs: /ɪə/ and /eə/. We’ll look at the sounds individually, in common words, and in sentences. Practise as often as you can to build muscle memory, and make sure you subscribe so yo…
 
Martha: Charles, I need some advice. C: Sure, what about? M: Yesterday I told my history professor he was an idiot. C: You’re kidding! In private, or in front of the class? M: In front of the whole class. C: I assume you’re not majoring in diplomacy or international relations? M: It’s not a joke! What should I do? C: Is he an idiot? No, never mind.…
 
Read and look up. Part One: “Read and look up” is a technique for improving your foreign language speaking and reading. It is easy to do. Here is how. 1) First, choose a text. It’s okay if the text contains a few new vocabulary words, but not so many that you can’t understand the overall meaning. 2) If possible, print the text so you can mark on it…
 
Welcome back to season 4 of English Sound Building! This week we're revisiting two short vowels we've looked at before: /e/ and /ɪ/, and contrasting them with each other. Practise as often as you can to build muscle memory, and make sure you subscribe so you don't miss the next one. The Podcast script is available free on my Patreon. Don't forget t…
 
Here are some ways to say that you agree with another speaker. 1) I agree completely. 2) You are correct. (Or) You are absolutely correct. 3) Exactly. (Or) Absolutely. 4) That’s so true. (Or) What you just said is so true. 5) You’re right. 6) You took the words right out of my mouth. [You said what I was going to say.] 7) That’s exactly how I feel.…
 
This dictation is three paragraphs long. It is repeated three times. Instructions: Step One: Listen to the paragraphs as many times as you like. The more you listen, the easier it will be to write down each sentence. Step Two: Listen again, but stop after each sentence and try to repeat it to yourself. If you can repeat it, go ahead and write it do…
 
Welcome back to season 4 of English Sound Building! Today, we're looking at "syncope" in pronunciation: otherwise known as words with disappearing syllables. Practise as often as you can to build muscle memory, and make sure you subscribe so you don't miss the next one. The Podcast script is available free on my Patreon. Don't forget to follow me o…
 
13) There are some guys on Tandem who are only trying to pick up girls. [meet, bring home for sex] 14) He was picked up by the police. They questioned him for hours. [found and taken to the police station] 15) Marion picked up some food on her way home. [got some food] 16) My mother is a great cook. Everything I know about cooking I picked up from …
 
Some practice with the phrasal verb “to pick up”. 1) I need to move this table. Can you help me pick it up? [lift] 2) I’ll pick you up tomorrow morning at 8 and we can drive to work together. [give a ride] 3) The baby started crying so her mother picked her up. [lifted] 4) My father used to have a shortwave radio. Before the internet, he could alwa…
 
Be careful with the pronunciation of “th”: the tip of your tongue is between your teeth. It helps to watch videos to see how people make the "th" sound. Here's one video on YouTube, and here is another one. 1. Thank you for helping me. 2. Thank you for helping us. 3. Thank you for helping me with my homework. 4. Thank you for helping me make dinner…
 
Welcome back to season 4 of English Sound Building! Today, we're looking at word stress in two-syllable nouns and verbs. Practise as often as you can to build muscle memory, and make sure you subscribe so you don't miss the next one. The Podcast script is available free on my Patreon. Don't forget to follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Int…
 
Welcome back to season 4 of English Sound Building! Today, we're picking back up on /b/ from last week, but contrasting it with the fricative /v/. We’ll look at the sounds individually, in common words, and in sentences. Practise as often as you can to build muscle memory, and make sure you subscribe so you don't miss the next one. The Podcast scri…
 
Welcome back to season 4 of English Sound Building! Today, we're looking at our last voiceless/ voiced consonant pair: /p/ and /b/. We’ll look at the sounds individually, in common words, and in sentences. Practise as often as you can to build muscle memory, and make sure you subscribe so you don't miss the next one. The Podcast script is available…
 
Here are some more sentences with 4 syllable words. 1. The teacher demonstrated how to use a dictionary. 2. I need more information about the new machinery. 3. Covid 19 is an example of evolution in real-time. 4. Charlie sent me his letter of resignation. 5. The politician spoke about capitalism. 6. I appreciate your observations. 7. The security s…
 
Note: Unaccented syllables in English are normally pronounced with the infamous "Schwa" sound. Using the phonetic alphabet, this sound is written /ə/. The word "banana" would be written /bənænə/ with the stress or accent on the second syllable. Languages like Spanish keep vowel pronunciation the same whether syllables are stressed or not. Ask a nat…
 
Welcome back to season 4 of English Sound Building! Following on from last week's episode all about /h/, this week we're discussing when /h/ is dropped - both by most speakers, in the weak forms of grammar words, and by some speakers, much more often, in some regional English accents. Practise as often as you can to build muscle memory, and make su…
 
Here is another listening exercise. The text in this podcast contains most of the sounds of English. Listen carefully and see how many distinct sounds you can hear. In the next podcast, I'll record the same text again, but with spaces so you can practice listening and repeating. Text credit: accent.gmu.edu Intro & Outro Music: La Pompe Du Trompe by…
 
