Seattle Learning Academy

American English Pronunciation Podcast

The American English Pronunciation podcasts teach…
American English Pronunciation Podcast


The American English Pronunciation podcasts teaches non-native English speakers and ESL/ELL students correct English pronunciation in short lessons. Learn, listen, repeat!





221: Compare 'unvoiced th' to /f/, /s/, and /t/

Nov 29, 2016 00:12:43


Compare words like "thin/fin," "mouth/mouse," and "both/boat" Transcripts at

220: The 'n-g' spelling creates /ŋ/, as in the word 'song'

Nov 12, 2016 00:06:19


At the end of the word, the /ŋ/ doesn't need an additional /g/. The /g/ is potentially included mid-word. Transcripts available at

219: /g+n/ as in "signal" and "ignore"

Oct 26, 2016 00:09:29


"Coarticulating" the /g/ and /n/ is the trick to fluent pronunciation of these two sounds. Don't release the /g/ before starting the /n/. Transcripts available on

218: Learn to hear vowels to learn to pronounce them

Oct 14, 2016 00:14:13


Test your ability to identify vowel sounds with this special listening quiz episode. Transcripts available on

217: Compare long e, short i, and short e /i, ɪ, ɛ/

Sep 29, 2016 00:11:01


The long e, short i, and short e /i, ɪ, ɛ/, are three front vowel sounds that can be practiced from a high, front tongue position to a mid-front position. Compare and contrast! Full podcast transcripts available at

216: The Cardinal Vowels--long e /i/, oo sound /u/, short o /ɑ/, and short a /æ/

Sep 17, 2016 00:12:43


All about that vowels diagram that shows the vowel sounds placed over a sort of square-like shape that’s bigger on the top than it is on the bottom. Transcripts at

215: Adding "bonus" information by using a low pitch

Sep 1, 2016 00:08:16


Use a low pitch to signal a spoken aside (like information that would be written in parentheses or between commas). Transcripts available at

214: Yes/No Pitch Patterns

Aug 20, 2016 00:10:21


Understand the rising and falling pitch patterns for yes/no questions and learn how to read emotion. Transcripts on Classes available from

213: Intonation of Wh- Questions

Aug 7, 2016 00:06:53


What are you *really* asking? Using a rising or a falling pitch on a wh- question means something different than using a rising pitch. Transcripts available at

212: /r+ɚ/ “explore” into “explorer”

Jul 25, 2016 00:07:24


Adding /ɚ/ (schwa+r) to an /r/ can be difficult. Make it into two syllables, but don't add a vowel sound between. Learn how here! By Seattle Learning Academy. Transcripts on

211: Compare /æ/ and /ɑ/ ('short a' and 'short o')

Mar 28, 2016 00:07:30


Words like 'hat' and 'hot' are important to distinguish. Full episode transcripts available at

210: '-ue' ending (unique, avenue, and rescue)

Jul 27, 2015 00:07:02


Is it silent, pronounced as 'long u' or 'oo sound'? Full episode transcripts at

209: The difference between /ə/ and /ʌ/: schwa and short u

Mar 25, 2015 00:09:01


What's up with /ə/ and /ʌ/ in words like 'custom' /ˈkʌs təm/? Full episode transcripts at

208: Cone/corn, coat/court

Mar 11, 2015 00:07:33


Practice the difference between the or sound and the long o sound. Full episode transcripts at

207: Why is 'quarter' so hard to say?

Feb 25, 2015 00:08:32


Rhyming with 'shorter' and 'border,' this is a quirky word. Full episode transcripts at

206: I like/I'd like... bacon!

Feb 11, 2015 00:08:11


Rhythm and linking from /d/. Full episode transcripts at

205: Dealing with 'o-u-g-h'

Jan 28, 2015 00:07:36


No English spelling could be more confusing. Full episode transcripts at

204: How 'have to' becomes 'hafta'

Jan 14, 2015 00:07:41


Informal contractions for fluency! Full episode transcripts at

203: When /t/ sounds like /d/ during linking: alveolar stop

Dec 31, 2014 00:08:41


Most recognize the /d/ in the pronunciation of 'little' but how about in 'out_of'? Full episode transcripts at

202: How similar are /n/ and /l/?

Nov 12, 2014 00:05:12


Even small differences in vocal tract profiles can make a big difference. Full episode transcripts at

201: Why is 'symptom' pronounced that way?

Oct 16, 2014 00:05:51


Learn the many variations of the letter 'o' pronunciation. Full episode transcripts at

200: A new spelling poem!

Oct 1, 2014 00:05:47


Written for you, by Amanda, to help you learn the long vowel spellings. Full episode transcripts at

199: Would you like some coffee or tea?

