Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tongue Twisters To Help Your English Pronunciation

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Author: Mary Gillespie

Article to help English Speaking and English Pronunciation by Pronounce Pro American English Pronunciation Writing Staff.

Do you need a break from all the hard work you’ve been putting into learning English? Try these tongue twisters to give your tongue and pronunciation a workout. Don’t worry if you have trouble with these sentences: you’re supposed to. Even native English speakers find the pronunciation of tongue twisters a challenge. So don’t take these language games too seriously. If you find yourself laughing, that great! You might not even notice how much good pronunciation practice you are getting!

Here are just a few tongue twisters to start worth, but there are many more. You can even make up your own. Choose a sound you want to practice, and make up sentences using as many words as you can with that sound. Then challenge yourself and your friends to repeat the sentence 5 times without a mistake!

Good Luck!

Main Sound Practiced
Sentence for Pronunciation Practice
/s/ and /sh/
She sells seashells by the seashore.
/p/
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
/s/ and /th/

(This one is really hard!)
Six thick thistle sticks.
/b/ plus vowel sounds
Betty Botter bought some butter,
"But," she said, "this butter's bitter.
/n/ and /oi/

(This one is great for practicing blending your words together in the sentence.)
A noisy noise annoys an oyster.

Intonation Within American English Pronunciation

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Author: Mary Gillespie

Article to help English Speaking and English Pronunciation by Pronounce Pro American English Pronunciation Writing Staff

American English intonation can be difficult to master, and yet it is an important part of pronunciation. It is the music of the language, and conveys a great deal of meaning to listeners. Similar to a melody in music, intonation is the rhythm of your English speaking.

Intonation: noun the manner of singing, playing, or speaking tones especially: the rise and fall in pitch of the voice in pronunciation.

It can feel very strange to adopt the intonation patterns of another language. People often feel self-conscious making their voice rise and fall in ways that are very different from the pronunciation of their own language. Here is a strategy that many people, both native speakers and learners of English, find useful for intonation practice.

First, you need a short text that you find interesting and meaningful. Try to choose a poem or paragraph from a story instead of a newspaper article. Literature and stories usually communicate more feelings than factual writing like magazine and newspaper articles.

Read the paragraph to yourself until you are comfortable with it. Make sure you understand the meaning of the words and images. Check the pronunciation of unfamiliar words in your dictionary. When you are very comfortable with the meaning of your paragraph, stand up and read it out loud.

The first time you read it out loud, it will probably feel a bit awkward, and you may not speak as smoothly as you would like. Make a note of any words or sentences that you find difficult, and practice the pronunciation of these sections out loud on their own.

Try reading your paragraph again, but this time, move one of your arms to help you convey the rhythm of the language. When you feel your voice should rise or get louder, move your arm up. When you feel your voice should get softer, move your arm down.

Now, try reading the paragraph in different ways. Imagine you are angry, and read it out loud. How do your voice and body change? Is your pronunciation different?

Try reading your paragraph as if you were happy, excited or sad. Notice how the change in your emotion changes the intonation and meaning of your speaking, which will affect the pronunciation of your speaking.

Now, finally, try reading the paragraph in a way that expresses the meaning that you think the writer wants the listener to understand. Try to get across the meaning that you find in your paragraph.

Of course reading aloud is very different from speaking to people in real-life situations, but an activity like this can help you become more aware of how intonation in English pronunciation works. It gives you a chance to practice without having to worry about grammar or vocabulary, and will help you develop greater confidence when you are speaking English.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Assimilation Within American English Pronunciation

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Author: Ryan Denzer King

Article to help English Speaking and English Pronunciation by PronouncePro American English Pronunciation Writing Staff.

Many languages utilize some type of assimilation – a change in a certain sound based on the sounds that come before or after it. One example of this is the difference in plural -s in "cats" versus "dogs". Pronounce each word while touching your throat. You should be able to feel that your vocal cords do not vibrate for the final -s in "cats", but they do vibrate for the final -s in "dogs", turning it into a z sound. This type of assimilation is widespread throughout the world’s languages. However, American English pronunciation also fails to assimilate sounds in some places where other languages do.

Another type of assimilation occurs when a consonant occurs before a u or o sound. (NB: sometimes the letters u and o represent other sounds, for instance the "uh" sound in "but" or the "ah" sound in "father".) These vowels are pronounced with the lips rounded. In many languages, consonants before these vowels will also be pronounced with the lips rounded. However, in American English pronunciation this is not the case. Set up your lips and tongue to pronounce the word "do". You should notice that your lips are not rounded or pursed. If they are, relax them. One way to practice this pronunciation is to insert another vowel between the d sound and the oo sound in "do". The extra vowel should sound something like the u in "but" or the a in "about". Once you are able to pronounce the d without the lip rounding, get rid of the extra vowel. Working with this advice will help improve your pronunciation.

English Pronunciation: Intonation for Questions

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Author: Mary Gillespie

Article to help English Speaking and English Pronunciation by PronouncePro American English Pronunciation Writing Staff.

Have a look at these two sentences, and read them out loud to yourself:

1) He goes to school.

2) He goes to school?

Looking at the sentences, you can see clearly by the punctuation that one is a statement and the other is a question. How do we convey that difference when we are speaking?

If you are an experienced speaker of English, you will have noticed something important about what happens to your pronunciation when you wanted to make the question. In both sentences, there was stress on the main words (goes and school). This means that these words were spoken with more emphasis, and the other words (he and to) were not emphasized. The main words were spoken slightly more loudly and longer, and were spoken at a slightly higher pitch than the non-stressed words.

In the question, the same words were stressed, but an additional layer of information was added. Experienced English speakers would have raised the pitch of their voices at the end of the question considerably higher than for the statement. That raised pitch indicates to the listener that a question is being asked.

In fact, turning a statement into a question by raising pitch conveys even more information. The raised pitch tells the listener that the speaker is surprised or even amazed. (What? He goes to school? I can't believe it).

Here are intonations patterns for questions that are important to recognize within American English pronunciation:

1- Rising intonation at the end of a yes/no question:



Do you live in New York?


Are you married?

2- Falling intonation at the end of a wh- question:




Where do you live?


What is your marital status?

Changes in these typical patterns convey extra information. If a speaker's voice falls when asking a yes/no question, the listener may easily interpret it to mean the speaker is annoyed or frustrated. If a speaker's voice rises at the end of a wh- question, the speaker is indicating to the listener that he or she is surprised by the information, or that the information needs to be repeated because it wasn't heard clearly.

Intonation patterns can be confusing for language learners, and it can be difficult to master them. It is important to be aware of them, though, and recognize how they can convey meaning in English. Improving your intonation patterns is a guaranteed way to improve your English pronunciation.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tapped t’s in American English Pronunciation

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Author: Ryan Denzer King

Article to help English Speaking and English Pronunciation by PronouncePro American English Pronunciation Writing Staff.

