Basic American Pronunciation
4.8 (81 ratings)
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Basic American Pronunciation

Master basic English sounds and start speaking like an American, with confidence!
4.8 (81 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
391 students enrolled
Created by Luke Priddy
Last updated 6/2016
English
Current price: $12 Original price: $20 Discount: 40% off
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30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
Includes:
  • 3 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion

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What Will I Learn?
  • Speak English words with confidence.
  • Use rules to guess the pronunciation of most words.
  • Hear the difference between words that are almost the same.
  • Use muscle memory to start sounding more like an American.
View Curriculum
Requirements
  • A basic understanding of English vocabulary and grammar.
  • The ability to understand some spoken English without help (or subtitles).
Description

In this course you will learn the pronunciation of single English sounds. We will go over both how to make the sounds and examples of those sounds in words and phrases. This course includes exercises for making better speaking habits. The course starts with the basics of pronunciation, then goes on to difficult sounds that learners often come across when learning American English pronunciation. If you work hard and practice what you learn, you will improve. 

You will be able to see my face and mouth clearly in each video lesson, and I will use a blackboard at all times. 

Each lesson focuses on a single idea, and each is comprehensive. Students can go at their own pace and should take their time, with lots of practice between videos. Replaying each lesson is highly recommended. 

Who is the target audience?
  • Anybody who wants to speak English clearly and confidently should take this course.
  • This course is not for native English speakers.
Compare to Other English Pronunciation Courses
Curriculum For This Course
18 Lectures
02:54:14
+
Introduction
2 Lectures 12:52

In this course you will learn the pronunciation of single English sounds. We will go over both how to make the sounds and examples of those sounds in words and phrases. This course includes exercises for making better speaking habits. At the end of the course, you should have the skills you need to sound more like a native English speaker, as well as the confidence to use the skills you learned. If you work hard and practice what you learn, you will improve.

Preview 02:48

In this first video, we will go over some basic pronunciation tips. It's important to remember the following:


1. Develop your ear 

2. Watch mouths 

3. Be very aware of yourself when speaking 

4. Try to feel pronunciation. Don't only learn rules, because they don't always work.

Preview 10:04
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Vowel Sounds and Rules
5 Lectures 54:11
There are two kinds of letters: vowels and consonants. There are 21 consonants (b, c, d, f, g, etc) and five vowels, in the alphabet. Vowels (aeiou) generally make two kinds of sounds, long sounds and short sounds. Long sounds sound like the name of the letter, while short sounds are different. Remember that long doesn't mean the sound will really last longer--it's just a name.

Long Vowel Sounds
10:15

We will cover many examples of words with short sounds. The tough thing about short sounds is that they can often sound very alike. In order to be able to pronounce these sounds correctly, you have to be able to hear the differences. Once you can begin to do that, you can start making the sounds correctly each time. Once you've mastered all the short sounds, it's important to practice again and again until you can do them naturally, without thinking (a habit).

Short Vowel Sounds
10:00

While rules don't always work for English pronunciation, one general rule which usually does is called the silent 'e'. When a vowel is in a word or a syllable (a syllable is a beat in a word, like bas-ket-ball or un-cle) that ends with an 'e', the vowel will be long. It's like the 'e' does something, changes the earlier vowel sound, so it needs to lay down and rest--it can't make a sound.
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Vowels in syllables or words without a silent 'e' at the end will usually be short.

The Silent 'e'
07:50

When vowels are put together, like 'ai', the pronunciation is usually the long sound of the first vowel. This isn't always true. We will talk about another kind of sound made when two vowels are put together in the next lesson.

Vowels Together
15:05

Diphthongs are special sounds made when two vowels are put together. These sounds are special because they are complex sounds--they require you to move your mouth as you say them, instead of being a single long or short sound. - The diphthongs are: OU (OW) AU (AW) OI (OY)

Diphthongs
11:01
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Consonant Sounds and Mouth Positions
7 Lectures 01:13:57

The V and W sounds are quite similar, but in fact they are made completely differently. When you say the V sound, it's important that your lower lip touches your upper teeth. When you say the W sound, the lips come forward but do not touch, and also do not touch the teeth. When the normal W sound is pronounced, the lips are pushed forward slightly before going to the next sound.