Jun 25, 2014 00:06:14


Practice intonation patterns of choice questions. Full episode transcripts at

198: Pronouncing 'clothes,' 'close' (verb), and 'close' (adjective)

Jun 11, 2014 00:07:36


Make these difficult words easier to say! Full episode transcripts at

197: Linking vowels to sound fluent!

Mar 26, 2014 00:10:17


Some before and after student audio to illustrate linking. Full episode transcripts at

196: Do you say 'people' as 'peopo'?

Feb 26, 2014 00:06:24


Common problems with words that end in '-le.' Full episode transcripts at

195: Dropping the /k/ in 'asked' (HIMYM)

Feb 5, 2014 00:08:47


YES, you can pronounce it as 'ast'! Full episode transcripts at

194: 'faux pas, chauffeur, fiance,' and more

Jan 22, 2014 00:09:36


Loanwords from French into English. Full episode transcripts at

193: 'Twas the Night Before Christmas

Dec 19, 2013 00:05:47


In this Christmas special, learn where to find free ebooks and audio books online! Full episode transcripts at

192: Special holiday words

Dec 5, 2013 00:08:46


Mistletoe, tree farms, Scrooges, and more... Full episode transcripts at

191: The difference between 'my car' and 'Mike are'

Nov 27, 2013 00:09:17


Aspiration, of course. Full episode transcripts at

190: From 'wait time' to 'snack time'

Nov 13, 2013 00:05:24


Linking different stops is a bit harder than linking same and similar stops. Full episode transcripts at

189: Linking magic!

Oct 30, 2013 00:09:22


Linking same and similar stop sounds increases spoken fluency. Full episode transcripts at

188: Heteronyms: 'Lead' rhymes with 'read'

Oct 16, 2013 00:06:51


AND 'lead' rhymes with 'read'! Full episode transcripts at

187: 'Fall' and 'autumn'

Oct 2, 2013 00:07:11


In the US, it's 'fall;' in the UK, it's 'autumn.' Full episode transcripts at

186: Fake it 'til you make it!

Sep 11, 2013 00:05:31


Are you uncomfortable speaking really well? Full episode transcripts at

185: From /ʒ/ to /ʤ/ ('zh' to 'j')

Aug 28, 2013 00:07:11


A natural progression through consonant sounds. Full episode transcripts at

184: Pronouncing /ʒ/ the 'zh sound'

Aug 14, 2013 00:05:40


If you can say sh, you can say zh! Full episode transcripts at

183: expected and unexpected /s/ and /ʃ/ minimal pairs

Jul 31, 2013 00:06:06


Pairs like 'sock' and 'shock' are obvious; 'sour' and 'shower' might not be. Full episode transcripts at

182: 'on' and 'off': /ɑn/ and /ɔf/

Jul 17, 2013 00:06:45


The 'cot/caught' merger and short o/aw sound revisited. Full episode transcripts at

181: The troublesome 'thr' /θr/ combination

Jul 3, 2013 00:06:57


Practice words like 'three, through, throw, thread,' and 'threaten.' Full episode transcripts at

180: 'because'→'cuz': stressed, unstressed, informal

Jun 19, 2013 00:06:19


How to know which form of this high-frequency word to use. Full episode transcripts at

179: The silent /p/ in 'pneumatic' and 'psychology'

Jun 5, 2013 00:04:00


A listener request for an explanation of less-common patterns. Full episode transcripts at

178: "Feeling" the vibration of vowel sounds

May 15, 2013 00:09:41


Learn the feel the 'long e' /i/, 'short a' /æ/, and 'short o' /ɑ/. Full episode transcripts at

177: -ate suffix revisited--advanced lesson

May 1, 2013 00:09:14


Highly fluent speakers understand this suffix. Full episode transcripts at

176: Swearing!

Apr 17, 2013 00:11:27


If you're going to swear, you'd better be able to pronounce short vowel sounds! Full episode transcripts at

175: Short Vowels Minimal Sets

Apr 3, 2013 00:08:06


Practice sets like: pat, pet, pit, pot, putt. Full episode transcripts at

174: 3-sound clusters beginning with 's'

Mar 20, 2013 00:07:33


/skr/ (scratch) /spl/ (splash) /spr/ (spree) and /str/ (streak) Full episode transcripts at

173: Digraphs and trigraphs, complicated spelling patterns

Mar 6, 2013 00:10:00


sh, th, tch, dge, gn, mb, and more!