One of the features that distinguish American English pronunciation from some other types of English pronunciation is the use of the so-called “tapped” t or d. This English sound is called an alveolar tap (also alveolar flap) by linguists, and corresponds to an r sound in many languages, such as the non-trilled r in Spanish and Italian, or the standard r sound in Arabic or Finnish. The general rule in American English pronunciation for whether a t or d is tapped says that these sounds should be tapped when they come after a stressed syllable, such as in ‘butter’ or ‘lady’. In both of the words, the first syllable is stressed, and so the t or d becomes tapped. Note that because both of these sounds become the same when tapped, it is not always possible to tell whether something is a t or a d if you don’t already know the word. Thus, in standard American English pronunciation, ‘ladder’ and ‘latter’ sound exactly the same, even though in very careful speech one has a d and one has a t; in everyday speech both of these words have a tapped t in the middle.

In a word like ‘table’, on the other hand, the t is not tapped because it is in the stressed syllable. This general rule within pronunciation, that t’s and d’s are tapped after a stressed syllable, usually only applies if they come before and after a vowel, as in ‘ladder’, ‘latter’, ‘butter’, and ‘lady’. In a word like ‘antler’ or ‘bandage’ they are not tapped, because they are not between two vowels.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tense vs. Lax "i" in American English Pronunciation

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Author: Ryan Denzer King

Article to help English Speaking and English Pronunciation by PronouncePro American English Pronunciation Writing Staff.

American English has more vowel quality distinctions than any other language, so no matter what language you speak, it probably does not have as many distinctions as English. English pronunciation has several pairs of vowels which are pronounced with your lips and tongue in approximately the same position, but where one of the vowels is "tense" and one is "lax". The fact that these vowels are so similar makes them difficult to distinguish for non-native speakers.

The first tense/lax pair is what many people call long e versus short i. The fact that one is called an 'e' sound and one is called an 'i' sound is only because of spelling; more technically, these are both 'i' sounds. If you are familiar with the International Phonetic Alphabet, this is the distinction between /i/ (long e) and / i / (short i). Long e is often spelled ee or ea in English spelling (which is why it is called long e). Examples include 'feed', 'seat', 'see', and 'bead'. Short i is usually spelled with a single i and usually comes before two consonants in the middle of a word or before a single word-final consonant. Examples include 'bitter', 'fit', 'tipsy', and 'lip'.

The easier sound to make for most people is the long e sound; almost every language in the world uses this as one of its vowels. In your language, this sound is probably spelled with the letter i. Beginning with this long e sound, relax your tongue without moving your lips. If done properly, this should get you very close to the short i sound. A good practice exercise is to listen to minimal pairs - words that differ only in one sound. Pairs which differ only in tense versus lax i are: feet/fit, seat/sit, bead/bid, leap/lip.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

American English Pronunciation: T or D?

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Author: Mary Gillespie

Article to help English Speaking and English Pronunciation by PronouncePro American English Pronunciation Writing Staff.

Non-English speakers are often puzzled by the American English pronunciation of the letter ’t’. Sometimes it sounds clearly like a /t/ in the word determine), but other times it sounds almost like a /d/.

There are a lot of technical descriptions of this phenomenon, and linguists, phoneticians and language teachers can have lively conversations and debates about how best to describe it. For most learners, however, it helps to know a few simple facts about what happens to the /t/ sound in American English pronunciation.

Let's take a look at two words which sound almost alike when spoken by an American speaker of English.

ladder                      latter

Ladder is an object used for climbing, and latter is used to refer to the second of two previously mentioned items. There spelling and meanings are different, but in American English pronunciation, the two words sound the same.

What is happening here? First, it's important to understand the stress patterns in the words. Both words are stressed on the first syllable. In American English pronunciation, when a stressed syllable occurs before the letter 't', the /t/ sound is pronounced with a sound similar to a /d/. This happens only when the stressed vowel is followed directly by the ’t’. If a consonant comes between the vowel and the 't', the 't' keeps its regular pronunciation. For example, in the word "lasting", the first syllable is stressed, but there is an 's' between the stressed vowel and the 't', so you clearly hear the /t/ sound.

Here are some examples:

words with a /d/ sound
words with a /t/ sound
butter

better

sitter

greater

hated
deter

fester

hasty

pasted

faster

There are other ways in which the 't' can be pronounced differently in American English pronunciation. But for now, see how many examples of the /d/ phenomenon you can hear in the English around you.

About Author: Mary Gillespie, ESL Teacher and Owner of the Online ESL Tutoring Service, www.AtHomewithEnglish.com.

Friday, September 18, 2009

American Accent Pronunciation and English Spelling

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Author: Mary Gillespie

Article to help English Speaking and English Pronunciation by PronouncePro American English Pronunciation Writing Staff.

Many students learning English are puzzled by the connection between English spelling and English pronunciation. They look at words with similar spelling patterns like rough (pronounced like "ruff") and cough (pronounced like "coff") and wonder if they will ever be able to figure out how to pronounce American English words!

Many native speakers, too, complain about the seeming irregularity of English spelling. There have been various movements that have tried to reform English spelling, but to date none have been successful.

What is it about English spelling that makes it appear so confusing? Before answering that question, it is important to understand what the words are representing. In alphabetic languages like English, the letters and letter combinations represent the sounds of the language. Some languages, like French, have standardized these representations so that there appear to be fewer irregularities than we have in English.

However, English spelling gives us not only information about the sounds and pronunciation of the words, but also the history. English has been a remarkably adaptable language, and English speakers have incorporated words and pronunciation from many languages. English words like "phone" or "photo", for example, show us with the "ph" spelling of the /f/ sound that they are words derived from Greek. Other unusual spelling patterns have their roots in the history of English.

So what does this all mean for English language learners? Well, first of all, you don't have to go out and study the history of the English language in depth, but developing a curiosity about English words can really help. English spelling is not as irregular and unusual as many people think it is. Knowing a bit about the history of some English words can help you begin to see the pattern behind American spelling and American English pronunciation.

We use words to tell the stories of our world and lives. Words have their own stories to tell us about the development of our languages.

About Author: Mary Gillespie, ESL Teacher and Owner of the Online ESL Tutoring Service, www.AtHomewithEnglish.com.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

English Pronunciation: Improving with Nursery Rhymes

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Author: Mary Gillespie

Article to help English Speaking and English Pronunciation by PronouncePro American English Pronunciation Writing Staff.

How can children's nursery rhymes help adults improve their pronunciation of English? For some of the same reasons they help English-speaking children learn the rhythms and rhyming patterns of their first language.

Nursery rhymes draw children's attention to important features of language, and have been demonstrated to help children learn the rhythms and intonation patterns of English pronunciation. They also help children learn to articulate different sounds because they often use repetition within the nursery rhyme.

While adults learn language differently from the ways that children do, learning and repeating nursery rhymes can still be of great benefit to adult learners of English. Nursery rhymes provide short chunks of language that can be easily learned and repeated. They provide a manageable piece of connected language for practice and review. In addition, nursery rhymes provide access to a part of English speaking culture that is shared across countries. As there are many references to nursery rhyme characters, having knowledge of the more common rhymes gives English-language learners insight into an important part of the culture, and pronunciation.