V and W
12:31

The TH sound is actually very easy to make. All you have to do is, softly, put your tongue between your teeth and push air out. Unfortunately, knowing the right way to make the sounds is not enough. It has to become a deep habit. Often, when speaking quickly, it's easy to slip and forget the correct pronunciation of this sound. So, it's really important to make it a habit.

TH
12:20

S and Z are often confused with the TH sound, and can sometimes be confused with each other. The S and Z sounds are in fact very similar. The only difference is that S is unvoiced and Z is voiced. Voiced means that the voice is used when making the sound. Unvoiced: it isn't.
S and Z
14:39

The L, R and N sounds can easily be confused, so they need to be learned together. By learning these sounds together, it becomes easier to differentiate the sounds and start building the habits necessary to speak them correctly, easily.
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This lesson covers a number of examples, as well as a description of how to make each sound. Remember to practice the sounds over and over until you can easily do them without thinking.

L, R, N Part 1
08:21

The L, R and N sounds can easily be confused, so they need to be learned together. By learning these sounds together, it becomes easier to differentiate the sounds and start building the habits necessary to speak them correctly, easily.

This lesson covers a number of examples, as well as a description of how to make each sound. Remember to practice the sounds over and over until you can easily do them without thinking.

L, R, N Part 2
10:02

CH and SH are different but overlapping sounds. That means, they can sometimes be the same. For example, CH can sound like SH in words like chandelier. The CH sound is typically a harder sound. It is made by bringing the teeth together and then releasing the tongue from the front of the mouth to the back.
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The SH sound is much simpler. It can be made either with the teeth touching or not, and the tongue very lightly touching the roof of the mouth, only at the edges.

CH and S
09:13

These two endings can be difficult because they could sound either too long or too short. When you are making these two ending sounds, you can bring your tongue behind your teeth, but you don't have to actually make the L sound (though you can). Be careful not to stress the vowel sound, or it will sound too much like POL and BOL, rather than, PLE and BLE. The sound should be relaxed, not rushed.

-ble and -ple
06:51
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Extension
4 Lectures 33:14

Practice makes perfect. This lesson focuses on building an awareness, both when listening and speaking. When you listen to someone speaking quickly in English, it can sometimes be difficult to catch the differences between words that are almost exactly the same. One way to distinguish these is to listen to the whole sentence and try to figure out the correct word by deciding which one best fits the context.
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When speaking words with similar sounds, awareness is also very important. Without the ability to hear what you are saying, it isn't possible to say similar words naturally without hesitating. It has to be natural, and of course, a habit.

Similar Words Part 1
14:30

Practice makes perfect. This lesson focuses on building an awareness, both when listening and speaking. When you listen to someone speaking quickly in English, it can sometimes be difficult to catch the differences between words that are almost exactly the same. One way to distinguish these is to listen to the whole sentence and try to figure out the correct word by deciding which one best fits the context.
-
When speaking words with similar sounds, awareness is also very important. Without the ability to hear what you are saying, it isn't possible to say similar words naturally without hesitating. It has to be natural, and of course, a habit.

Similar Words Part 2
09:17

Words with the same spelling can can have different pronunciation depending on the form of the word. There are some rules for this, for example, in two-syllable nouns and adjectives, the first syllable is usually stressed. For two-syllable verbs, it should be the second syllable. However, in many cases, such as in this lesson, there are no particular rules, and it is best to simply learn from example.

Sound and Form
06:00

Learning basic English pronunciation sounds easy, but it's incredibly important to remember the need for practice and building good habits. Take this course again to help strengthen those good pronunciation habits. Develop a sense of awareness to catch new sounds and quickly copy them. Learn rules but always remember that rules don't always work. - It takes a lot of hard work to become a great English speaking, but if you work hard, you will get better and you will sound more natural. Thank you for taking this course. If you enjoyed it, take another!

Course Summary
03:27
About the Instructor
Luke Priddy
4.6 Average rating
289 Reviews
1,135 Students
3 Courses
Innovative English Teacher

As the founder of Cloud English and the co-founder of yoli, I've helped many people become confident English speakers. I've been teaching English for years, and I love it. I'm also a world traveler with many interests. Along the way, I've discovered powerful language learning methods that make learning English much easier and more effective. These courses contain my insights and methods. I use a split screen presentation style for my courses. You will be able to see both my face and a digital blackboard. It's a great way to learn!