172: The 'cc' spelling pronunciations (as in 'accuse' and 'succeed)

Feb 20, 2013 00:07:10


Is it /k/ as in 'accuse' or /ks/ as in 'succeed' Full episode transcripts at

171: The silent /l/ in the word 'salmon'

Feb 6, 2013 00:06:12


Even words we don't use often still matter. Full episode transcripts at

170: 'schwa+r' /ɚ/ paragraph practice

Jan 23, 2013 00:08:21


Practice this difficult sound in context. Full episode transcripts at

169: Pronouncing 'Seattle'

Jan 9, 2013 00:11:09


It takes an advanced lesson to handle a word like 'Seattle.' Full episode transcripts at

168: Stress pronunciation patterns in 3-syllable words

Dec 19, 2012 00:07:28


Main stress, secondary stress, and schwa, all in one word

167: When to use the informal contraction 'useta'

Dec 5, 2012 00:09:16


And when can 'used to' be substituted by 'would.' Full episode transcripts at

166: Understanding /ŋ/, the 'ng' sound

Nov 7, 2012 00:08:58


When does (and doesn't) the g sound follow the ng sound? Full episode transcripts at

165: What is the vocal tract?

Oct 24, 2012 00:07:38


From the lips to the throat and the nose down to the vocal cords. Full episode transcripts at

164: Consonant clusters in English

Oct 10, 2012 00:08:35


/br/, /pr/, /gr/, /kr/, and /skr/ at the beginning of a word. Full episode transcripts at

163: -ile and the differences in American and British English

Sep 26, 2012 00:06:18


fragile: /ˈfrædʒ əl/ in the US /ˈfrædʒ aɪl/ in the UK. Full episode transcripts at

162: The differences between /b/ and /v/

Sep 12, 2012 00:08:37


Two different, yet similar sounds. Full episode transcripts at

161: Schwa in 2-syllable words

Aug 29, 2012 00:09:30


The importance of tiny syllables! Full episode transcripts at

160: w+a (want), w+a-r (warm), w+o-r (work)

Aug 8, 2012 00:08:39


Less-known patterns for the aw sound, schwa+r, and or sound. Full episode transcripts at

159: What are non-phonetic words?

Jul 25, 2012 00:07:30


Words that aren't pronounced like we'd expect. Full episode transcripts at

158: Vowels plus voiced and unvoiced consonants

Jul 11, 2012 00:12:14


Vowel sound duration depends on many things. Full episode transcripts at

157: Native French speakers special!

Jun 27, 2012 00:11:14


The top 10 errors made by native French speakers. Full episode transcripts at

156: Silent letters in high-frequency words

May 30, 2012 00:05:39


Which high-frequency words have a silent consonant?

155: The f sound and semi-irregular plurals

May 16, 2012 00:10:18


3 things to keep in mind when making 'wife' into 'wives' and 'leaf' into 'leaves.' Full episode transcripts at

154: 'She sells seashells'

May 2, 2012 00:08:06


A tongue twister to compare the sh sound and s sound. Full episode transcripts at

153: 'Look at Luke!'

Apr 18, 2012 00:07:39


Compare the oo sound and other u sound. Full episode transcripts at

152: 's-c-h' and the word 'schedule'

Apr 4, 2012 00:04:13


An American/British difference and a Greek history. Full episode transcripts at

151: j/ch sounds plus -ed ending

Mar 14, 2012 00:08:03


Practice adding the -ed ending to the j or ch sound. Full episode transcripts at

150: Common spellings and non-phonetic words

Feb 29, 2012 00:08:42


How do we choose which spellings are common and which words are non-phonetic? Full episode transcripts at

149: Practicing the /w/ and /v/

Feb 15, 2012 00:06:57


/w/ and /v/ in paragraph practice. Full episode transcripts at

148: More 'th' sounds practice

Feb 1, 2012 00:08:03


Practice quickly saying the th sounds in paragraphs. Full episode transcripts at

147: The -ious suffix

Jan 11, 2012 00:08:03


All of those vowels and two different pronunciations make this a tricky suffix. Full episode transcripts at

146: Happy "New" Year!

Dec 28, 2011 00:08:06


"New" in American and British English. Full episode transcripts at

145: a, e,i, o, u and sometimes y

Dec 14, 2011 00:09:32


Why is 'y' sometimes a vowel. Full episode transcripts at

144: -ed ending exceptions

Nov 30, 2011 00:06:42


Some -ed adjectives gain a syllable. Full episode transcripts at

143: Don't over-pronounce sounds

Nov 2, 2011 00:07:34


Exaggeration is not authentic speech. Full episode transcripts at

142: The syllabic /l/

Oct 12, 2011 00:07:13


Don't add a vowel sound! Full episode transcripts at

141: We "recently" changed our t sound lesson

Sep 28, 2011 00:09:07


Updates to the alternative t sound patterns. Full episode transcripts at

140: The 'oo' spelling of the words 'foot' and 'soon'

