Words with same pronunciation – “Homophones”

Many of my students are surprised to find out that the following three words are all pronounced the same:they're, there, their  Here are some more homophones which might surprise you.  If you have been pronouncing these words differently, it's an understandable error.  English spelling is crazy!Same pronunciation:berry - bury atom - Adamdo - due (in British English [...]

By | 2015-11-28T05:23:39+00:00 December 13th, 2012|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Is Your Foreign Name Easy to Pronounce?

Many of my foreign-born students have names that are difficult for native speakers of English to pronounce. Some of them decide to change their name to a similar sounding English name, and others prefer to keep their original name and just accept the fact that they will have to teach people how to say it.Here [...]

By | 2017-01-24T23:22:15+00:00 September 2nd, 2012|Uncategorized|1 Comment

American vowels and good word stress

Watch this student from India. He's been practicing with my American Accent teaching materials. He just sent me this video. I am impressed. He sounds like he lives in the United States. Don't you agree?He is stressing the words well, speaking clearly and pronouncing the vowels correctly.  Is your accent as good as his?  Send [...]

By | 2017-01-24T23:22:15+00:00 August 25th, 2012|Uncategorized|1 Comment

How does your accent sound?

This student from Brazil practiced his American accent by watching my YouTube lessons.  Great job, Wagner!   I want to see more videos from you guys. If I think your accent sounds good, I will post your video here on my blog.   First, view all of my accent reduction lessons on my YouTube channel and then chose one. [...]

By | 2017-01-24T23:22:15+00:00 August 8th, 2012|Uncategorized|1 Comment

The Rhythm and Melody of English

Here is a short exercise to help you with word stress and rhythm. First, here are some general rules:Stress key words (content words), which are generally nouns and verbs.In longer sentences, stress the last key word the most. Reduce prepositions, pronouns and articles (function words)(There are other more specific rules and exceptions, but this can give you [...]

By | 2015-11-28T05:23:40+00:00 June 7th, 2012|Uncategorized|2 Comments

Too old to improve your accent?

I sometimes get phone calls from people in their 30's and 40's who think they are too old to change their accents. No, you are not too old!I currently have three students in their 60's who have been making great progress with reducing their foreign accents. In fact, they have been making better progress than [...]

By | 2017-01-24T23:22:15+00:00 April 13th, 2012|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Pronouncing American Names

My students sometimes struggle with knowing the correct pronunciation of American names. One of my students had a problem with the name of her boss, "Doug." She called him "dog" instead! Some names can be confusing because they are similar. For example:"Brett" and "Brad""Joanne and "Joan""Kristin" and "Christine""Jan," "Jen" and "Jane""Don" and "Dawn""Greg" and "Craig"Other [...]

By | 2017-01-24T23:22:15+00:00 March 17th, 2012|Uncategorized|2 Comments

Easy way to memorize vocabulary?

A student, Mohammad Ali Mohammad, asked me the following question:Madam Lisa, I try to memorize vocabulary but I cannot. What is an easy way to memorize?My answer: 1. Try to use the word immediately by creating your own sentence. Say it aloud. Don't just read the word from a book or a dictionary. Saying the [...]

By | 2017-01-24T23:22:15+00:00 January 25th, 2012|Uncategorized|4 Comments

Confusing English Words

When you pronounce a word, do you worry that it sounds like a different word? Have people been confused or have they misunderstood you?Here are some that my students often confuse:can and can'tDoug and dogBrett and Brad (men's names)series and seriousstaff and stuffsheet and shitthis and these of and off Which ones can you add [...]

By | 2015-11-28T05:23:41+00:00 December 26th, 2011|Uncategorized|3 Comments

Does “Siri” on your IPhone 4S understand your accent?

Some of my accent reduction clients have complained that the new voice recognition technology doesn't understand their heavy accent. I would like to hear your experiences with Siri and other similar applications.Here is an excerpt from an article on Huffingtonpost:"It can be frustrating because Siri forces me to pronounce my questions over and over again [...]

By | 2017-01-24T23:22:15+00:00 November 19th, 2011|Uncategorized|2 Comments