Another advantage of nursery rhymes is that they are very easy to find. Any bookstore that carries English books for children will almost certainly have some kind of collection of nursery rhymes. English public libraries have many different versions of the familiar rhymes, and an internet search of "nursery rhymes" or "Mother Goose" will bring up many useful links. Some of these will have audio files so that adults can listen and repeat the rhymes. YouTube even has a series of American English pronunciation lessons for ESL learners based on nursery rhymes.

It's clear that nursery rhymes are not just for children! They are an effective way for English learners to improve their pronunciation.

About Author: Mary Gillespie, ESL Teacher and Owner of the Online ESL Tutoring Service, www.AtHomewithEnglish.com.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

American English Pronunciation: Different Stress, Different Meaning

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Author: Mary Gillespie

Article to help English Speaking and English Pronunciation by PronouncePro American English Pronunciation Writing Staff.

Word stress is important in English pronunciation, and in some cases can signal a difference in meaning or word category between two words with the same spelling.

Here is a list of some common words that change from nouns to verbs with a shift in the word stress:

NOUNS
stress on the first syllable
VERBS
stress on the second syllable
CON-flictcon-FLICT
COM-batcom-BAT
PRO-ducepro-DUCE
PER-mitper-MIT
OVER-runover-RUN
COM-presscom-PRESS
SUS-pectsus-PECT
CON-victcon-VICT
CON-sultcon-SULT
EX-ploitex-PLOIT
SUB-jectsub-JECT


Sometimes, when this stress shift occurs, there is a significant difference in meaning between the two words. For example, EX-ploit means adventure, and ex-PLOIT means to take advantage of a person or situation.

Next time you listen to the news in English, try to listen for some of these words. See if you can distinguish which stress pattern you are hearing. American English Pronunciation improvement need not be difficult. Practicing word stress is an efficient way to quickly improve your pronunciation.

About Author: Mary Gillespie, ESL Teacher and Owner of the Online ESL Tutoring Service, www.AtHomewithEnglish.com.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

English Pronunciation: Some Silly Tips

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Author: Mary Gillespie

Article to help English Speaking and English Pronunciation by PronouncePro American English Pronunciation Writing Staff

Do you want to improve your English Pronunciation? Here's some advice you might not have heard before: start acting silly. That's right: silly. It might be just what you need to help yourself reach a new level of pronunciation expertise.

Before looking at some examples of silly American English Pronunciation practice, let's take a look at the reasons why this is actually an effective way to improve English pronunciation. When we are having fun, our muscles are usually more relaxed, and English pronunciation involves working with a lot of little muscles that don't always work as well when we are tense. For example, fun role plays can help people adopt an imaginary English persona, and reduce the anxiety they feel about making mistakes.

So, let's try getting silly.

First, stand up and stretch. Try to get your body relaxed. Now, stretch the muscles in your face by making silly faces and sounds. Roll your shoulders and shake out your hands. Whenever you find yourself feeling frustrated, stretch out again. Try to keep your body relaxed.

Choose a short video clip of an actor or other person that you admire. You can record these from TV or the internet. Now play the clip and try to imitate the speaker. Don't just imitate their words or American accent, imitate their actions and expressions. Pretend that you are that actor, and walk around the room speaking his or her words. If your friends are also trying to silly practice activities, you can perform for each other later and see if you can guess each other's character.

Keep standing for rhythm and intonation practice. Grab a pencil and move it like a conductor's baton as you practice rising and falling intonation. Open your eyes wide for rising intonation, and close them for falling intonation. Stand on the tip of your toes as your intonation rises, and bend your knees as it falls.

Practice changing the loudness of your voice during pronunciation practice. Choose words or phrases and whisper them, then speak them as loudly as you can. Feel the difference in your body as you change the volume of your voice. When you get tired and need a break, keep your pencil in your hand and as you listen to the English pronunciation move your hand in time with the rhythm that you hear.

Try some of these activities for a change. If your family or roommates wonder what you are doing, invite them to join you for some English pronunciation fun!


About Author: Mary Gillespie, ESL Teacher and Owner of the Online ESL Tutoring Service, www.AtHomewithEnglish.com.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Writing

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Writing

Writing: noun Something that is written or printed.

Welcome to the Writing section of the Online English hub's Article lesson Library. Writing is an art and it's a skill you can learn. From simple social letters to your friend network or your thesis in a University, we have it covered in our Writing lesson area. Our lessons cover basic sentence structure all the way to an exploration of the advanced writer's craft.


You may browse all our Writing lessons below or go directly to a category from these selections:
The Sentence | Writing Errors | The Paragraph | The Thesis Sentence | Figures of Speech | Mood | Voice | Writing Language | The Writing Outline | Writing at Work | Social Writing | Writing Poetry | Writing Fiction | Writing Non-Fiction | Writing Humor | Advanced Writing Lessons | Other English Writing Tips | Famous American Writers | Writing Online Quizzes | Twelve Class email Course on Learning Writing - no charge |

  • Master the foundations of good English Writing
  • Advance your Writing to Professional levels
  • Learn what great Writing is..

If you have questions about Writing you may submit your questions to the Online English Learning Tree for Free. The Teacher Staff at the Online English Hub will email you the answer.

To see more lessons on Writing visit the Writing area of the Online English Hub. The have new lessons weekly for Free.

Learn to Write better with our Writing Online Quiz and Answer Library located on this blog.

"Put your pen to the paper and write your dreams." Enjoy the resources.

~The Pronounce Pro Staff and Cast~

Vocabulary

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Vocabulary

Vocabulary: noun A stock or collection of words used by a class or individually or in relation to a subject.

Welcome to the Vocabulary area of the Online English Article Library. A good vocabulary means you know lots of interesting and useful words for speaking and writing English. There are so many words in the English language that it can be difficult to know which ones to learn to get a good vocabulary. That's another reason why our Online English Article library is a big help.


You can browse all our article lessons on Vocabulary below or go directly to these categories:
Why Vocabulary is Important | Tips to Improve your Vocabulary | Must-Know Level One Vocabulary Words | Must-Know Level Two Vocabulary Words | Must-Know Level Three Vocabulary Words | Learning new Vocabulary Words in Context | Vocabulary Online Quizzes with Answers | Vocabulary Games | Fun information about American English Vocabulary | Other Vocabulary Lessons | Twelve Class email Course on Learning Must-Know Vocabulary - no charge |

Learning new Vocabulary is fun because you find new ways to say things! The best way to easily improve your vocabulary is to read and work with flashcards and take our Online Vocabulary Quizzes right from this blog. The more quizzes you take the more words you learn. You may not want to learn every new word in the quizzes, it's fun to select new words you like the sound of and learn those first. Maybe later come back here and learn the rest. A good Vocabulary is a ticket to speaking great English.

  • Learn new Vocabulary
  • Get tips on the best ways to learn and remember new words
  • Online Quizzes to help you learn Vocabulary words faster

If you have a question about Vocabulary you can ask the Teacher Staff at the Online English Hub through their Online English Learning Tree free service.

For more Lessons on Vocabulary visit the Online English Hub's Vocabulary Section

A Great way to learn Vocabulary is to take Vocabulary Quizzes until you get the answers right. We have a full library of Vocabulary Quizzes and Answers located on this blog.

~The Pronounce Pro plus Staff and Cast~

Spelling

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Spelling

Spelling: verb To name or print in order the letters of a word.