Sep 14, 2011 00:06:58


The oo sound is more common, but the other u sound is possible. Full episode transcripts at

139: Pronunciation of 'sure'

Aug 31, 2011 00:08:43


It begins with an sh sound, but after that, it gets a little complicated. Full episode transcripts at

138: Pronunciation of 'often'

Aug 10, 2011 00:04:45


/t/ or no /t/, and what about the 'o'? Full episode transcripts at

137: 'ct' spelling plus -ed and -s ending

Jul 27, 2011 00:09:30


Difficult consonant combinations explained. Full episode transcripts at

135: m sound/n sound/ng sound

Jun 29, 2011 00:07:22


The sounds that come out your nose! Full episode transcripts at

134: consonant-y-consonant

Jun 15, 2011 00:08:20


The letter "y" in the middle of a word. Full episode transcripts at

133: t/d, p/b, and k/g at the beginning of a word

Jun 1, 2011 00:07:50


Puff practice! Stop sounds at the beginning of words. Full episode transcripts at

132: ea spelling: long e or short e

May 18, 2011 00:09:31


Which pronunciation is the most common for this spelling? Full episode transcripts at

131: The word "new" in place names

Apr 28, 2011 00:04:41


Syllable stress patterns in open compound nouns. Full episode transcripts at

130: 2-syllable word stress

Mar 30, 2011 00:08:37


How accurate are the 2-syllable word stress patterns?

129: Portuguese speakers special, part 2

Mar 16, 2011 00:13:17


Troublesome consonant sounds for Portuguese speakers. Troublesome consonant sounds for Portuguese speakers.

128: The pronunciations of i-consonant-e

Mar 2, 2011 00:09:54


i-consonant-e in 1-, 2-, and 3-syllable words for English as a Second Language Learners. Full episode transcripts at

127: Portuguese speakers special, part 1

Feb 17, 2011 00:12:13


The English vowel sounds that cause problems for Portuguese speakers. Full episode transcripts at

126: Unstressed syllables, part 2

Feb 2, 2011 00:09:28


Short i as an unstressed vowel sound for English as a Second Language Learners. Full episode transcripts at

125: Unstressed syllables, part 1

Jan 19, 2011 00:09:03


Schwa: the most important weak vowel sound. Full episode transcripts at

124: French words in English

Jan 4, 2011 00:07:26


How the French language affects English pronunciation. Full episode transcripts at

123: A Merry, Marry, Mary Christmas

Dec 22, 2010 00:06:22


A tri-sound merger explained for the Holidays. Full episode transcripts at

119: The bunched /r/

Oct 27, 2010 00:08:29


Which of these two techniques for the r sound works best for you? Full episode transcripts at

118: The prefix re-

Oct 13, 2010 00:09:25


long e, short i, short e, and schwa: all pronunciations of re- Full episode transcripts at

117: Suffixes with /ʧ/ (ch sound)

Sep 29, 2010 00:07:14


The -tion, -tial, -ure, and -al suffix and how they relate to the ch sound. Full episode transcripts at

116: Using 'ain't'

Sep 15, 2010 00:10:36


When is--and when isn'--'ain't' appropriate? Full episode transcripts at

115: Sound combinations: sp-, st-, sk-, sc-

Sep 1, 2010 00:08:54


What happens to unvoiced stops after the s sound? Full episode transcripts at

114: 'Puff' (aspiration) details of stop sounds

Aug 18, 2010 00:09:17


Stops are /b/, /p/, /k/, /g/, /d/, nd /t/, and the amount of "puff" we give to them matters. Full episode transcripts at

113: The /h/, like a chameleon

Aug 4, 2010 00:07:07


No sound can become more like surrounding sounds than the h sound. Full episode transcripts at

112: Dropping the /d/

Jul 21, 2010 00:10:15


Here is a little-discussed rule about omitting the d sound in certain consonant clusters. Full episode transcripts at

111: Linking /v/ and /f/

Jul 7, 2010 00:08:37


Practicing a few simple techniques can make it much easier to transition to and from the v sound and f sound. Full episode transcripts at

110: Troublesome /v/ and /f/

Jun 23, 2010 00:12:13


Be careful with the /b/, /p/ and /w/ when working with the /f/ and /v/. Full episode transcripts at

109: /s/, /z/, /ʃ/, /ʒ/ (s, z, sh, and zh sounds) compare and contrast

Jun 9, 2010 00:15:43


Four sounds that are quite similar, but different in a few very important ways. Full episode transcripts at

108: In the US, it is 'learned' and 'spelled,' while the British kept 'learnt' and 'spelt'

Jun 2, 2010 00:08:29


The English past tense became regular; the British kept the irregular spelling. Full episode transcripts at

107: 'ck' after short vowels (as in back), 'k' after all the others (as in 'bake)

May 26, 2010 00:06:11


Learning intricate English phonetic patterns can give you confidence in vowel pronunciation. Full episode transcripts at

106: 'long u' stressed and reduced; /yu/ or /yə/?

