You’ve been working on your American pronunciation, but maybe you’re not having the success you had hoped for, and you don’t think that your American accent is improving. You may find that smelling your way to clearer speech is just the tip you needed!
Hi, It’s Lisa Scott with losemyaccent.com. For the next several weeks, we are going to talk about the pronunciation of some everyday calendar words and the correct use of prepositions with those words. In this video, we will be reviewing the correct pronunciation of the 12 months of the year. As you follow along with me, be sure to pay attention to both the pronunciation of the words and to the syllable stress. Emphasizing the wrong syllable can make it harder to be understood. The first few months have the stress on the first syllable.
So, let’s get started. January. Remember that there is the word “you” in the middle of the word.
January. I love to see the beautiful snow in January. January.
That one was simple enough, I hope. But now we get to February, and there is an ongoing debate about the correct pronunciation. The original “correct” pronunciation was Feb-ru-ary. But more and more often, we are seeing the much easier pronunciation of Feb-you-ary. Most dictionaries now list both pronunciations as correct, so if I were you, I would choose the simpler and more popular pronunciation of Feb-you-ary.
February. Valentine’s Day is always in February. February.
March. The weather in March is often windy and unpredictable. March.
April. Spring flowers bloom in April. April.
May. In May, we celebrate Mother’s Day. May.
June. Summer begins in June. June.
July. Americans celebrate Independence Day in July. July.
August. Many students go back to school in August. August.
September. Did you notice the stress on the second syllable? All the months up until this one have has the stress on the first syllable, but now it changes. The rest of the months will have the stress on the second syllable.
September. I like to go hiking in September. September.
October. In October, the leaves turn beautiful shades of red, yellow, and orange. October.
November. We are very thankful for Thanksgiving in November. November.
December. Christmas comes in December every year. December.
Have you ever wondered how to remember which months have 30 days and which have 31? There’s a rhyme that most Americans learned as a child to keep it straight and it goes like this:
Thirty days has September, April, June, and November; February has twenty-eight alone, All the rest have thirty-one, Excepting leap-year, that’s the time When February’s days are twenty-nine.
Well, we’ve come to the end of our calendar year, and I hope you’ve learned some new tips for pronouncing those month names correctly. Next week, we’ll be talking about the days of the week, so be sure to watch for that video. And meanwhile, come visit our facebook page at facebook.com/losemyaccent. I’ll see you there!
Welcome! In this video, you get some American pronunciation practice as we talk about the difference between the words stare and steer. We’ll talk about the double meanings of each word and how they are pronounced, and you will improve your American accent as you learn how to say each sound.
Hi, It’s Lisa Scott with losemyaccent.com. Have you written your New Year’s Resolutions or set those New Year’s goals? I will tell you in just a minute why that might not be a good idea.
But first, I want to share with you how excited I am about some of the new developments we have here at Accentuate. One of the biggest changes is that we are moving to much more video this year. When you ask pronunciation questions, it is so much easier for me to explain them when you can actually see what I’m explaining. So, starting today, the majority of my blog posts will be videos rather than written articles.
You have asked for some lower priced video trainings, and those are coming as well. I have an all new 6 week series that is almost ready for you, so I’ll be sharing the details very soon. I can tell you that since my birthday is at the end of January, I will be running a very special birthday sale as I launch this new series.
And lastly, I have started a Facebook page that is just for us to talk about your questions and concerns regarding American pronunciation. So, come visit me at www.facebook.com/losemyaccent and tell your friends to join us too. Introduce yourself, share your concerns with learning English, and ask your questions about pronunciation, grammar, intonation – whatever is on your mind! I will try to answer simple questions on the page and I will choose some of them as topics for future blog post videos. I’m really looking forward to connecting with you there!
And now, back to my comment at the beginning on why New Year’s Resolutions might not be a good idea. People make them every year and every year they get frustrated because they just can’t stick with them. But what if instead of focusing on the specific goal, you focus on the outcome, or who you want to be when you meet that goal. Let’s take the example of setting a goal to reduce your accent. You could set a measurable goal of improving 50% on a pronunciation test, and that would be great. But you don’t really care if you score 50% higher on that test, do you? What you really care about is being understood more easily, not having to repeat yourself, and feeling confident when you speak English. Right? Those are outcomes rather than goals, and it is those outcomes that truly make you feel like you’ve accomplished your goal.
So, how do you change your focus? First, you think about your goals for the year one by one and think about how you will be different when you meet that goal. What will you gain by meeting that goal? What will the outcome be? That is your true motivator and the way to help you stay focused to accomplish that goal.
And if one of your goals is to improve your American pronunciation, and the outcome you are looking for is to be understood more easily and feel more confident when you speak, then I hope you will be an active part of our community this year. Watch these videos, share your questions on the facebook page, and let me know what I can do to serve you as you work towards the outcomes you desire in 2013.