Welcome to the Spelling area of our Online English article library. Spelling is important to learn because it will help with your English Reading. When you are better at Spelling, reading quickly and efficiently is easier. Also being able to write words correctly for flyers around work or notes to your friends in English is a good skill. Spelling can be made easier by reviewing the rules within English spelling.


You can go directly to the following categories of our Spelling Lessons: | Why Spelling is Important | Word Analysis | Spelling Lists | Spelling Rules | Letter Patterns | Greek and Latin Based Words | Predictable Spelling Changes | Spelling with Vowels | Spelling with Consonant Blends | Confusing Words | Changes in Word Sounds | Spelling Games | Other Spelling Lessons | Spelling Online Quizzes | Twelve Class email Course on Learning American English Spelling - no charge |

  • Spelling in English is easier when you know the Rules!
  • Improve your Reading when you improve your Spelling
  • Includes lists of hard to Spell words

Remember to ask any Spelling questions to the Teacher Staff from the Online English Learning Tree. This is a Free learning feature within the Online English Hub.

Visit the Spelling section of the Online English Hub for more Spelling lessons.

Learn Spelling with our Spelling Online Quiz and Answer Library located on this blog.

“S…..p…..e…..l…..l…..i…..n…..g  is fun!”

~The Pronounce Pro Staff and Cast~

Speaking

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Speaking

Speaking: verb To say words.

Welcome to the Speaking area of our Online English article library. Speaking is the biggest part of learning English. You will spend most of your English interaction time speaking and listening. The lessons and articles in this category are not intended to help the Pronunciation of your speaking, but rather the skills needed to speak English correctly.


The speaking skills covered here are | Speaking Etiquette | Telephone English | Tones of Voice | English Conversation tips | Speaking Out Loud | Figures of Speech | Stresses and Pauses | Giving Presentations | Expressing Opinions | Speaking Games | Other Speaking Lessons | Speaking Online Quizzes | Twelve Class email Course on Learning English Speaking - no charge |

  • Get the skills you need to Speak English
  • Lessons on the Art of Conversation and other Speaking tips
  • Complete Online Quiz library of Speaking Quizzes with answers


Don't forget if you have questions about Speaking you can access the Online English Hub's Learning Tree and submit your questions for free.

For further free Speaking lessons, instruction, videos, resources, visit the Speaking section of the Online English hub.

Learn English Speaking with our Speaking Online Quiz and Answer library located on this blog.

You can browse all our Speaking Articles and Lessons below or click a category to go there directly from the links. Enjoy the resources, you'll be speaking better English soon.


~The Pronounce Pro Cast and Staff~

Slang

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Slang

Slang: noun An informal nonstandard vocabulary composed typically of invented words, changed words, and extravagant figures of speech.

Welcome to the Slang area of our Online English Lesson Article Library. Slang is important to learn because almost every American English speaker uses some slang and all native English speakers use Slang when speaking and writing informal English. If you don’t know the Slang terms they are using understanding and talking with them will be difficult. There are TONS of Slang usage in American English, our lessons try and cover the WAY COOL terms. We have article lessons on the origin and history of common Slang terms, popular Slang terms to use, and some ideas on where and how to correctly and appropriately use Slang.


You may browse our entire catalog of Slang Lessons below or go directly to a category: | What is Slang | History of Slang | When to Use Slang | How to Use Slang | Why Use Slang | When Not to Use Slang | Slang Greetings | Slang Without Auxiliary Verbs | Slang for Eating | Hot and Cool Slang Usage | Animals Used as Slang | Slang for Size Amounts | Slang for describing Things | Slang for describing Money, Prices, Wealth | Slang Terms for Sleeping and Tired references | Slang Usage of Modal Verbs with Have in reference to Events occurring | Tools used as Slang Terms | Slang Usage of Ain’t | Slang Terms for Untrue Things | Slang Terms for Cars | Slang Terms for Sports | Contractions and Slang Usage | Slang Terms for Things Whose Names You Don’t Know | Phrasal Verbs | Coulda Woulda Shoulda Slang Usage | Slang for the Human Body | Slang for describing the Amount of Things | Slang to Describe What You Thought of Something | Slang for Beautiful People | Slang for Places | Other Language Usage as English Slang | Slang for Dating and Love | Slang for Describing People Characteristics and Feelings | Two Words Rhyming Slang Terms | Wow! Slang Terms | Slang for Very Great Things | Slang for Responding Answers | Slang to Express Victory | Slang to Express You Don’t Care | Slang for Troubling Situations | Slang Terms to Say Goodbye | Slang Transcriptions | Important Slang Words | Slang Games | Slang Online Quizzes | Twelve Class email Course on Learning American Slang - no charge |

  • Learn when and how to use Slang
  • Browse through lists of popular and current American English Slang terms
  • Practice with our Slang Online Quiz and Answer Library

If you have any questions about Slang you can ask the English Teacher Staff of the Online English Hub using their Free Online English Learning Tree feature.

For more Slang Lessons visit the Online English Hub. Each week new video lessons with the Slang Video Star ‘Bones’ also known as Jason are added to the Slang section.

Learn Slang terms and their usage with our Slang Online Quiz and Answer Library located on this blog.

"Practicing with this web page and its lessons will improve your Slang usage and your overall English comprehension. Slang is a very big part of everyday American Culture and informal English Speaking. So please get great use and enjoy our Slang Lessons."

~The Pronounce Pro Staff and Cast~

Sentences

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Sentences

Sentence: noun A grammatically self-contained speech unit that expresses an assertion, a question, a command, a wish, or an exclamation. Sentences usually contain a specific or implied subject and a predicate containing a finite verb.

Welcome to the Sentences area of our Online English Article Library. Words make up Sentences and Sentences make up paragraphs and paragraphs make up writing. Therefore Sentences make up Writing. This is true. The Sentence is powerful and when you have control of it your English Writing will quickly improve. Sentences have different parts to them and a thorough study of Sentences will benefit you by making learning English speaking, reading, and writing easier.


You can browse all our lessons on Sentences below or go directly to one of these Sentence Lesson categories: | Subject and Predicate | Transitive Verbs and Objects | Intransitive Verbs and Complements | Copulative Verbs and Complements | Sentence Order | Phrases | Clauses | Sentence Errors | Dangling Modifiers | Misplaced Modifiers | Ambiguous Pronouns | Lack of Parallel Structure | Sentence Fragments | Run-On Sentences | Wordiness | Rambling Sentences | Words of Transition | Parallelism | Indirect Discourse | How Sentences Grow | Advanced Sentence Structure Lessons | Sentence Games | Sentence Online Quizzes | Twelve Class email Course on Learning English Sentences - no charge |

  • Learn how to craft Sentences like a great English writer
  • From the basics of Sentences to advanced explorations of Sentence Structure
  • With good English sentences you can say anything

If you have questions about Sentences you are welcome to ask the Online English Hub Teacher Staff using the free Online English Learning Tree feature.

Visit the Sentence area of the Online English hub for more lessons on Sentences including new weekly lessons.

Learn how to write with great Sentences with our Sentence Online Quiz and Answers Library located on this blog.

