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This course is about how to learn to say difficult sounds in English quickly and to reduce your accent audibly. We will cover the most important phonics/sounds that my clients - from India, China, France, Russia, Brazil, Spain and so on - have the most problems with doing business in the US/Silicon Valley. You don't have to go through all the lectures, just pick the areas you feel you still have to work on and practice the words diligently. You will see the slides that go with the video and most of the time, I also uploaded additional practice materials. If you work on your English pronunciation consistently, you will see results really fast.
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Welcome to accent reduction made fast and easy!
This course is for you, if you speak English but want to sound better and want your friends and colleagues to understand you clearly.
I've been working with accent reduction and American communications for the past 16 years, so in this class, we're going to go through the sounds and word stresses that I found foreign-born speakers have the most trouble with. I speak 5 languages myself and know what it is like to work on getting a good accent!
The course is divided into short segments which will walk you through the vowels, consonants and more of the sounds which are troublesome like the Rs & Ls the Vs & Ws and the THs, not to forget words with er, ir and or - like word, world, work that a lot of people can't really say well.
We will also focus on the syllables in words which need stress on them, so you don't put the "emphasis on the wrong syllable".
Once you've gone through all parts, and have practiced them well, you will definitely notice improvements and see that you've reached your goals and can feel good about your speech.
Oh, just to let you know, I've also put together some documents you can download as well, which will give you even more material to practice.
So have fun, get started soon, because the more you practice, the faster you'll have the results you want.
|Section 1: Vowel Sounds|
|This lecture is about the long A sound. Note that by making the long /a/ sound, you should realize that it is really a mixture of two sounds: /a/ and then going up with you voice - /e/, so it sounds almost like /ayeee/.|
|The long E is in many words, you really have to make an effort to say it correctly - and the main thing is to move your mouth to a smile while you say the sound.|
Long Vowel IPreview
|The long O is only said correctly if you make a round, open mouth. Watch my lips and how I speak with an open, rounded mouth.|
|The U sound is actually quite easy to say for most people. Again, you have to have the correct mouth position and can't make the sound if you do it behind closed teeth.|
|The short vowel A is one of the hardest to make. Please practice it until you are sure you are saying it correctly. It does make a difference!|
|Be sure and practice this sound a lot as well. I added more words for you to use for practice on purpose.|
Short Vowel IPreview
Short Vowel O
Short Vowel U
|Section 2: Important Consonants|
|The consonants are extremely important and if you leave them out, people will have a hard time understanding you.So take this to heart and work hard at saying them correctly.|
|When you make the L sound, the most important thing is to curl up your tongue and - with the tip of your tongue - touch the back of your front teeth - and then say the sound L.|
Important Consonant WPreview
|The V sound is the hardest for Indian speakers of English. If you pay attention that your teeth touch your bottom lip [or to begin practicing it, bite your lip], you will make the V sound.|
|The T sound is important, as are all consonants, in being understood easily. For my Indian clients, try to say it a bit softer.|
Important Consonant S
|Especially for Indian speakers of American English and for Spanish speakers of English it is important to know how to say the voiced and voiceless sounds differently. Listen carefully to the differences and imitate them.|
|Section 3: Voiced and Voiceless TH Sound|
|Saying the TH sounds correctly is very important because of the way you will be conceived when not saying the sounds correctly.
I don't think this is something that is consciously taking place in people's minds, but - at least for me - you don't sound quite as educated if you don't make a right TH sound.
Voiceless TH - Think
|Section 4: Difficult Sound Variations|
Difficult Sound Variation - AW
|Making the X sound is difficult for many non-native English speakers, but it really makes a difference if you leave it out or if you say it correctly. So go ahead and try to learn this X sound too.|
|The ER sound is a surprise for many people because it can be written in such different ways; nevertheless, it is the same sound. There are many words with the ER sounds, so once again, please practice these sounds. I've also added a couple of other exercises as homework so you will have plenty of time to practice.|
The J and CH sounds are used very frequently in English and for Indians, Italians, Spanish speakers of English they pose quite a few problems. There is a list of words in the video plus another set in the supplementary materials.
|The ED sound is particularly difficult for Brazilians and also sometime for Spanish speakers of English. It doesn't really make too much of a difference if you don't say the sounds 100% correctly, but if you want to reduce your accent, say the sound the way it is supposed to be said.|
|The OU, OW sound can be really trick and if you don't say it correctly, it comes out sometimes as a really "bad" word, so be careful. This is an important sound to be able to say. The OI is a lot easier and I included it just because it belongs in this sound group.|
|The Schwa sound is only included here for people who are interesting in the study of language; and for those of you who would email me asking why I didn't include some short vowel sounds. These are, in fact, just Schwab sounds. I assume you would say them correctly even if I hadn't pointed the Schwa sound out.|
|Section 5: Syllable and Stress Rules|
|The correct stress on the correct syllable is of huge importance, as you already know. For me at least, just learning the word and its stress is easier than learning all the rules, but for you it might be helpful to know why stresses change. This lecture will take you a little longer, but the practice will pay off.|
|Section 6: Conclusion|
|Well, we have come to the end of this course and I just want to congratulate you that you came this far and I am sure you will be much better understood at this point if you practiced diligently!
If you make a mistake, so what? People will still understand you. Just make sure to keep up with your practice and don't let it slide when you get too comfortable. It is important that you make the correct sounds part of your regular speech and that you won't have to think about them anymore.
Check back to Udemy once in a while, I am quite sure I will expand the course to include other areas that you will hopefully point out to me in your emails.
Having moved 34 times across 3 different continents, and speaking 5 languages, I leverage my background to help international executives and start-up entrepreneurs find their voice in Silicon Valley via US business communications and pitch training [including accent reduction].
Over the years, I've worked and currently work with international executives and entrepreneurs from DreamWorks to Facebook, coming from Russia, Brazil, Spain, China, India and France, to name a couple, to help translate these executives' business stories and start up pitches into structured, understandable messages for the US business audience.
I'm a Mentor at 500 Startups [500.co] where I work mainly with the international startups on their Demo Day pitches - what fun!
In addition, I give seminars to international MBA students at UCLA's Anderson School of Business and UC Berkeley's HAAS School of Business and teach classes at Stanford University's Continuing Studies.
I received a Master’s from UC Berkeley and a Ph.D. from Stanford University. I also hold a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Tübingen, Germany.
Here are the classes I've taught at Stanford’s Continuing Studies Program:
1. Branding Yourself Strategically using social media
2. Communications for International Business
3. Managing Virtual Teams
4. English Business Writing for Executives
Executive coaching international executives and start-up entrepreneurs from China, India, Russia, Spain, France etc. in: accent reduction speech, presentation skills, VC and angel investor pitching., ESL, US business communications, personal branding, social media in Silicon Valley.
Fluent German, French, Spanish, Portuguese and English, teach workshops in 5 languages.
Event organizations include: GABA, Startup Embassy, SiliconHouse
Author: They Made It!:
Co-Author: Communicating the American Way