May 19, 2010 00:11:25


The long u can be difficult to recognize in multi-syllable words, especially when it's reduced. Full episode transcripts at

105: Pronouncing 'though,' 'thought,' 'through,' and 'thorough'

May 12, 2010 00:06:17


These four o-u-g-h words can be so similar, yet different in very important ways. Full episode transcripts at

104: Pronouncing 'pronounce' and 'pronunciation'

May 5, 2010 00:06:53


Many patterns of pronunciation can be found through a quick study of these two words. Full episode transcripts at

102: Russian/Ukrainian Special Episode

Apr 21, 2010 00:14:14


Learn the most common difficulties Russian and Ukrainian speakers face when speaking English with an American English accent. Full episode transcripts at

101: Subtle oddities of the word 'subtle'

Apr 14, 2010 00:06:37


A silent /b/, an altered /t/, and a strange history make the word 'subtle' interesting to learn about! Full episode transcripts at

100: A Hundred/One Hundred

Apr 7, 2010 00:09:10


Why is saying 'a hundred' more common than saying 'one hundred' in American English? Full episode transcripts at

99: Three-word informal contractions

Mar 31, 2010 00:06:18


'How did you' can be reduced to 'howdja;' 'where did you' to 'wheredja;' and 'what did you' to 'whadja,' but those reductions can cost listener comprehension. Full episode transcripts at

97: The transition from 'used to' to 'useta'

Mar 17, 2010 00:06:20


Informal contractions are born when speakers find easier ways to pronounce words. Full episode transcripts at

96: How 'women' could have been 'wimmen'

Mar 10, 2010 00:04:47


Noah Webster did his best to make spelling easier, but his ideas weren't always accepted. Full episode transcripts at

94: /t/+/y/=/ʧ/, /d/+/y/=/ʤ/, surprising 'ch' and 'j' sounds.

Feb 24, 2010 00:08:17


Assimilation: two adjacent sounds can cause changes to pronunciation. Full episode transcripts at

93: Do you accidentally make your /l/ into /w/?

Feb 10, 2010 00:08:46


Don't round those lips! Especially at the end of the word, the l sound can cause some surprising problems. Full episode transcripts at

91: iPad/iPod, the world's newest /æ,ɑ/ (short a/short o) minimal pair

Jan 27, 2010 00:05:16


Even some native speakers of English are worried about the similar pronunciation of the newest Apple product. Comparing pronunciation of the iPad to the older iPod. Full episode transcripts at

90: The j sound, spelled j, dge, ge, and g(i)

Jan 20, 2010 00:06:29


The 'dge' and 'j' spelling are both usually pronounced with the 'j sound.' And don't forget, a 'j sound' is simply a voiced 'ch sound'! Full episode transcripts at

88: Why is 'tch' (as in 'watch') easier to pronounce than 'ch' (as in which)?

Jan 6, 2010 00:09:15


The 'tch' and 'ch' spelling should BOTH be pronounced as /ʧ/ (the ch sound, yet 'tch' often seems easier for non-native English speakers. Full episode transcripts at

85: Why is the 'Ch' in 'Christmas' pronounced as /k/?

Dec 16, 2009 00:04:57


It's all Greek to me! Knowing a little bit of history behind a word can go a long way when it comes to pronouncing the 'ch' spelling. Full episode transcripts at

84: 'Who,' 'what,' 'when,' and 'where': How do you pronouce words that begin with wh-?

Dec 9, 2009 00:05:36


Do you pronounce /h/ in the wh- spelling? Not usually. Full episode transcripts at

82: Thanksgiving holiday th sounds /ð, θ/ review

Nov 18, 2009 00:05:47


Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Have fun reviewing the 'th sounds' with this extra practice podcast. Full episode transcripts at

81: "About a boat," comparing /oʊ/ and /aʊ/

Nov 10, 2009 00:08:00


These two-sound vowels (the long o and ow--as in 'no' and 'now') both end in the w sound, and both can be spelled 'ow.' Full episode transcripts at

79: Comparing /eɪ/, /i/, /ɑɪ/ (long a, long i, and long e)

Oct 28, 2009 00:12:09


Understanding how the vowel sounds in 'bake,' 'bike' and 'beak' are related to /y/. Full episode transcripts at

78: Comparing /æ/, /ɑ/, /ɔ/ (short a, short o, and aw)

Oct 21, 2009 00:08:11


Understanding a sequence of low vowel sounds (as in 'stack,' 'stock,' and 'stalk') Full episode transcripts at

77: Comparing /i/, /ɪ/, /ɛ/, and /ʌ/ (long e, short i, short e, and short u)

Oct 7, 2009 00:08:45


Understanding a sequence of very similar sounds (as in 'bead,' 'bid,' 'bed,' and 'bud') Full episode transcripts at

75: 'can' and 'can't,' how are they different? Not how you expect!