"Having good command of the English sentence is the ticket to writing with professional level English." Enjoy our Sentence Lessons.

~The Pronounce Pro Staff and Cast~

Reading

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Reading

Reading: verb To comprehend language by interpreting written symbols for speech sounds.

Welcome to the Reading area of the Online English Article Library. Reading is a big part of learning English, it's everywhere. We need to read instructions, read signs, read books, read menus, read tickets, reading really is ubiquitous.

Ubiquitous: adjective to be everywhere at the same time

We have two main types of reading lessons here. You may choose from our reading lessons that instruct on How to Read or you may choose from our reading lessons that are interesting, useful, and fun articles and entries to read. After each article lesson you read there are questions to practice your reading comprehension. We recommend you polish up your reading techniques with the Reading Technique lessons then move into the fun reading entries and articles for comprehension practice.


You can browse through all our reading lessons below or go directly to these specific categories: | Alphabet | How to Read | Reading Techniques | American History Reading | Modern Culture Reading | Pop Culture Reading | Movies Reading | Music Reading | Where Thing Come From Reading | Sports Reading | Travel Reading | Movie Script Reading | Fiction Reading | Poetry Reading | Twelve Class email Course on Learning Reading - no charge | Reading Online Quizzes for Comprehension levels |

  • Learn how to Read
  • Learn the English Alphabet
  • Read fun and interesting articles with reading comprehension questions and answers at the end
  • Our reading comprehension practice quizzes improve reading and prepare you for TOEFL, ESL, EFL exams

If you have questions about Reading you may submit questions to the Online English Hub's Teacher Staff for Free using the Online English Learning Tree feature.

For more Lessons on Reading visit the Online English Hub's Reading area. They have many more fun things to read with reading comprehension online quizzes.

*Each reading lesson article has reading comprehension questions and answers at the end.*

Remember to take the online quiz at the end of each article. The answers are there so keep track of your comprehension progress. The lessons are all written just for you by our Teacher Staff. If you enjoy reading the lessons they would love to hear comments from you! You can visit the whole Staff at the Online English hub. You can even email each individual teacher if you like. They love getting mail from Pronounce Pro plus students.

"Read a book a day, it's the best way." Relax and enjoy our written stories.

~The Pronounce Pro Staff and Cast~

Punctuation

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Punctuation

Punctuation: noun The act, practice, or system of inserting standardized marks in written matter to clarify the meaning and separate structural units.

Welcome to the Punctuation area of our Online English Article Library. Here you can find a complete lesson catalog on the different aspects that are English Punctuation. Learning Punctuation is important because it will allow you to write letters quickly and correctly without relying on an online grammar check - which because the same punctuation in English can have different meanings, doesn't always work.


You may browse all our Punctuation Lessons below or go directly to one of these categories:
What is Punctuation | How Punctuation Can Help You | Tips for Learning Punctuation | Apostrophe | Brackets | Colon | Comma | Dash | Ellipsis Point | Exclamation Point | Hyphen | Parentheses | Period | Question Mark | Quotation Marks | Semicolon | Slash | Capitals | Italics | Abbreviations | Numbers | Quotations | Notes and Bibliographies | Punctuation Games | Punctuation Online Quizzes and Answers | Twelve Class email Course on Learning English Punctuation - no charge |

  • Learn everything about English Punctuation
  • If you have a Punctuation question, check our lesson category
  • Our Punctuation Online Quiz and Answer Library is an efficient way to learn Punctuation

If you have any Punctuation questions you can ask the Teacher Staff of the Online English Hub for Free using the Online English Learning Tree feature.

For more lessons on Punctuation visit the Punctuation section of the Online English Hub.

Punctuation can be efficiently learned using Quizzes with Answers. To learn Punctuation visit our Punctuation Online Quiz and Answer library located on this blog.

"Because proper' punctuation' makes: all the difference"

~The Pronounce Pro Plus Staff and Cast~

American English Pronunciation

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American English Pronunciation

Pronunciation: noun To say or speak correctly, especially a language.

American English Pronunciation: noun The accent used predominantly within the United States of America. American English pronunciation is the accent used in Hollywood representing the general American accent and by news casters from CNN etcetera as the American accent.

Welcome to the American English Pronunciation area of our online Article library. Pronunciation is an important part of speaking English and learning English. By simply learning how to make the sounds within American English and learning how to recognize these sounds, your pronunciation and speaking will improve. Pronounce Pro publishes a DVD and CD partner method for American English pronunciation which easily and expertly instructs good pronunciation. Here you can find free lessons and tips to improve pronunciation.


Below you may browse all our Pronunciation article lessons or go directly to lessons on these more specific Pronunciation areas: | Vowel Sounds | Consonants | Syllable Stress | Word Stress | Intonation | Linking | Contractions | Voiced and Voiceless Sounds | Diphthongs | Pronunciation Games | Other Pronunciation Lessons | Pronunciation Online Quizzes | Twelve Class email Course on Learning American English Pronunciation - no charge |

  • Find resources and lessons to improve Pronunciation
  • These are specifically American English Pronunciation Lessons
  • A complete library of good English Pronunciation tips

For further free instruction, videos, lessons, quizzes on Pronunciation visit the Pronunciation area of the Online English hub.

Remember if you have questions about Pronunciation you can ask the Online English Hub’s Teacher Staff for free with the Online English Learning Tree.

Learn Pronunciation with our American English Pronunciation Online Quiz and Answer Library located on this blog.

Have fun with the resources and lots of learning to you!

~The Pronounce Pro Cast and Staff~

Phrasal Verbs

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Phrasal Verbs

Phrasal Verb: noun A single unit of meaning or phrase containing a verb and one or more adverbs or prepositions that together form a single meaning.

Welcome to the Phrasal Verb section of our Online English Article and Lesson Library. Phrasal Verbs are similar to Idioms in that they are phrases whose whole meaning differ from the meaning of its parts. Phrasal Verbs are Idiomatic expressions -which means even if you know all the grammar and words in a phrase the meaning may still may be unclear - that use a Verb and one or more Adverbs or Prepositions to create a new meaning. Learning Phrasal Verbs will take memorization because there is sometimes no logic behind their meaning.

To help make learning Phrasal Verbs easier we have lesson options for you. We have a list of Phrasal Verbs our Teacher Staff think are "Must-Know Phrasal Verbs." You can look over this list and make flashcards of the phrases and their meaning you like the most. You may also browse our Phrasal Verbs Transcriptions to learn. These are short American English written passages that use Phrasal Verbs. Then below the first passage is another passage with the same information or story but that uses English without the Phrasal Verbs for comparison.


You may browse all our Lessons on Phrasal Verbs below or go directly to a category: | What is a Phrasal Verb | How to Use Phrasal Verbs | Why Use Phrasal Verbs | List of Phrasal Verbs | Must-Know List of Phrasal Verbs | Phrasal Verb Transcriptions | Phrasal Verb Games | Phrasal Verb Online Quizzes | Twelve Class email Course on Learning the best Phrasal Verbs - no charge |

  • Learn what a Phrasal Verb is and how to use them
  • See how Phrasal Verbs use Verbs, Adverbs, and Prepositions to form 'American English Sayings'
  • Use our excellent Phrasal Verb transcriptions to SEE how Phrasal Verbs are used correctly

If you have questions about Phrasal Verbs you can ask the Teacher Staff of the Online English hub for Free using the Online English Learning Tree feature.

