Lesson 1 of 31
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Lesson 1: Introduction & SEAT / SIT / SET

Read transcript of introduction video

Hi and welcome to the American English Pronunciation Course!

In this introduction, I want to tell you about the structure of the course and what you’re going to learn, as well as give you a few tips for getting the most benefit out of the lessons.

The first part of the course focuses on vowels. I’ll take you through all the different vowel sounds in English and teach you the small differences between them so that you don’t make pronunciation mistakes.

The next section of the course deals with consonants. Between these two sections, you’ll learn all the sounds of the English language, you’ll work on differentiating similar sounds like bit and beat. Can you hear the difference? Also, pull and pool. There are a lot of exercises with these minimal pairs – words that are different by only one sound. So that’s why it’s really important to pronounce them correctly in English.

The final section of the course will help you improve the rhythm and flow of your speaking by focusing on how to link one word to another, and how to have a natural rhythm when you speak by putting the stress on the right place in the word and the sentence. You’ll also learn reductions, ways that native English speakers combine sounds when we speak fast.

The most important tip I have for you in this course is to practice saying the words aloud. Don’t just watch the video or listen to the audio passively. You need to actively repeat after me. This is so important because pronunciation isn’t something that you just study; pronunciation is something you do – so you have to speak.

It’s okay if you make a mistake, because no one will hear you, right? You’re just practicing with yourself and the computer. So don’t be shy. Repeat the words and phrases after me. In the videos, I’ve left space for you to do that.

At the end of the course, in the final lesson, there is an opportunity for you to make a recording – actually two recordings –  of your spoken English and then send them in for feedback. In one of these recordings, I’ll ask you to read a text aloud. I have a text for you, and you can just read it into the microphone. For the other recording, I ask you to speak spontaneously about yourself and your job, hobbies, interests, anything you want to tell me about.

This way I can get a complete picture of your speaking, both reading aloud and speaking spontaneously. Unfortunately,, a lot of students don’t do the evaluation, which makes me sad because I want to help you improve your pronunciation and your speaking.

So please, again, don’t be shy. We want to give you feedback and correct any mistakes – as well as tell you what you’re doing well. You might actually be surprised that your pronunciation is better than you imagined. So when you get to the end of the course, don’t be afraid to send in your spoken English so that I can evaluate it.

As you finish each lesson, make sure to click “Mark Complete” to check it off:

Okay, that’s it. Go ahead and start lesson one, and get ready to improve your pronunciation!

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