Sep 16, 2009 00:14:03


Change in vowel sounds, sentence stress, and a glottal stop: lots of details make the pronunciation of these words different. Full episode transcripts at

74: Are 'for' and 'four' pronounced the same or differently?

Sep 9, 2009 00:13:17


for/four: When do the words for and four sound the same, and when are they different? Full episode transcripts at

73: Reducing the word 'of' to /ə/

Aug 26, 2009 00:10:25


When the word 'of' links into a consonant, the /v/ is often dropped. Full episode transcripts at

72: Using /n/ instead of /ŋ/ (the 'ng' sound) in -ing ending

Aug 19, 2009 00:08:08


-ing: substituting the n sound for the ng sound. Full episode transcripts at

71: When and why do some words (like 'interesting') lose a syllable?

Aug 12, 2009 00:06:23


Linguistic concepts of 'syncope' and 'compression' make big words into smaller words. Luckily, there is a pattern. Full episode transcripts at

69: Numbers: Teens versus Tens (as in 19 vs. 90)

Jul 22, 2009 00:11:19


Syllable stress and alternative 't sounds' are used to differentiate these sounds more than the /n/ at the end of teens! Full episode transcripts at

68: Voiced and Unvoiced 'th' /ð,θ/ review

Jul 15, 2009 00:09:18


Yes, dear listeners, keep your tongue in your mouth! Don't put it between your teeth. Full episode transcripts at

66: Syllabic n's and nasal plosions (as in the words 'sudden' and 'couldn't')

Jul 1, 2009 00:12:21


No vowels allowed! Join /d/ and /n/ to sound more fluent. Full episode transcripts at

65: Uh-oh! The glottal stop in place of /t/

Jun 24, 2009 00:10:59


What is a glottal stop and when do Americans use it? Full episode transcripts at

63: When Americans drop the /t/ (with audio from The Incredibles)

Jun 3, 2009 00:11:50


When do Americans omit the /t/? This audio from the movie "The Incredibles" will help you understand. Full episode transcripts at

61: The American /t/ as a quick /d/

May 21, 2009 00:11:44


Why does 'water' sound like 'wadder'? Full episode transcripts at

#60 Tag questions aren't really questions, are they?

May 13, 2009 00:08:01


Pitch boundaries are the clue to knowing what someone is really asking when they ask a tag question. Full episode transcripts at

59: Falling pitch boundaries on yes/no questions

May 6, 2009 00:07:53


When to use a falling pitch instead of a rising pitch on a yes/no question. Full episode transcripts at

58: Pitch Boundaries, Rising and Falling

Apr 22, 2009 00:09:07


Pitch boundaries organize conversations, and give important emotional clues about the speaker. Full episode transcripts at

57: Comparing extra-high and rising pitch words

Apr 15, 2009 00:09:54


Learn the difference between contrasting and defensively correcting your listener. Full episode transcripts at

56: Extra-high pitch words for extra intensity

Apr 8, 2009 00:09:01


Add drama, correct someone, and try to not sound angry with these pitch words. Full episode transcripts at

55: Intonation and high pitch words, an introduction

Apr 1, 2009 00:10:54


An introduction to English intonation and high pitch words in yes/no questions. Full episode transcripts at

53: Phrasal verb sentence stress

Mar 18, 2009 00:12:18


Typical sentence stress changes when phrasal verbs are involved: stress the preposition, not the verb. Full episode transcripts at

52: Linking from the -ed ending

Mar 11, 2009 00:14:05


Fluently linking from the -ed ending is important for listening comprehension and proper articulation. Full episode transcripts at

50: The silent /t/ in '-sten' and '-stle' (as in 'listen' and 'whistle')

Feb 25, 2009 00:09:07


There is no /t/ in the pronunciation of words like 'listen' and 'whistle'. Full episode transcripts at

48: 'talk' and 'walk' and other '-alk' /ɔk/ words

Feb 11, 2009 00:08:29


Another silent /l/, plus the 'aw' vowel sound /ɔ/ in this English spelling pattern. Full episode transcripts at

