Fun Easy English Classroom January 8
 
 
 
 

Classroom
Today


Introduction to
American English
pronunciation
American English Pronunciation Introduction

Today in the Fun Easy English classroom you will learn about American English pronunciation. Knowing a lot of vocabulary, and using perfect grammar MEANS NOTHING if nobody can understand you. Pronunciation is the most important part of your English language study. Today you will be introduced to the basics of American English pronunciation.
Hey if you cannot understand something on this page,
then use the Fun Easy English dictionary (opens in a new window)
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Pronunciation: Introduction

American English pronunciation is all about using the proper mouth, lips, and tongue positions in order to correctly produce the basic 44 sounds of the English language.
Your vocal cords are also an important part of pronunciation producing both "voiced" and "unvoiced" sounds. With "voiced" sounds you CAN listen to and feel your vocal cords vibrating when pronouncing the sound. With "unvoiced" sounds you CANNOT listen to or feel your vocal cords vibrating when pronouncing the sound.

In addition, many of the sounds in English can be spelled a few different ways making it more difficult to learn correct pronunciation. For example the sound "aw" as in the word raw, can be spelled with a, au, aw, o, and ou.
Fun Easy English Pronunciation Lessons
Video: Pronunciation Introduction
 
Video: Pronunciation Comedy Introducing Akiko
From YOUR Teacher: English Pronunciation

Learning English pronunciation is definitely where you should focus much of your study time if you want to speak English correctly.

After all, using perfect English grammar and knowing a lot of vocabulary MEANS NOTHING if nobody can understand you.
 
Additional Lessons
About These Lessons

The following classroom lessons are great for students who want additional conversation, listening, and reading practice. Please post a comment at the bottom of this page in the Facebook Comments window with your thoughts about these lessons.
  • 60 Second News - Beginner Level. A one minute video of recent world news. The English is spoken at 75% of normal speed. Great listening and reading practice. News stories are posted on weekdays only.
  • Learning English - Beginner Level. A 30 minute audio broadcast of recent world news. The English is spoken at 75% of normal speed. Great listening practice.
  • Conversation Lesson - Beginner Level. Let's Learn English conversation lesson with a conversation video, a video script, audio listening practice, video speaking practice, video pronunciation practice, a new words section, and a writing activity.
  • Today in History - Advanced Level. Important events which changed history in America and around the world. Great English reading practice.
60 Second News
(Beginner - Listening, Reading)

January 8, 2019

A one minute video of recent world news.
Great listening and reading practice.
The English is spoken at 75% of normal speed.
News stories are posted on weekdays only.
 
Learning English
(Beginner - Listening)

January 8, 2019 - A 30 minute audio broadcast of recent world news. The English is spoken at 75% of normal speed. Great listening practice.
 
Conversation Lesson 8 - Are You Busy?

In this lesson Anna wants to apologize to her co-workers. She learns what they do at the same time every day.
Lesson Video

Watch the video and then do the activities on this page.
Video Script

Anna: Hi, Anne. Are you busy?
Anne: Hi, Anna. Yes. At 10 a.m. I am writing. Every day I do my morning show. Sorry!
Anna: Okay. See you later, maybe.
Anne: Maybe I’ll see you later.
Anna: Hi, Jonathan. Are you busy?
Jonathan: Yes, I’m busy. When the studio light is on, I am recording my evening show.
Anna: Right. Sorry about yesterday.
Jonathan: No worries.
Anna: May I see the studio?
Jonathan: Um, maybe another time? Right now I am busy.
Anna: Sure. Okay, ’bye.
Jonathan: ‘Bye.
Anna: Hi, Amelia! Are you busy?
Amelia: I’m a little busy.
Anna: I want to say I’m sorry for yesterday.
Amelia: It’s okay, Anna.
Anna: Well, I am sorry.
Amelia: It’s okay, Anna. Come by this afternoon.
Anna: Okay.
Caty: Anna.
Anna: Yes, Ms. Weaver.
Caty: Are you busy?
Anna: Yes, Ms. Weaver. I am busy.
Caty: My office. 5:00 p.m.
Anna: 5:00 p.m.
Caty: Come in.
Co-Workers: Surprise!
Anna: A party! Awesome! And I still have my job! Phew!* Until next time!
* Phew! is a sound used to show that you are relieved, tired, or hot
Listening

Now practice listening to only the audio portion of the conversation.
Speaking

In this video, learn to say the new words. Learn to talk about three times of the day.
Pronunciation

