Confidence speaking English

Tips on speaking

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Pronunciation: the English “th” sounds

A trio of brief videos on how to pronounce the “th” sounds in English (voiced and unvoiced). First, how to pronounce “th” at the beginning of the word:

Next, how to pronounce it in the middle of a word:

Third, how to pronounce the “th” at the end of a word:

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Pronunciation: “th” at end of word

Three-minute video on rules for pronouncing “th” when it comes at the end of a word. For the full pronunciation series, click HERE.

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Pronunciation: “good” and “food”

The American vowels sounds in words like “good” and words like “food” are spelled similarly, but sound different. Use this video to practice distinguishing clearly between those sounds because American-born English speakers notice when you don’t.

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Pronunciation: “book”

The American vowel sound represented in the word “book” is a tricky one. This video helps you practice.

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Practice American vowels: o and a

Here’s a video for practicing the American vowel sounds exemplified in the words “boat” and “bought.” For the full pronunciation series, click HERE.

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Conversation group for English practice

Do you want to improve your American English with a friendly conversation group? Do you want to learn skills critical to life in the U.S. such as how to make small talk, how to network and how to make friends with Americans? If you live in the Chicagoland area, join the American Skills for Internationals […]

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Practice the American vowel sounds

Do you want to make yourself better understood to Americans and other English speakers? Start by making sure your vowels are clear. English has many different vowels sounds that change the meaning of words. For example, don’t say “leave” when you mean to say “live.” Here’s a video to help you practice /i/ and /I/. For […]

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The rise of the continuous present

Once upon a time, American English distinguished between the simple present (I feel) and the continuous present (I am feeling). That distinction is disappearing. The American vernacular more and more uses the continuous present for sentences that used to use the present perfect, as in:

I am wanting to find out about tomorrow’s workshop.

(Instead of “I want […]

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