Tricky American English Pronunciation

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Description

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About this course: In this course, you’ll practice the sounds of American English that might sometimes be confusing. You'll practice both consonant and vowel sounds. You’ll also learn about the things that give English its special “music,” such as how to stress the right syllable in a word, how to make your voice go up and down in a natural-sounding melody, and how to naturally connect sounds and words. Learning these things will help you speak more clearly and make sure that others can understand what you're saying. This course is useful for English language learners who want to improve pronunciation of American English for better communication. Note that access to all of the lectures …

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Didn't find what you were looking for? See also: Phonetics, English (FCE / CAE / CPE), Language Learning, Linguistics, and Interpreting.

When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this course: In this course, you’ll practice the sounds of American English that might sometimes be confusing. You'll practice both consonant and vowel sounds. You’ll also learn about the things that give English its special “music,” such as how to stress the right syllable in a word, how to make your voice go up and down in a natural-sounding melody, and how to naturally connect sounds and words. Learning these things will help you speak more clearly and make sure that others can understand what you're saying. This course is useful for English language learners who want to improve pronunciation of American English for better communication. Note that access to all of the lectures and handouts are free to anyone, but the graded assignments and quizzes are only available in the paid version of the course. You will need to submit recordings of your own pronunciation for graded assignments.

Created by:  University of California, Irvine
  • Taught by:  Tamy Chapman, Instructor, International Programs

    University of California Irvine Division of Continuing Education
  • Taught by:  Marla Yoshida, Academic Coordinator

    International Programs
Level Beginner Commitment 3-4 hours per week for 4 weeks Language English Hardware Req You will need to be able to make .mp3 recordings of your pronunciation. How To Pass Pass all graded assignments to complete the course. User Ratings 4.6 stars Average User Rating 4.6See what learners said Задания курса

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Syllabus


WEEK 1


Welcome



In this course, you will learn about the consonant and vowel sounds of American English and practice some of the difficult sounds. You will also learn about and practice intonation and stress. Practicing these things will help you improve your pronunciation and make your speech easier for others to understand.


2 videos expand


  1. Video: Welcome
  2. Video: Meet Your Teacher
  3. Взаимная оценка: Meet Your Classmates


Tricky Consonant Sounds



In this first week, you will practice the consonant sounds of American English. Consonants are the sounds where the air coming up from your lungs meets some obstacles on the way. The first sounds in the words time, sand, and moon are consonants. After a quick quiz to find out which consonant sounds are the most difficult for you, you’ll practice some pairs of sounds that might be confusing and learn some tricks for telling them apart, and you’ll start to understand how your mouth moves when you say these sounds.


9 videos, 8 readings, 3 practice quizzes expand


  1. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Consonants Pre-Test Directions
  2. Тренировочный тест: Consonants Pre-Test
  3. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Supplemental Materials
  4. Video: Pre-Test Review
  5. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Consonants Overview
  6. Video: Consonants Overview
  7. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Tricky Consonant Pairs
  8. Video: Tricky Consonant Pairs Part 1
  9. Video: Tricky Consonant Pairs Part 2
  10. Video: Consonant Pairs Practice
  11. Тренировочный тест: Tricky Consonant Contrasts Practice Quiz
  12. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Final Consonant Clusters
  13. Video: Final Consonants and Consonant Clusters
  14. Video: Final Consonants Practice
  15. Тренировочный тест: Final Consonants and Consonant Clusters Practice Quiz
  16. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Shadowing Directions
  17. Video: Shadowing a Conversation
  18. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Shadowing Assignment
  19. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Pronunciation Tips
  20. Video: Pronunciation Tips

Graded: Assignment 1
Graded: Graded Quiz

WEEK 2


Tricky Vowel Sounds



This week, you’ll practice some tricky vowel sounds in American English. Vowels are sounds that come out of your mouth very smoothly, like the first sounds in apple, ocean, and out. Vowel sounds are very important for being understood in English. They’re the “heart” of each syllable, and they need to be said clearly to avoid misunderstanding. Our goal is to help you pronounce English in a way that can be easily understood by listeners in real life, and mastering vowel sounds is an important step toward that goal. Now let’s practice the vowel sounds of American English.