To see more Phrasal Verbs Lessons visit the free Phrasal Verb area of the Online English Hub.

You will learn Phrasal Verbs with our Phrasal Verbs Online Quizzes and Answers Library located on this blog.

You can check out our lessons and soon you'll know of the best Phrasal Verbs and how to use them to make your English speaking shine through as confident and pleasing to listen to.


~The Pronounce Pro Plus Staff and Cast~

Online Quizzes

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Online Quizzes

Quiz: noun Test of knowledge

Online: adjective Available through a computer network; the Internet.

Online Quiz: noun A test of knowledge that is available through a computer network or the Internet.

Welcome to the Online Quiz section of our Online English Lesson Article Library. We are especially proud of this section because of the high quality level of our quizzes and that this is one of the most thorough Online English Quiz and Answer Libraries on the Internet. Quizzes, also known as Exercises, are an effective and enjoyable way to advance all areas of your English quickly. We recommend taking a corresponding quiz each time you finish a lesson. There are quizzes for every lesson in the library and they are SO helpful.


Here are our quiz categories: | How to use an Online Quiz | Why Quizzes are Helpful | ESL EFL Quizzes | Pronunciation Quizzes | Speaking Quizzes | Vocabulary Quizzes | Business English Quizzes | English Basics Quizzes | Grammar Quizzes | Reading Quizzes | Writing Quizzes | Spelling Quizzes | English Learning Tips Quizzes | Sentence Quizzes | Punctuation Quizzes | Slang Quizzes | Idioms Quizzes | Phrasal Verb Quizzes | Proverbs Quizzes | American Culture Quizzes | Other Online English Quizzes | Games with Online Quizzes for Progress | Twelve Class email exams on all the Online Quiz categories - no charge |

  • One of the Largest English Online Quiz Libraries on the Internet
  • Quizzes are among the best ways to supplement Learning English
  • All Quizzes have Answers

If you have any questions about the quizzes or would like to ask an English teacher help, you can. Visit the Online English Learning Tree, a free Feature within the Online English hub.

For the second half of our gigantic collection of Online Quizzes visit the Online English Hub's Quiz area.

If you are getting great use out of our quiz library the Teacher Staff would LOVE to hear your happy comments. There are membership options where direct email contact to the Online English Hub's Staff and Cast becomes possible.

"Enjoy the quizzes and we hope to hear a 'hello' from you!"

~The Pronounce Pro plus Staff and Cast~

Idioms

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Idioms

Idiom: noun An expression that cannot be understood from the meanings of its separate words.

Welcome to the Idioms section of our Online English Article Library. Idioms are phrases commonly used in American English speaking and writing. Idioms are used in formal settings and casual settings. An Idiom is two or more words that when said as a full phrase means one thing however each word of the phrase when spoken alone mean very different things. Idioms are important to learn because English speakers use them and if you do not speak English with some Idioms correctly you will get a reputation of being a boring or unimaginable speaker. We don't want this. It is fun to use Idioms and native speakers will be able to relate to your speaking and you will be able to understand their natural speaking when you have studied American English Idioms.

Every language has Idioms. American English has more than the usual amount of Idioms. Why are there so many Idioms in American English? One reason is because as our world and culture evolves we find more situations we need to speak about. Instead of creating new words from the sounds of the American English language we create Idioms. Idioms are new expressions using the same words. We have Article Lessons on all areas of Idioms within American English.


You can browse all our Idiom Lessons below or go directly to one of these categories: | What is an Idiom | When to use Idioms | How to use Idioms | Why use Idioms | Lexemic Idioms | Tournures Idioms | Proverbs as Idioms | One Word Idioms | Idiom Transcriptions | Idiom Learning Games | Twelve Class email Course on Learning Must-Know Idioms - no charge - | Idiom Online Quizzes |

  • Find out what Idioms are and why they are SO important to learn.
  • Use our Idiom Transcriptions to see Idioms being both used in writing and defined.
  • Our Idiom Online Quizzes are perfect for Learning Idioms quickly.

If you have questions about Learning Idioms you can ask the Teacher Staff of the Online English hub for Free using their Online English Learning Tree feature.

For more Idioms Lessons visit the Online English Hub. A young lady named Dawn gives new Idioms Video Lessons each week at the hub's Idioms section. Let Dawn show you how to use Must-Know American Idioms.

Learn American English Idioms with our Idioms Online Quiz and Answers Library located on this blog.

~The Pronounce Pro Plus Cast and Staff~

Grammar

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Grammar

Grammar: noun The study of classes of words, their usage, and their functions and relations in a sentence. Grammar also deals with usage correct in syntax.

Welcome to the Grammar area of our Online English Lesson Article Library. Grammar is the biggest section of learning English and this is the biggest section of our library. You will find lessons on all aspects of Grammar from level one to level three. We also have a full library of Grammar Online Quizzes. Quizzes with answers are a good way to identify where you need to practice. Quizzes also help put the lessons learned into your long term memory.


All our Grammar lesson articles are located below or you can select from the more specific categories here: | Nouns | Verbs | Pronouns | Adverbs | Adjectives | Prepositions | Tenses | Verbs Present Time | Verbs Past Time | Verbs Future Time | Verbs Imperative Mood | Verbs Passive Voice | Countable Nouns | Proper Nouns | Possessive Nouns | Simple Tense | Progressive Tense | Perfect Tenses | Future Tenses | Personal Pronouns | Possessive Pronouns | Reflexive Pronouns | Indefinite Pronouns | Subject-Verb Agreement | Articles | Modals | Gerunds and Infinitives | Contractions | Other Grammar areas | Grammar Online Quizzes | Twelve Class email Course on Must-Know Grammar - no charge |

  • Learn all areas of Grammar with our lessons
  • Let us select what Grammar is must-know Grammar
  • Visit Grammar Essentials with Dr. Giuffre at the Online English hub for Free Grammar Video Lessons with a Doctor

If you have questions on Grammar you may ask the Online English hub’s Teacher Staff for Free using the Online English Learning tree.

Don’t forget to visit the Online English Hub’s Grammar section for many more free lessons, video lessons, email courses, and personal instruction on Grammar.

Learn Grammar faster with our Grammar Online Quizzes and answers located on this blog.

Grammar is not the easiest part of learning English. With the right lessons and resources Grammar is not as difficult as they say. If it ever does get confusing just email one of our teachers or submit your question to the Online English Learning Tree- they are glad to help you.

~The Pronounce Pro plus Cast and Staff~

ESL/EFL

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ESL / EFL

ESL: abbreviation English as a Second Language

EFL: abbreviation English as a Foreign Language

ESOL: abbreviation English for Speakers of Other Languages

Welcome to the English as a Second Language (ESL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL) section of our Article Library. There are many abbreviations to represent the learning of English, above are some of the more popular ones. All of the abbreviations refer to English learners that speak another language other than English as their main language. There is really no difference in the terms for learners. For example ESL refers to people learning English in an English speaking country. EFL refers to people learning English in a non-English speaking country. Wherever you are learning English... you're here on our blog now and we're going to help you learn English online!


