Fun Easy English Classroom June 9
 
 
 
 

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American English
pronunciation
lesson 20
American English Pronunciation Lesson 20

Today in the classroom you are going to learn to pronounce the sound ur as in the words were, bird, turn, learn. Remember "practice makes perfect" if you want to improve your English speaking ability.
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Pronunciation: American English Lesson 20

Pronounce the sound ur as in the words were, bird, turn, learn. Watch the following pronunciation videos and learn to pronounce this sound correctly.
 
Pronunciation Video
Fun Easy English Pronunciation Lessons
More Videos
Spelling
er her, were, writer
ir first, birthday, bird, skirt, thirsty
ur urgent, fur, turn, hurt, burn, scripture
or worst, work
ear pearl, learn, earn
 
Note: the red letters all have the same sound
 
Sound Type

This is a VOICED sound which means Your Vocal Cords DO vibrate when making this sound.
You CAN LISTEN to your Vocal Cords vibrating if you cover your ears with your hands.

Try covering your ears with your hands as Akiko is doing in the picture.

Now make the sound of this lesson. Can you listen to your vocal cords vibrating?
VERY GOOD
You CAN FEEL your Vocal Cords vibrating if you place your hands on your neck.

Try placing your hands on your neck as Akiko is doing in the picture.

Now make the sound of this lesson. Can you feel your vocal cords vibrating?
VERY GOOD
The following diagram shows the most important parts of your head and mouth used for pronouncing the sounds of English. It also shows the location of your Vocal Cords.
 
Mouth, lips, and tongue position

The following descriptions explain the proper mouth, lips, and tongue position when you make this sound.
Mouth

Your mouth should be slightly tense.
Lips

Your lips should be unrounded.
Tongue

The middle part of your tongue should be in the upper part of your mouth.
Practice video

Listen to the video and practice repeating each word.
 
 
Pronunciation practice words

Look at your mouth in a mirror and practice pronouncing the following words. Make sure your mouth, lips, and tongue are in their proper positions.
her first turn worst
pearl were bird work
learn writer skirt earn
 
Note: the red letters all have the same sound (watch the video above)
 
Pronunciation word test

Choose the correct letter or letters to complete each of the following words.
1.  h_ _
2.  f_ _st
3.  t_ _n
4.  w_ _st
5.  p_ _ _l
6.  w_ _e
7.  b_ _d
8.  w_ _k
9.  l_ _ _n
10.  sk_ _t
Note: the letter or letters needed to complete each word all have the same sound.
From YOUR Teacher: Be an Animal

This sound is really easy to make if you simply think of yourself as an animal. Make a growling noise like a lion or a tiger and you will be able to pronounce this sound perfectly.
 
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.
  • Conversation Lesson - Advanced Level. Dialogs for everyday use. Short situational dialogs for students of English as a Foreign (EFL) or Second (ESL) Language with a written conversation and a conversation notes section.
Conversation Lesson 12 - Asking Directions
(Advanced - Conversation, Reading)

Dialogs for everyday use. Short situational dialogs for students of English as a Foreign (EFL) or Second (ESL) Language.
Asking Directions

MARK: Excuse me. Could you tell me where the library is?

NANCY: Yes, it’s that way. You go three blocks to Washington Street, then turn right. It’s on the corner, across from the bank.

MARK: Thanks! I’ve only been in town a few days, so I really don’t know my way around yet.

NANCY: Oh, I know how you feel. We moved here a year ago, and I still don’t know where everything is!
Conversation Notes
  • Could you tell me … is slightly more polite than “Can you tell me …?”
  • Could you tell me where the library is? Notice that “library” is stressed here because it is the word with the important information. This is an indirect question, so the subject (the library) comes before the verb (is). The word order is reversed in a direct question (Where is the library?).
  • Yes, it’s that way. Notice the stress on “that.” The speaker is pointing in a certain direction and wants to emphasize that direction.
  • I know how you feel is a way of saying “I understand.” Notice the emphasis on “feel.” The speaker wants to show empathy and understanding.
  • I still don’t know where everything is! Notice the word order of where “everything is.” The subject (everything) comes before the verb (is). This word order is different from the direct question (Where is everything?).
Source: U.S. State Department
Additional Conversation
Conversation

This is a collection of 30 situational conversations which focus on a wide variety of communicative and natural encounters in English....these lessons are for beginning students.
Conversation

This is a collection of 36 situational conversations which focus on spoken American English in a relatively natural way....these lessons are for intermediate students.
Conversation

English conversation lessons. 52 lessons covering pronunciation, speaking, writing, and grammar topics....these lessons are for beginning students.
Conversation

English conversation lessons. 30 lessons focusing mostly on communication and grammar topics....these lessons are for intermediate students.
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 you do not know?
1. Type the word
2. Click Look it up
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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