This is an UNVOICED sound which means Your Vocal Cords DO
NOT vibrate when making the sound.
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
Now make the sound of this lesson. You cannot listen to your vocal cords vibrating.
CANNOT 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
Now make the sound of this lesson. You cannot feel your vocal
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.
and tongue position
The following descriptions explain the proper mouth, lips,
and tongue position when you make this sound.
mouth releases air continuously.
Your upper teeth touch your lower lip.
The front part of your tongue should be in the center part of your
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.
Note: the red letters all
have the same sound (watch the video above)
Pronunciation word test
Try saying the following tongue twisters as quickly as
I'm not the pheasant plucker, I'm the pheasant
plucker's mate, and I'm only plucking pheasants 'cause the
pheasant plucker's late. I'm not the pheasant plucker, I'm the
pheasant plucker's son, and I'm only plucking pheasants Till the
pheasant pluckers come.
One smart fellow, he felt smart. Two smart
fellows, they felt smart. Three smart fellows, they all felt
Friendly Frank flips fine flapjacks.
A flea and a fly flew up in a flue. Said the
flea, "Let us fly!" Said the fly, "Let us flee!" So they flew
through a flaw in the flue.
Fat frogs flying past fast.
Flee from fog to fight flu fast!
Of all the felt I ever felt, I never felt a
piece of felt which felt as fine as that felt felt, when first I
felt that felt hat's felt.
Freshly fried fresh flesh.
Freshly fried flying fish.
Fred fed Ted bread, and Ted fed Fred bread.
Pronouncing F can be a bit difficult depending on what
country you come from. Native Japanese speakers usually
pronounce F as an H sound....football becomes hootball.
Remember to touch your upper front teeth to your lower
lip when beginning to make this sound.
The following classroom lessons are great for
students who want additional listening
and reading practice. Please post a comment at the
bottom of this page in the
Facebook Comments window with your thoughts about
Travel America -
Level. Do you love America and American
English? Learn before you travel. Facts and other
cool stuff about your favorite U.S. state. Great
English reading practice.
America - Michigan
Learn some interesting facts and read interesting
stories about Michigan.
Michigan was the 26th state, admitted into the Union
in 1837. Called the "Great Lakes State" because its
shores touch four of the five Great Lakes, Michigan
gets its name from an Ojibwa (Chippewa) Indian word
meaning "large lake." Michigan has an unusual
geography, as it consists of two land masses--the
Upper Peninsula and the mitten-shaped Lower
Peninsula. Detroit, its largest city, is known
worldwide as the center of the American auto
industry. The apple blossom is the state flower, the
robin is the state bird and Lansing is the capital.
Michigan's official flag was adopted by the state
Legislature in 1911 with a simple description: The State
Flag shall be blue charged with the arms of the State (the
state coat of arms appears on both sides of the flag, and
also on Michigan's state seal).
Animal symbols: Moose and Elk represent Michigan, the bald
eagle signifies the United States.
E Pluribus Unum: From Many, One (our nation was made from
uebor: I Will Defend (refers to the frontier position of
Si Quaeris Peninsulam Amoenam, Circumspice: If you seek a
pleasant peninsula, look about you (also Michigan's state
History of Michigan Flag
Michigan's first flag was flown in 1837 (the year Michigan
became a state). It featured the the state coat of arms, a
soldier, and a lady on one side; and a portrait of Stevens
T. Mason (the first governor) on the reverse side. In
following years (previous to the official flag being
designated) numerous designs were used with the coat of
arms, including the United States coat of arms on the
Official Pledge to Michigan State
I pledge allegiance to the flag of Michigan,
and to the state for which it stands,
Two beautiful peninsulas united by a bridge of steel,
where equal opportunity and justice to all is our ideal.
Have you ever heard of someone taking a bath while riding down a
street? That's what the owner of the cruiser "Splish-Splash" does
every year in the Woodward Dream Cruise. But that's only one of the
cars that take part in this midsummer classic -- the world's largest
one-day festival of the car culture.
This auto parade, which stretches 16 miles on Woodward Avenue,
running northwest from Detroit to Pontiac, Michigan, features
classic cars, hot rods, antique and unique cars, and celebrates
Woodward Avenue's contribution to American car history. Woodward
Avenue is one of America's best-known cruising roads. Beginning in
the 1950s, on summer nights along the Woodward "strip," the area
swelled with teens and young adults cruising in their Fords, Chevys
Sometimes called the "Boulevard of Dreams," Woodward Avenue has a
history that goes back to 1896, when a car was first driven down the
avenue. A few months later, Henry Ford followed in his new
automobile. On August 4, 1924, Woodward made history again when it
became the first concrete paved highway in the world, creating a
primary link between Detroit and Michigan.
Today, more than 30,000 cars and 1.5 million people join in this
celebration of America's love affair with the car.
Festival of the Arts: The Nation's Largest
All-Volunteer Arts Festival
How can a piece of art create a monster? Easy, it can inspire an
entire city to hold a huge arts festival. It happened in Grand
Rapids, Michigan, when a gigantic piece of sculpture was installed
on a downtown plaza.