47: 'should,' 'could,' and 'would': /ʃʊd/, /kʊd/, /wʊd/

Feb 3, 2009 00:05:12


There /l/ is silent, and the vowel /ʊ/ is the same as the 'u' in the word 'put'. Full episode transcripts at

46: 'Three,' 'through,' 'throw' and other /θr/ combination words

Jan 27, 2009 00:06:38


The pronouncing 'unvoiced th' /θ/ in English is difficult; the r sound also is difficult. Together they are VERY difficult. Full episode transcripts at

45: Chinese speakers special episode

Jan 21, 2009 00:13:50


Learn the specific problems that native speakers of Chinese have when pronouncing English. Full episode transcripts at

44: Letter 'x' pronunciations: /ks/ or /gz/

Jan 14, 2009 00:09:00


While /ks/ is more common (as in 'box'), "gz" ( as in 'exact') is also a pronunciation for the letter 'x'. Full episode transcripts at

43: About the words 'world' and 'word': /wɚld/ and /wɚd/

Jan 7, 2009 00:07:06


The /w/, r-controlled vowels, and /l/: lots of opportunity for pronunciation trouble. Full episode transcripts at

42: Spanish speakers special episode

Dec 30, 2008 00:13:04


Special episode covering the issues that native Spanish speakers have when speaking English. Full episode transcripts at

41: The silent b in the -mb spelling (as in 'climb' and 'thumb')

Dec 27, 2008 00:04:23


Learn this rule to sound more fluent!

40: 'been,' not 'bean': /bɪn/, not /bin/

Dec 17, 2008 00:04:15


Americans usually pronounce 'been' with a 'short i,' not a 'long e.' Full episode transcripts at

39: 'quit, quite,' and 'quiet'

Dec 10, 2008 00:05:13


Learn to correctly say these three similar-sounding words. Full episode transcripts at

38: 'idea'--a troublesome little 4-letter word

Dec 6, 2008 00:04:31


A few tips about adjacent vowel sounds for this 3-syllable word that help for even more words. Full episode transcripts at

37: 'says' and 'said'--two words NOT pronounced with 'long a' /eɪ/

Nov 26, 2008 00:05:51


/sɛz/ and /sɛd/: be careful about mispronouncing these two high-frequency words. Full episode transcripts at

36: Japanese speaker special

Nov 16, 2008 00:07:38


Native Japanese speakers of English face special difficulties when speaking English. Full episode transcripts at

35: there, their, they're: they're all said the same!

Nov 15, 2008 00:04:24


Learn the correct way to pronounce these three homophones. Full episode transcripts at

34: consonant+y suffix (-cy, -ity, -graphy, -fy) word syllable stress

Nov 8, 2008 00:11:27


The consonant+y covers a wide number of suffix-based syllable stress patterns. Learn one and you learn many. Full episode transcripts at

33: -ate suffix word syllable stress and heteronyms

Nov 1, 2008 00:13:00


Words ending in the -ate suffix are stressed on the 3rd-from-last syllable, but the suffix itself can sound differently depending if the word is a noun, adjective, or verb. Advanced level ESL lesson. Full episode transcripts at

32: -ize suffix (as in 'recognize' and 'prioritize') word syllable stress

Oct 21, 2008 00:09:11


Words ending in the -ize suffix are usually stressed on the 3rd-from-last syllable. Full episode transcripts at

31: -ic suffix word syllable stress

Oct 15, 2008 00:10:21


Learn about -ic word stress (as in 'classic' and 'economic') and review the 2-syllable word stress rule and -tion/-sion syllable stress. Full episode transcripts at

30: 2-syllable word stress and -tion/-sion syllable stress

Oct 8, 2008 00:13:26


English syllable stress follows some very common patterns that can be learned. Full episode transcripts at

29: Compare /i/ and /ɪ/ ('long e' & 'short i'--as in 'sheep' and 'ship')

Sep 30, 2008 00:10:10


Learn about the often mispronounced short i sound, and compare it with the long e sound. Full episode transcripts at

28: The /h/ (as in 'hello' and 'happy')

Sep 24, 2008 00:08:40


Learn to correctly pronounce /h/ in English, not too hard, not too soft. Full episode transcripts at

27: The /g/ and /k/, stops in American English

Sep 17, 2008 00:06:21


Voicing and aspiration are characteristics of /g/ and /k/ in English pronunciation. Full episode transcripts at

26: English /m/ and /n/ pronunciation

Sep 10, 2008 00:07:21


The /m/ and /n/ are two of the three nasal sounds in English. Learn about them here. Full episode transcripts at

25: The 'ng' sound /ŋ/ (as in 'song') pronunciation

Sep 3, 2008 00:08:17


Learn about the ng sound (as in 'song'), the first of three nasal sounds in English pronunciation. Full episode transcripts at