This podcast will be doing double duty.* First, it's another regular podcast to help you learn how to use "to be used to". If you practice all these examples, you should have a good feeling for when and how to use this form. Second, I'll be using this podcast along with a couple of Tandem classes, so that Tandem users can practice the lesson before…
 
Welcome back! To kick off season 4, we're practising the /h/ sound. Have fun! Practise as often as you can to build muscle memory, and make sure you subscribe so you don't miss the next one. If you use social media, come find me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Interested in classes? Learn with me on italki! Support the show (https://www.patreon.…
 
In this podcast you'll be listening to the vowel sound /æ/ which is the sound in the words "can" and "cat". Remember this is a chance to practice listening. If you don't understand everything I say, it doesn't matter. You are training your ears to accurately hear the sounds of English. In part 2 of this podcast I'll give you a chance to listen and …
 
This is part 2 of the “Pure Listening” podcast #1. I hope you’ve already listened to the first part. Of course you don’t have to, but I would recommend it. Again, we are working with the vowel sounds in the words “hit” and “heat”. And again, I am not providing the text. This is an exercise for your ears and your speaking, not for reading. Listen an…
 
This podcast is the first in a series of what I will call pure listening. I will not show you the written text. Why? Because English spelling is terrible. It’s a distraction. It interferes with close listening. If you are ever to learn the sounds of English, you need to listen a lot and listen carefully. Remember this: when babies are learning thei…
 
I'm happy to be joined via phone by my friend Erel who performs the part of Mary. Barry sees Mary at the computer and starts asking questions. B: Hi Mary. What are you doing? Online house shopping? M: Hi Barry. Yeah, I'm thinking of buying a house on the beach in Florida. B: Really? I wouldn't do that if I were you. M: No? Why shouldn’t I? B: Sea l…
 
“Don’t take my word for it” = Don’t believe me. Try it for yourself. Example 1: The lake is too cold for swimming. But don’t take my word for it. Jump in and see for yourself. Example 2: Professor Johnson is a terrible teacher. But don’t take my word for it. Sign up for his class and see how you like his explanations. Intro & Outro Music: La Pompe …
 
Repeat the two examples along with the podcast until you have memorized them. If you do that, they will be with you forever. Try it--you'll catch on quickly. “Catch on quickly” = to learn fast Example 1: That new student is very intelligent. He catches on quickly. Example 2: Six months ago Marina didn’t know a word of English. Now she’s almost flue…
 
Psychologists and. psychiatrists Here are some sentences to help you practice the words psychologist and psychiatrist, as well as related words like psychological, psychiatric, psychology, and psychiatry. 1. My brother is a psychologist. 2. My sister is a psychiatrist. 3. Normally a psychologist can not prescribe medications. 4. Psychiatrists are d…
 
Season 3, Lesson 2: Once in a blue moon. The goal of this lesson is to help you learn the expression “Once in a blue moon.” [Meaning: Rarely, infrequently.] For example: “Winning the lottery only happens once in a blue moon.” Part One: Listening practice. 100 repetitions, some slow, some normal speed. Just listen—and don’t hesitate to listen to the…
 
Season 3, Lesson 1: Two heads... The goal of this lesson is to help you learn the proverb "Two heads are better than one." [Meaning: It’s easier for two people working together to solve a problem than for one person working alone.] Part One: Listening practice. 100 repetitions, some slow, some normal speed. Just listen—and don’t hesitate to listen …
 
Season 3 Introduction [Need to translate this? Try DeepL] In season 3, I will focus on special lessons for beginners including total beginners. The most important thing to do as a beginning language student is to listen. If you are unhappy with your English pronunciation, you need to listen. If you want to sound like a native speaker, you need to l…
 
Wishes...wants...hopes...all various ways of expressing desires. I wish I could live in Paris. I want to live in Paris. I hope to live in Paris someday. They all sort of mean the same thing, but each one is a little bit different. Today we'll practice with hope. 1) I hope you’ll come by tomorrow. 2) After failing his Russian exam, he started to giv…
 
In this podcast we'll practice with the verb to want. What's the difference between to wish and to want? Wishes are desires. "I wish I lived in Paris," for example. It's a dream but may never happen. "I want a new computer," on the other hand, or "I want a cup of coffee," tell the listeners about things you need and may get soon if possible. 1) Wha…
 
What do you wish? In this podcast we'll practice wishing. 1) I wish I had more money. 2) I wish I were rich. 3) She wishes she had something to eat. 4) He wished for a more interesting job. 5) They wished their father would come back. 6) He wished me long life and good health. 7) Sally made a wish and blew out the candles on her birthday cake. 8) I…
 
More voiceless TH sounds: 1) Ruth came in 8th (eighth) in the race. 2) Both John and Mary speak French. 3) South is the opposite of north. 4) My teeth are in my mouth. 5) Some people think the earth is flat. 6) I had more strength when I was young. 7) January is the first month of the year. 8) September is the ninth month. 9) And May is the fifth m…
 
