Lisa’s Blog

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Lisa’s Blog 2017-01-24T23:22:14+00:00

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 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 [...]

More advice for reducing your accent

March 29th, 2011|

1. Slow down your speech. Actually, you can speak as quickly as you wish, as long as you are pronouncing every sound of every word and you are following the rules of good stress and melody. You will notice that newscasters often speak quickly but clearly. If you cannot do that, you need to practice. Meanwhile, slow down!2. Make sure your articulators fully touch. What are your articulators? Your lips and your tongue - the parts of your mouth used to create sounds, specifically consonant [...]

American Accent Course for Japanese Speakers

February 5th, 2011|

The new DVD course is available. It helps Japanese speakers of English speak more clearly and learn to fix all of the most common pronunciation mistakes. Learn to correctly pronounce the difficult American consonant sounds. Fix the most common mistakes. Purchase the videos here:

Good Online Dictionary for Pronuncation

August 30th, 2010|

I recommend this dictionary for looking up the pronunciation of words: I like the fact that it has two different accent options - one American Accent and one British. The vowels and consonants are mostly pretty authentic to an American Accent. Many other online English dictionaries are confusing in this regard.Also, if you have studied British English in your country, it's useful to hear both versions of the same word. Just for fun, look up the words, "better," "student" and "awful." Big differences in [...]

Don’t Give Up!

July 12th, 2010|

How is this about accent reduction? Well, I believe that any time we have a goal, sometimes we will feel like giving up. I try to encourage all of my students to keep trying, to follow their dreams. It brings me much joy to see them succeed. Some are Hollywood actors trying to get a part in a movie, some are recently graduated MBA's going on their job interviews and others are people who are simply tired of always being asked to repeat themselves and [...]

Most Common English Words

July 7th, 2010|

Below is a link to a list of the 100 most common English words. These 100 words make up about one half of all written material. Learn to pronounce them perfectly and your accent will sound much better!!Here are some from the list that are very commonly mispronounced by non-native speakers:1. the2. of 3. were4. water5. some6. look7. could8. other 9. from 10. this11. these12. wordCan you say the above words perfectly? Click here for the whole list.

pronunciation of the article “a”

June 17th, 2010|

Many accent students are confused about the correct pronunciation of the article "a." Why do some people say /ei/? You can pronounce it both ways, either as /ɘ/ or as /ei/. It just depends on how quickly you are speaking and whether you pause before the "a." /ei/ is usually used in slower speech and for special emphasis. So, there's no right or wrong, but you will hear most people say: /ɘ/. [/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Don’t Stop Practicing

April 9th, 2010|

“Champions do not become champions when they win the event, but in the hours, weeks, months and years they spend preparing for it. The victorious performance itself is merely the demonstration of their champion character.” T Alan Armstrong. The above quote inspires me and reminds me of one the students that I worked with today. She had spent an hour and a half at home just practicing one particular vowel sound that she had been struggling with. She recorded herself over and over again until [...]

Listen to Famous Speeches for Practicing your Accent

February 8th, 2010|

A wonderful way to work on improving your accent is to listen to famous speeches. I found this great website which contains hundreds of famous speeches. You can hear the audio and sometimes see the video of the speech. The best part is that each speech has a transcript with it. That way, you can practice reading it out loud.I recommend that you listen to the whole speech several times while reading it. That way you can learn the pronunciation of some new words. Then, [...]

pronuncation of “TH” + “S”

January 3rd, 2010|

Paolo asked the following question:I bought a copy of your dvds.. you mentioned that sometimes the "th sound" is silent, in words such as: "months" or "clothes" so that months sounds like mons am i right? and clothes should sound like close.. but there are also other words you haven't mentioned... like deaths,, truths, smiths.. so my question is: how should i pronounce these other words? and also is there a steady rule for the silent th?thanksPaoloHi Paolo,Good speakers of English always pronounce the "th" [...]

10 Tips for Public Speaking

January 3rd, 2010|

Make a New Year's resolution to improve your speaking skills. I recommend that you join Toastmasters. Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of meeting locations. Find one in your area. The organization has nearly 250,000 members in more than 12,500 clubs in 106 countries. Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people of all backgrounds become more confident in front of an audience. Here is an article from Toastmasters to help you gain confidence [...]