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Lisa’s Blog 2017-01-24T23:22:14+00:00

How does your accent sound?

August 8th, 2012|

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.  And then practice, practice, practice! 

The Rhythm and Melody of English

June 7th, 2012|

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 a general idea of how English word stress works.) Now, let's practice reading the below paragraph. The words in bold should be stressed. The underlined word gets the most stress.  [...]

Too old to improve your accent?

April 13th, 2012|

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 some of my younger students! (One is a nurse from Korea, one is a business owner from Argentina, and one is a high school teacher from Uruguay.) I am so [...]

Pronouncing American Names

March 17th, 2012|

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 times the names are simply difficult to pronounce, depending on your native language.Here is a website that helps you to pronounce American names. I think it will be very useful [...]

Easy way to memorize vocabulary?

January 25th, 2012|

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 words aloud is very powerful for memorization.2. Make a word list and study the same words every few days until they are imprinted in your mind.3. Google the word to [...]

Confusing English Words

December 26th, 2011|

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 to this list?

Great New Site for Practicing your Pronunciation

December 15th, 2011|

An English teacher from Brazil, whose name is Mayli Brasil (yes, that's really her last name!), came to LA to take American Accent classes with me for a few weeks. (that's a photo of Mayli and me.) She told me about a great new website which can help you with practicing your pronunciation. It's wonderful because it's got many video clips with captions that you can pause after each line. There is a great feature for you to record your voice after each sentence. Then [...]

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

November 19th, 2011|

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 and sometimes the app won't understand me at all," said Latina Sandra Ortiz, new owner of the iPhone 4S, after recording the video, "but it always understands my husband!"Here is [...]

Accent Reduction Tip

October 5th, 2011|

Find good role models of speech. Don't imitate just any American. Some Americans mumble, they have "lazy lips" and don't make an effort to speak clearly.For example, in your native language a poet and a computer programmer may speak very differently. Right?Same thing in English. Who are your role models for American English speech? A football player being interviewed on TV often speaks differently from a lawyer in court. What are your goals? Do you want to sounds like an American rapper or like an [...]

20 Reasons for taking accent reduction lessons

July 22nd, 2011|

This is what my student have said. Why do YOU want to reduce your accent? 1. “My boss told me that some clients are complaining that they don’t understand me.”2. “I am an actor and I my agent told me I have to get rid of my accent.”3. I am tired of always being asked “Where are you from?”4. “People treat me differently because I don’t sound like them.”5. “I am ambitious and driven in every area of my life. I believe in self-improvement and [...]

Video Lesson – How to reduce vowels

June 23rd, 2011|

Here is a new video that I just posted on YouTube. It will teach you the very important rule vowel reduction. English vowels can be pronounced differently, depending on whether they are stressed or reduced.

Some books I recommend for advanced speakers of English

May 7th, 2011|

My accent reduction students usually have an advanced knowledge of English, but they still occassionally make mistakes with English grammar or vocabulary usage. Here are some books that I recommend that they purchase to perfect their skills. I have also included the links to Amazon.com where you can purchase the books. I have used these books when teaching college ESL classes as well as with my private clients who need to brush up on their skills. "Understanding and Using English Grammar" by Betty Azar. This [...]