24: The 'ch' /ʧ/ and 'j' /ʤ/ pronunciation in English

Aug 27, 2008 00:09:20


Learn about the 'ch' (as in 'church') and 'j' (as in 'judge'), English's only two affricate sounds. Full episode transcripts at

23: The /p/ and /b/ in English

Aug 20, 2008 00:06:46


Pronounce /p/ and /b/ correctly and compare them with the consonants /f/ and /v/. Full episode transcripts at

22: Review all the sounds covered so far

Aug 13, 2008 00:10:03


Wow, you've been busy learning! Don't lose the important knowledge of English pronunciation that you've gained. It's review day! Full episode transcripts at

21: The Rhythm Rule and sentence stress, continued

Aug 6, 2008 00:09:58


How is the rhythm of spoken English created? Continuing learning the basics behind sentence stress and the Rhythm Rule. Full episode transcripts at

20: The Rhythm Rule and Sentence Stress

Jul 30, 2008 00:10:32


Spoken English rhythm follows patterns of stressed and unstressed words and syllables. Full episode transcripts at

19: -ed ending pronunciation

Jul 23, 2008 00:08:13


/d/, /t/, and /ɪd/: become fluent with the three pronunciations for regular past tense verbs in English. Full episode transcripts at

18: The /f/ and /v/ in English

Jul 16, 2008 00:06:17


Compare pronunciation of /f/ and /v/ and learn why they're difficult to say fluently. Full episode transcripts at

17: The 'sh' /ʃ/ and 'zh' /ʒ/ in English

Jul 9, 2008 00:07:58


Practice comparing the 'sh' (as in 'she') and lesser known 'zh' (as in 'vision'). Full episode transcripts at

16: Reduced Pronouns: 'he, him, her,' and 'them'

Jul 2, 2008 00:05:55


Learn how and why to NOT say the first sound of the words 'he, him, her,' and 'them.'

15: Linking vowel sounds

Jun 24, 2008 00:05:50


Become fluent by linking a word that ends with a vowel sound to a word that begins with a vowel sound. Full episode transcripts at

14: Linking consonant sounds

Jun 18, 2008 00:05:10


Learn how linking from word to word increases spoken English fluency

13: Informal contractions in American English

Jun 11, 2008 00:08:41


wanna, gonna, hafta, whadja, howdja: Learn how to understand and why to use informal contractions in English.

12: Common contractions in American English

Jun 4, 2008 00:13:50


don't, can't, won't, hasn't, didn't, weren't: Learn how to say and why to use common contractions in English.

11: 'aw' /ɔ/, 'oi' /ɔɪ/, and 'ow' /aʊ/ in American English

May 28, 2008 00:11:49


Practice comparing the 'aw' with other similar vowels, and practice the diphthongs 'oi' and 'ow.'

10: The American English 'oo sound' /u/ and 'other u' /ʊ/

May 20, 2008 00:12:05


Learn about the tricky /ʊ/ 'other u' (as in 'put') and/u/, the oo sound (as in 'soon').

9: The short vowel sounds /æ, ɛ, ɪ, ɑ, ʌ/ in American English

May 14, 2008 00:12:12


Learn which sounds are short vowels and how to correctly pronounce them.

8: The long vowel sounds: /eɪ, i, ɑɪ, oʊ, yu/ in American English

May 7, 2008 00:13:09


Learn which sounds are long vowels and how to correctly pronounce them. Full episode transcripts at

7: Pronouncing /w/ and /y/

Apr 30, 2008 00:09:16


Learn how to create semi-vowels (glides), the /w/ and /y/ and how they exist in words. Full episode transcripts at

6: American English r-controlled vowels /ɚ, ɑr, ɔr, ɛr/

Apr 23, 2008 00:12:22


Practice saying and hearing the difference between r-controlled vowels: /ɚ, ɑr, ɔr,/ and /ɛr/ Full episode transcripts at

5: The American English /r/ and /l/

Apr 15, 2008 00:08:48


The tricky /r/ can cause even more problems when it is near the /l/. Full transcripts available at

4: The American English /r/

Apr 7, 2008 00:07:32


Learn how the American /r/ is different from the British /r/.

3: The English /s/ and /z/

Apr 1, 2008 00:09:09


When does the -s ending sound like /s/, and when does it sound like /z/?

2: The English /t/ and /d/

Mar 24, 2008 00:07:25


Begin learning about "stops", the /t/ and /d/.

1: The English 'th sounds' /θ, ð/

Mar 19, 2008 00:07:55


Yes, we have two 'th sounds,' /θ,/ and /ð/and they are both very important.