Hey guys. It is Aiko with Schwagirl. I always emphasize that English vowels are very important when it comes to pronunciation. Diphthongs are English vowels and they change the sound in the middle of the vowel. There are five diphthongs and learn these sounds with the video below. Take a look at the vowel chart. (If you would like to learn what the vowel chart is, click here.)

[eɪ]

The tongue starts in the middle for /e/ and moves up for /ɪ/. For example, “cake” “tape” “ate”

[aɪ]

The mouth is pretty open with the jaw dropped at the beginning of this diphthong. Then the jaw moves up. At the end of this vowel, your mouth is pretty closed. For example, “fight” “kite” “time”

[aʊ]

The mouth is pretty open with the jaw dropped at the beginning of this diphthong. Then the jaw moves up as lips become rounded. Make sure to take time to pronounce this vowel. And also you want to make the transition of [a] to [ʊ] smooth. For example, “cow” “down” “about”

[ɔɪ]

The lips are little closed and slightly rounded at the beginning. Then move the tongue up as the jaw moves up. For example, “boy” “join” “oil”

[oʊ]

This vowel is very difficult for Japanese speakers. The lips are rounded at the beginning already. Then make the lips even more rounded to [ʊ]. You want to take your time to make the transition really smooth. And also make sure that you change the sound in the middle clearly. For example, “boat” “phone” “bowl”

 

English vowels are important. And diphthongs are kind of tricky to English learners. Make sure you take your time to pronounce them carefully.




 

If you are interested in private or group lessons, contact Aiko

Thank you very much for visiting my blog. Comment below if you have any questions about diphthongs or if you have any words that you want me to explain on YouTube and on this blog.

I will see you next week! Have a nice day.

American English pronunciation coach. Studied linguistics at UCLA. Specializing in phonetics, phonology, intonation, and second language acquisition.

She likes music and Toastmasters. Recently she enjoys playing ukulele and hand bells.