Hey guys. It is Aiko with Schwagirl. I just created lesson demo video. And this is part 1. You will learn how effective accent reduction lessons are. If you would like to improve your American English pronunciation, this is worth watching.
*I am teaching English pronunciation in Japanese. But I usually teach in English.
The video starts with “Before” and “10 minutes After”. It is really amazing how megumi was able to change her pronunciation in 10 minutes. And I was happy to see that my skills are useful for people who would like to improve their English pronunciation.
We worked on the sentence “It’ll be fun they said.”
First, we went over “It’ll.” “it’ll” was pronounced as “ill.”
T gets softened in American English, but you still want to make the T sound clearly.
This softened T is called Tap T (or alveolar tap to be specific). It is close to L and close to Japanese ラリルレロ, but not exactly.
Softened T is pronounced more quickly. You tap the tip of the tongue against the alveolar ridge very quickly.
Next, we worked on “F” sound as in “fun.” It was pronounced as Japanese フ.
The difference between Japanese フ and English “f” is the position of lips.
The lower lip goes up and gets close to the upper teeth. But do not block the air though. Air should be coming out continuously. If you lift your upper lip, it is easier to pronounce “f” more strongly.
In American English, lifting the upper lip helps to produce strong “f” “v” “th” and “y” sounds.
Lastly, we worked on “th” as in “they.” It was pronounced as “D”.
The difference between “D” and “th” is the airstream. “D” is a stop consonant. “th” is a fricative. So the air stops when you pronounce “D”, but air comes out continuously when you pronounce “th.” (Check “IPA consonant chart” for learning manner of articulation.) Although people will understand you if you say “they” with “D,” you would like to practice “TH” to sound more professional in the US.
Try to have a little space between your upper teeth and the tongue. The air comes out continuously and the tip of the tongue and the upper teeth should vibrate.
“TH” is difficult for many people. If you need a private lesson to learn how to pronounce “TH,” let me know.
If you have any questions, comment below. If you are interested in my private lessons, group lessons, and online material, contact Aiko Hemingway Accent Reduction Coach.
Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter.
Thank you very much for visiting Schwagirl.
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.