This section of lessons and articles has tips and advice for learning English as a second or foreign language in general. Find out advice from ESL experts about effective ways to get ahead in learning English.

  • Get general ESL and EFL tips for learning English
  • Learn effective methods for studying English
  • Find the really important aspects of learning ESL and EFL


Remember if you have English learning questions you can ask the Online English Hub's Teacher Staff for Free

Get more ESL and EFL tips with our free ESL/EFL Online Quiz Library located on this blog.

~The Pronounce Pro Cast and Staff~

English Learning Tips

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English Learning Tips

English: noun The language of the U.S. and many other areas now or formerly under British rule.

Learning: noun Knowledge verb To learn

Tip: noun A piece of advice or confidential information.

Welcome to the English Learning Tips area of our Online English Lesson Article Library. Here you will find pieces of valuable advice from experts, you'll get the lessons that don't really fit into other categories but are so helpful to get the extra edge while learning English. These authors have all been teaching English as a Second Language for years and their experience is valuable to everyone learning English. Browse through all our English Learning Tips below or select from these categories:


Secrets to Learning English | Must-Know Rules About English | How to Make Learning English Easier | What Not to do When Learning English | How to Learn English Online | The Best Free Public Places to Learn English | Games for Learning English | Benefits of Learning English | Difficulties of Learning English | Funny English Learning Stories | English Learning Tips Online Quizzes | Twelve Class email Course on English Learning Tips - no charge |

  • Get the Inside Scoop on Learning English
  • Our Teacher Staff is experienced - Learn from their Experiences
  • Sometimes a good Tip is what we need!

Remember you can ask the Online English hub Teacher Staff any questions you have about Learning English using the Online English Learning Tree free feature.

You can visit the Online English hub for more lessons on English Learning Tips.

We have an English Learning Tips Online Quizzes with Answers Library on this blog.

"A few good tips are about as good as six years of education."

~The Pronounce Pro Cast and Staff~

English Basics

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English Basics

English Basics: noun The fundamentals of learning English outside of Grammar. English basics include asking directions, telling time, talking about the weather.

Welcome to the English Basics area of our Free Online English Article Lesson Library. When learning English the basics are important to know because from there you build the rest of your English knowledge. Knowing the basics is also great for traveling to America and interacting with other English speakers. Plus there are some areas of learning English that are necessary to completely master the English language, but they don't fit into any learning category. Chances are you’ll find those topics in our English Basics category.


The Basics section of our library is a complete catalog to get you going on the right foot with English. It includes lesson articles on | Telling Time | Numbers | Dates | Expressing Your Emotions | Greetings | Telephone English | Disagreeing | Meeting People | Talking About the Weather | Medical English | Other English Basics | English Basics Online Quizzes | Twelve Class email Course on Learning English Basics - no charge |

  • Learn the Basics of English
  • How to Tell Time, Ask For Directions, Speak with a Doctor, Say How you Feel, Speak Numbers, Disagree
  • Lessons to give you a solid English foundation

For further lessons on English Basics visit the English Basics area of the Online English hub. They have Video Lessons, and Resource Lessons, and Online Quizzes for English Basics. All Free.

Don’t forget to ask the Online English Hub's Teacher Staff any English Basics questions you have. They are glad to help you.

Learn English Basics with our English Basics Online Quiz and Answer Library located on this blog.

If you are just getting started with learning English and online English learning, this is the perfect area for you. Browse the article lessons below for all our lessons on English Basics or select a specific category from the links. These lessons will get you started learning English on the right foot. "Bon Voyage into English learning land, we'll be here for you the whole time."

~ The Pronounce Pro plus Cast and Staff~

Business English

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Business English

Business: noun Commercial or industrial enterprise, an occupation, or task.

Business English: noun The speaking, writing, and English usage to help facilitate and increase productivity in the international business world.

Welcome to the Business English area of our lesson article Library. Here you can find resources, lessons, and tips on getting ahead in the international business world with good business English skills. English is the language of the world and the language of business; we’ll show you coveted secrets and common knowledge on how to get the most out of your English writing and speaking for business English practices.

Here are direct links to our Business English lesson article categories:


Writing Business letters | How to Write Resumes and Cover Letters | Negotiating with Business English | Good Business Practices | American Business Culture and Customs | Social Business Letters | Business Replies | Things to Avoid in Business English | Other Business English Lessons | Business English Online Quizzes | Twelve Class email Course on Learning Business English - no charge |

  • Learn Business English tips and secrets from American Business experts
  • See how to write good Business Letters
  • Get great information on American Customs, Style, Writing Resumes, Social Business Writing

If you have questions about Business English you can utilize the Free Online English Learning Tree located in the Online English hub. Submit your questions to the Teacher Staff.

For further lessons on Business English visit the Business English section of the Online English hub.

Learn Business English with our Business English Online Quiz and Answer Library located on this blog.

Business is where the money is, follow the lessons and tips in the articles below to advance yourself even further with English. You can browse all our Business English lesson articles below or select a direct category from the links above.

~The Pronounce Pro plus Cast and Staff~

Authors

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Authors

Author: noun One that originates or creates.

Each of the Lesson Articles in these folders was created specifically for us by the Writing Staff of Pronounce Pro Plus's Online English Hub. These authors are fully credentialed and carefully selected from incoming applicants for the team positions we have available. In this section you learn about each of the Online English Hub's Writing Staff and Teacher Staff Members. They come from all over the globe and have rich and interesting backgrounds. They all value Education and value Learning and Teaching English. They have passed our selection process with flying colors and we are proud to introduce them:


You may follow the links to learn a little about each Author and to view all the Article Lessons they have created.

The Online English Hub offers monthly memberships to get one–on-one email access to the Video Cast and Teacher Staff and access to hundreds more in-depth English Lessons.

American Culture

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American Culture

American: adjective Of America. Relating to the Untied States, its people, and languages.

Culture: noun The shared beliefs, social behavior, and values of a group or nation of people.

Welcome to the American Culture area of our Online English Lesson and Article Library. If you are learning English as a second language there is a good chance you are new to America and its culture and customs in addition to the English language. We can help you. Because the Unites States covers much land and has many different cultures and lifestyles within it, our American Culture lessons focus on a generalized Business English American Culture that can be seen in all American Cultures varieties. Knowing American Culture will help while vacationing in the US, studying in a University, and is especially helpful if America is your new home.

You may browse all our American Culture Lessons below or go directly to a category:


What is Culture | What is American Culture | American Culture and General Values | American Culture and Work | American Culture and Time | American Culture and Individualism | American Culture and Family | American Culture and Status | American Culture and Work Relationships | American Culture and Business Hours | American Culture and Punctuality | American Culture and Holidays | American Culture and Vacations | American Culture and Greetings | American Culture and Introductions | American Culture and Nonverbal Communication | American Culture and Gift Giving | American Culture and Gratuities | American Culture and Eating and Dining Habits | American Culture and Religion | American Culture and Politics | American Culture and Humor | Games to Learn American Culture | Other American Culture Lessons | American Culture Online Quizzes | Twelve Class email Course on Learning American Culture - no charge |

  • Learn American Culture to FIT IN easier while new to America
  • Our Lessons offer a General Business American Culture Study

If you have questions about American Culture you can ask the Teacher Staff at the Online English hub for Free using the Online English Learning Tree feature.