More practice with the unvoiced TH sounds in English. Remember that "unvoiced" means your vocal cords do not vibrate. Also remember the tip of your tongue is between your teeth! Part One: Words that begin with unvoiced TH: 1) I’ll be thirteen on Thursday. 2) John turned. 30 (thirty) on the 13th (thirteenth), I think. 3) This thing is very thin. 4) …
 
The IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) is a tool used by linguists to help record the sounds of a language. It is also useful for people learning a foreign language. And it is particularly helpful to students of English, because the English spelling system is terrible. For example, we pronounce these two words the same: Red (the color) Read (the…
 
In all the examples of the past tense in this podcast, “ed” is pronounced with a /t/ sound. I’ll start by reading the first ten verbs as a warmup. I'll repeat each verb three times. Listen for the /t/ sound at the end. Licked, nicked, popped, laughed, wrecked, packed, picked, jacked, mocked, perished. Now listen and repeat. 1. My dog licked my face…
 
A famous tongue twister! Remember that "tt" between vowels is pronounced with a "D" sound, not "T". Listen to these examples pronounced slowly: Botter Butter Bitter Betty Botter bought some butter But she said the butter’s bitter If I put it in my batter, it will make my batter bitter But a bit of better butter will make my batter better So ‘twas b…
 
Let's practice questions and answers about pets using the helper verb "do". 1. Do you have any pets? Yes, I have a dog. 2. Do you have a pet? Yes, I have a cat. Her name is Rosie. 3. Do you have any pets? No, I don't. 4. Do you have any pets? Yes, two. I have a dog and a cat. 5. Do you have any pets? I used to have a dog but he died. He was old. 6.…
 
If you can, watch and practice with one or more of these youtube lessons before you do my podcast. It will help you a lot! Practicing the American r Make the American r sound How to make the r consonant R in English =========================================== Practice with the “r” sound. A - At the beginning of words: 1. He has a red rock. 2. That …
 
A wise old owl lived in an oak The more he saw the less he spoke The less he spoke the more he heard. Why can’t we all be like that wise old bird? Georgie Porgie, Puddin’ and Pie, Kissed the girls and made them cry, When the boys came out to play Georgie Porgie ran away. Miss Polly had a dolly who was sick, sick, sick. So she phoned for the doctor …
 
(Remember DeepL for translations...) My apologies for the long delay since the last podcast. The time between our Thanksgiving holiday at the end of November, and the Christmas holiday in December is always very busy. Choosing presents for the grandchildren, preparing for winter, and lots more. But I’m back! When we left off, Goldilocks had settled…
 
Welcome to season 3 of English Sound Building! It's season 3 recap time already. We're having fun with the sounds we've focused on this season (as well as those from previous seasons) by working on some tongue twisters, a short rhyme, and two songs. Practise as often as you can to build muscle memory, and make sure you subscribe so you don't miss t…
 
Welcome to season 3 of English Sound Building! Today, we're contrasting two sounds we've looked at separately before: /ʃ/ and /s/. We're looking at a lot of minimal pairs, and we're practising with some sentences and a famous tongue twister, too. Have fun! Practise as often as you can to build muscle memory, and make sure you subscribe so you don't…
 
Welcome back to season 3 of English Sound Building! Today, we're looking at how /j/ is heard between sounds in connected speech. Practise as often as you can to build muscle memory, and make sure you subscribe so you don't miss the next one. The Podcast script is available free on my Patreon. Don't forget to follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twit…
 
Let's continue with our story about Goldilocks and the three bears. You will recall that the bears went for a walk and while they were away, Goldilocks came into their house, ate the baby bear's breakfast, and broke his rocking chair. Now she is upstairs in the bears' bedroom, trying out the beds. As before, listen to this part of the story two tim…
 
Welcome to season 3 of English Sound Building! Today, we're revisiting the /ʤ/ sound we looked at last season, and contrasting it with /j/. We’re looking at the sounds in words, minimal pairs, and sentences. Practise as often as you can to build muscle memory, and make sure you subscribe so you don't miss the next one. The Podcast script is availab…
 
Here's part 3 of my version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Again I'll read the text two times and then break it into sentences or groups of sentences so you can practice repeating. When Goldilocks had eaten all she could hold, she burped happily and walked into the parlor. There she found three chairs. She sat in the largest chair first, but it…
 
Welcome to season 3 of English Sound Building! Today, we're looking at just one sound, the nasal consonant /ŋ/. Practise as often as you can to build muscle memory, and make sure you subscribe so you don't miss the next one. The Podcast script is available free on my Patreon. Don't forget to follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Interested i…
 
The text of this podcast is from the Wikipedia article on malaria, a well-known and terrible tropical disease. For listeners to this podcast who are studying science, this will give you practice pronouncing typical scientific vocabulary. I’ll repeat the paragraph three times, and then break it into sentences or shorter phrases so you can practice r…
 
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