In this video, you ​learn how Americans make hesitation noises, like um, to give themselves more time to think of an answer. You can also learn how to use emphasis when you apologize and accept an apology.
New Words
  • afternoon - n. the middle part of the day : the part of the day between noon and evening
  • apologize - v. to express regret for doing or saying something wrong : to give or make an apology
  • evening - n. the last part of the day and early part of the night
  • job - n. the work that a person does regularly in order to earn money
  • later - adj. happening near the end of a process, activity, series, life, etc.
  • light - n. a source of light (such as an electric lamp)
  • maybe - adv. possibly but not certainly
  • morning - n. the early part of the day : the time of day from sunrise until noon
  • now - adv. at the present time
  • studio - n. the building or room where an artist works
  • surprise - n. an unexpected event, piece of information, etc.
  • yesterday - n. the day before today
Activity

What do you do every morning? You can see some examples in the Activity Sheet. Do the activity and practice talking with a friend about when you are busy. Write about it in the Facebook Comments section below. Click lesson activity to get the printable PDF version. The page opens to a new window.
Conversation Lessons

Study all 52 English conversation lessons. Let's Learn English conversation lessons each with a conversation video, a video script, audio listening practice, video speaking practice, video pronunciation practice, a new words section, and a writing activity. These lessons are for beginners.
Source: Voice of America
 
Today in History
(Advanced - Reading)

January 8, 1815

Important events which changed history in America and around the world. Read the following story. Use the Online Reference window below to look up any words you do not know. This is great English reading practice.
Use the Online Reference window towards the bottom of this page to look up any words you do not know

Picture: Battle of New Orleans…the 8th of January 1815. William Edward West, artist; Philadelphia: Published and sold by J. Yeager, engraver, [1817]. Popular Graphic Arts. Prints & Photographs Division
Battle of New Orleans

On January 8, 1815, Major General Andrew Jackson led a small, poorly-equipped army to victory against eight thousand British troops at the Battle of New Orleans. The victory made Jackson a national hero. Although the American victory was a big morale boost for the young nation, its military significance was minimal as it occurred after the signing (although before ratification) of the Treaty of Ghent that officially ended the war between the U.S. and Great Britain. The battle was fought before word of the Treaty reached the respective armies in the field. The anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans was widely celebrated with parties and dances during the nineteenth century, especially in the South.

A traditional fiddle tune commemorating the event came to be known as “Jackson’s Victory” or “Eighth of January.” Listen to a version of this tune played on fiddle and guitar by Bill and Jessie Robinson in the collection Voices from the Dust Bowl: The Charles L. Todd and Robert Sonkin Migrant Worker Collection, 1940 to 1941.

“Eighth of January.” Performed by Bill Robinson, fiddle, and Jesse Robinson, guitar; Recorded at Visalia FSA Camp, August 30, 1941. Voices from the Dust Bowl: The Charles L. Todd and Robert Sonkin Migrant Worker Collection, 1940 to 1941. American Folklife Center

In the 1940s, ethnographers Charles L. Todd and Robert Sonkin collected several versions of “Eighth of January” from migrant workers who had left the dust bowl of Oklahoma to work in California. It was a favorite tune for square dancing. Search the collection on the terms eighth of january for several more versions of the tune and one version of the words to the song as recalled by Mrs. Mary Sullivan.

In 1958, James Morris (Jimmy/Jimmie Driftwood) composed lyrics to the old tune and recorded it as “The Battle of New Orleans” (recorded on Jimmie Driftwood Sings Newly Discovered Early American Folk Songs, Victor RPM 1635). In 1959, Johnny Horton recorded a version of Driftwood’s song, and the song rose to the top of the hit parade that year (recorded on Johnny Horton Makes History, Columbia 1478).
Source: Library of Congress
Additional Information
Study Tips
(Beginner - Listening)

Avoid Ineffective Study Methods. An audio lesson to help you study English more effectively. The English is spoken at 75% of normal speed. Great English study tips.
Click here to visit the lesson page with the written script for this audio program.
Cool Stuff
Online Reference
Dictionary, Encyclopedia & more
Word:
by:
Confused?

Found a word in Fun Easy English you do not know?
1. Type the word in the Online Reference window
2. Click Look it up (opens to a new window)
Top Hits

Listen to American music while you study.
1. Click The ► button
2. Enjoy some great music
Resources

These links contain many English learning resources. Some are for students, some are for teachers. If you find information not on Fun Easy English, please post a comment below, and I will make every effort to add it to the site. Thanks.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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