9 videos, 7 readings, 3 practice quizzes expand


  1. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Vowels Pre-Test Directions
  2. Тренировочный тест: Vowels Pre-Test
  3. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Supplemental Materials
  4. Video: Vowel Pre-Test Review
  5. Video: Vowel Sounds Overview
  6. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Tricky Vowel Contrasts
  7. Video: Tricky Vowel Contrasts Part 1
  8. Video: Tricky Vowel Contrasts Part 2
  9. Video: Tricky Vowel Pairs Practice
  10. Тренировочный тест: Tricky Vowels Practice Quiz
  11. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Unstressed Vowels
  12. Video: Unstressed Vowels
  13. Video: Unstressed Vowels Practice
  14. Тренировочный тест: Unstressed Vowels Practice Quiz
  15. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Shadowing Directions
  16. Video: Shadowing a Conversation
  17. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Shadowing Assignment
  18. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Pronunciation Tips
  19. Video: Pronunciation Tips

Graded: Assignment 2
Graded: Graded Quiz

WEEK 3


The Music of American English Pronunciation



This week, you’ll learn about some things that give English its special rhythm and melody. You’ll learn about syllables—the small chunks of sound that make up the “beats” in words—and word stress—the way some parts of words are emphasized more than others. You’ll also see how some words become shorter and weaker when we talk. Since these words are used very often in ordinary speaking, we can’t understand spoken English without them. Our goal this week is to help you use the music of English to communicate more effectively and to be understood more easily when you speak. Enjoy learning about the music of American English pronunciation.


11 videos, 8 readings, 3 practice quizzes expand


  1. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Supplemental Materials
  2. Video: What is the Music of English?
  3. Video: Syllables and Word Stress
  4. Video: Syllables and Word Stress Practice
  5. Тренировочный тест: Syllables and Word Stress Practice Quiz
  6. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Thought Groups and Intonation
  7. Video: Intonation
  8. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Supplemental Materials
  9. Video: Intonation Practice
  10. Тренировочный тест: Intonation Practice Quiz
  11. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Connected Speech and Reducing Sounds
  12. Video: Linking in Connected Speech
  13. Video: Linking Connected Speech Practice
  14. Video: Reduced Words
  15. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Supplemental Materials
  16. Video: Reduced Words Practice
  17. Тренировочный тест: Connected Speech Practice Quiz
  18. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Shadowing Directions
  19. Video: Shadowing a Conversation
  20. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Shadowing Assignment
  21. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Pronunciation Tips
  22. Video: Pronunciation Tips

Graded: Assignment 3
Graded: Graded Quiz

WEEK 4


Other Tricky Things



In this final week of the course, you'll look at a few more tricky points in American English pronunciation. First, you’ll learn about the different ways to pronounce the –s and –ed word endings, which have important grammatical meanings, and you’ll learn when to use each kind of pronunciation. Next, you’ll practice pronouncing numbers like 14 and 40, 15 and 50, 16 and 60 that can cause misunderstandings. You’ll also learn about the pronunciation of the words “can” and “can’t” –the difference between them might surprise you. Finally, you’ll practice some sound changes that happen when words come together in common spoken expressions like "gonna" for "going to," "wanna" for "want to," and "shoulda" for "should have."


8 videos, 8 readings, 3 practice quizzes expand


  1. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: -S and -Ed Endings
  2. Video: -S and -Ed Endings
  3. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Supplemental Materials
  4. Video: -S and -Ed Endings Practice
  5. Тренировочный тест: -S and -Ed Endings Practice Quiz
  6. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Tricky Words
  7. Video: Some Tricky Words
  8. Video: Some Tricky Words Practice
  9. Тренировочный тест: Tricky Words Practice Quiz
  10. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Common Linked Expressions
  11. Video: Common Linked Expressions
  12. Video: Common Linked Expressions Practice
  13. Тренировочный тест: Linked Expressions Quiz
  14. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Shadowing Directions
  15. Video: Shadowing a Conversation
  16. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Shadowing Assignment
  17. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Pronunciation Tips
  18. Video: Pronunciation Tips
  19. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Learn

Graded: Assignment 4
Graded: Graded Quiz
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