For more lessons on American Culture visit the Online English Hub's American Culture Lesson area.

Learn American Culture with our American Culture Online Quizzes and Answers Library located on this blog.

"These lessons are so helpful because it's good to know what people like and don't like."

~The Pronounce Pro plus Staff and Cast~

PronouncePro Article Categories

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PronouncePro Article Categories

Mary Gillespie

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Mary Gillespie, ESL Teacher and Owner of the Online ESL Tutoring Service, www.AtHomewithEnglish.com

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Importance of Ear/Vocal Training While Learning English Pronunciation

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Author: Alan M. Perlman, PhD

Language is a system of systems operating simultaneously. English pronunciation involves meaning-differentiating sounds, meaningful sub-word pieces (e.g., prefixes and suffixes), words, phrases, and entire interrelated chains of ideas, as well as the speaker's emotions and attitudes -- all being signaled at the same time.

The goal of the second-language learner must be to produce this complex, simultaneous interaction of systems, moment by moment, and the best way to do that is to hear it all actually happening and then, provided that you have good ear/vocal feedback, you can train your muscles to articulate the right sounds, ever more closely approximating the entire language performance of a native speaker.

Sounds: Systematic repetition training is crucial in identifying the English sounds that differ from those in one's own native language (or identifying those that are simply not in the first-language inventory) and in focusing particular attention on the differences. If, instead of the English pronunciation of certain sounds, the learner substitutes a similar sound from his/her native language, he/she can completely obscure the meaning or confuse the native-speaker listener. Further refinement of an accent consists in learning to hear and reproduce the actual English pronunciation instead of substituting the most similar one from one's native language.

Contractions: Native speakers plunge ahead so rapidly that English pronunciation typically contracts certain sounds (not just the traditional written contractions), and the non-native listener must be alert to these. He/she must be able to immediately hear them and identify them with the uncontracted versions.

Again, the familiarity is a matter of hearing the likely contractions and understanding them in context.

Interference: There's so much noise that accompanies speech that you would be surprised at how little of what someone else is saying actually reaches your ears. That's why simply hearing common collocations of words, especially idioms, will enable you to understand and reproduce the “noise-free” versions.

Phrases and Pauses: Along with the English pronunciation of individual sounds and sound sequences (and their contracted versions), the learner should pay careful attention to the way native speakers group words into phrases, for, e.g., grammatical reasons, emphasis, or place in a conversation. Repeatedly listening to frequent word groupings and patterns of word groupings, as they're actually articulated, will teach the second-language learner where to expect pauses, how to use them, and the kinds of words-groups are typically included between pauses.

Accentuation and Intonation: The relative loudness/softness of each syllable in the English pronunciation of a word -- so easily, rapidly, and intuitively articulated by native speakers -- must be learned and, to the extent possible, duplicated by the astute second-language learner. It's not that the accentuation of a word changes its meaning -- rather, the accentuation pattern of the word is determined in part by its structure, and the absolute loudness or softness of one syllable or another is further influenced by emphasis and intonation patterns in the larger sentence. Rather than memorize complex rules, the easiest path to reproducing the native speaker's performance is listening and repetition.

The same applies to the longer intonation patterns that identify statements, questions, requests, and all manner of speaker implications and emotions. These are simultaneous with the word-level accentuation patterns mentioned above and, once again, must be heard in context in order to be successfully duplicated -- and finally learned to the point of replication.

Language is a lot of things going on at the same time. And the best way to learn them is to hear them and to develop the ear/vocal connections that enable the second-language learner (or even the dialect speaker) to replicate them all, the way native speakers do.


"The effectiveness of PronouncePro as an English pronunciation learning tool is clearly supported by these comments from linguist Alan Perlman, when asked about the role of ear-vocal training in improving second-language skills."

About The Author:
Alan M. Perlman received his bachelor's degree from Brown University (1964) and his master's (1969) and doctoral (1973) degrees from The University of Chicago. Alan also maintains the linguistic web-site, www.alanperlman.com

© Alan M. Perlman 2009. For use only by PronouncePro.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Important Steps To Improving Your English Pronunciation and English Speaking

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Author: Aaron Kuroiwa
Director of Le Tutor Language School in Phoenix, Arizona


Anyone can improve their English Pronunciation! There are many benefits to improving your English pronunciation including: increased self confidence, improved communication with clients and colleagues, more job opportunities, not having to repeat yourself constantly, and having others gain more trust and confidence in you. You probably know why it is important to develop your American English pronunciation and you may have tried in the past. Maybe you made some progress, maybe you didn’t. No matter what your current level or past experiences, you can make progress. You may never sound exactly like a native, but that is not what English pronunciation lessons are about. You want to be understood so that you can communicate effectively. It is okay to have an accent, it makes you unique, but you do need to pronounce English words properly and you can achieve this goal.

Anyone can improve their English pronunciation if they follow several important steps.

  • First you need to have realistic expectations.
  • Second, you should set measurable and achievable goals.
  • Next, find a proven English pronunciation guide or study program to follow.
  • Last, you need hard work and to be consistent in your efforts.


Having realistic expectations is important in learning any foreign language. Many of us think that because we are adults we should be able to learn a foreign language and master it quickly. Languages are subtle and organic systems that take time to develop. We do not master our own native language until we are into adulthood and many still struggle then. You can master a foreign language. If you have realistic expectations, you will make measured progress towards improving your English pronunciation and speaking.


Setting goals is the next step to success. Evaluate yourself and be honest. What do you need to work on and what is most important? You may not know what you need to work on and may need the help of an English tutor or English pronunciation guide to help you figure that out. Ask your tutor, or on your own, list your pronunciation problems. Now choose the ones that are easiest to fix and start with those. Then slowly start working on the harder ones and make several small goals that will help you achieve your larger goal or harder problems.


This next step could be the most critical in your English language development. The most important decision is finding the right program to follow. Choose a program that is well rounded, covers every part of English pronunciation, and gives you plenty of visual aids, exercises, and audio training to help you mimic the sounds of proper pronunciation. If you choose the right program, like PronouncePro, you will be one step away from English success.


The last step is you. You must work regularly and diligently to improve your American accent. Apply the things that you are learning and be disciplined. If you follow these simple steps, you will be successful in improving your English pronunciation. You will be more confident, happy and successful because you are able to better communicate with others. Be realistic, set goals, find a good pronunciation guide, and most importantly work hard and you will succeed.


~*~


Thursday, January 1, 2009

How To Learn American English Pronunciation?

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How To Learn English?
How To Learn Pronunciation?
How To Learn English Pronunciation?
How To Learn American English?
How To Learn American Pronunciation?
How To Learn American English Pronunciation?
How To Speak English?
How To Speak American English?

Answer: PronouncePro



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