In 1969, a type of stationary abstract sculpture, called a stabile
(pronounced stay-beal), was installed downtown in front of City
Hall. Twentieth century American artist Alexander Calder created it.
Calder's stabiles are constructed of flat curving shapes of metal
welded together and usually painted red or black. His stabiles are
playful, fanciful creations that look great in parks and plazas.
Once the sculpture was in place, the people of Grand Rapids started
thinking that they needed an arts festival to celebrate Calder's
work. More important, they needed an arts festival to celebrate the
arts in West Michigan.
So, in 1970, Festival was born. This three-day arts celebration,
held the first full weekend in June in downtown Grand Rapids,
attracts thousands of participating artists. Festival has grown from
a few booths and food stalls into the nation's largest all-volunteer
arts festival, with more than 20,000 volunteers and more than
500,000 people attending. It has grown so large that it is spread
out over almost all of downtown - that's a monster of a festival!
Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village
Auto manufacturer Henry Ford was a man ahead of his time. Although
he didn't invent the automobile, Ford believed that a car that
everyday people could afford would be a huge success. He was right
and the company he started still exists today.
But Ford was also ahead of his time in another way. He could have
collected the finest and most expensive art in the world. But
instead he collected commonplace things, like toasters, farm
machinery, kerosene lamps, and steam engines. Ford felt that these
everyday objects told a truth not written about in history books.
Today, educators call these items "primary sources."
In order to display his collections, Ford founded the Henry Ford
Museum and Greenfield Village (originally called the Edison
Institute, in honor of his friend, Thomas Edison), the world's
largest indoor-outdoor history museum. Ford wanted his museum to be
a place where people could see how their ancestors lived and worked.
The 13-acre museum and village celebrates the accomplishments of
American innovators, such as Ford himself, Thomas Edison, the Wright
brothers, George Washington Carver, Noah Webster, and others.
International Cherry Pit Spitting
There's a world record for just about any contest you can think of
-- even cherry-pit spitting!
The Cherry Pit Spit began in 1974, when Herb Teichman, a Michigan
cherry farmer, was looking for "something to do" with cherry pits.
Growing from a neighborhood get-together to an international
competition, the Cherry Pit Spit is recognized by the Guinness Book
of World Records as an official competition.
"Pellet Gun" Krause is the 10-time winner of the International
Cherry Pit Spitting Championship. Each July hundreds of people from
across the country and around the world gather for the Championship.
The contest marks the beginning of the harvest of tart cherries in
southwest Michigan. Until 1993, Rick "Pellet Gun" Krause of Arizona
held the world record with a spit of 72 feet, 7 inches. Believe it
or not, that's more than 25 feet less than the current world record.
The world record is now 100 feet, 4 inches and is held by "Pellet
Gun" Krause's son,"Young Gun" Krause. How far you do you think you
could spit a pit?
Motown Historical Museum
Where is Hitsville USA? It's in Motown, which is short for "Motor
Town," which is a nickname for Detroit, the Motor City and home of
the U.S. auto industry.
Motown also happens to be the name of one of the best-known
recording labels in the world. During the 1960s, Motown artists like
the Supremes, the Temptations, Marvin Gaye, and Smokey Robinson and
the Miracles dominated the pop charts.
Visitors to the Motown Historical Museum in Detroit, Michigan,
experience some of the excitement of Motown's early years. The
original location of the Motown Record Corporation in Hitsville USA
is a restored site that traces the story of the company's growth
from its modest beginnings to the world's largest independent record
Barry Gordy is the father of Motown. In 1959, he purchased a
two-family flat in Detroit, and christened it "Hitsville USA." He
lived upstairs and operated what became known as the Motown Record
Corporation downstairs. Recordings were made in a former photography
studio attached to the house. The birthplace of the famous Motown
sound began in the reception lobby, where young hopefuls such as the
Supremes and the Temptations waited to audition.
The next time you hear a song like "Stop! In the Name of Love" or
"My Girl," think about how the Motown sound has influenced today's
Michigan Barn & Farmstead Survey: 4-H Youth
As the numbers of farms in America disappear, barns are disappearing
as well -- and with them a big part of American history.
Even though the number of working farms is declining, Michigan is
still one of the nation's leading agricultural states. Corn is
Michigan's major field crop, but the state is best known for its
fruit production. Michigan leads the nation in the production of
cherries, and is a major producer of apples. The state is also
usually the leading producer of dry beans in the United States.
Christmas trees are another important agricultural product, and
Michigan forests produce large quantities of pulpwood products.
Because of all this agricultural activity in Michigan the 4-H Club
there did a lot of work studying the architecture of barns. Using a
guidebook developed at Michigan State University Museum, 4-H clubs
photographed and cataloged the barns and silos of their counties.
The club members not only preserved an aspect of their agricultural
heritage that is now disappearing, but also they gained a greater
awareness and appreciation of their past.
Detroit "Motor City," Michigan
Do you know why Detroit is known as "Motor City?"
Long recognized as the historic heart of the American automotive
industry, Detroit took on the nickname "Motor City." The state's
automotive industry provided the model for mass production that
other industries later adopted. Henry Ford pioneered the use of the
assembly line in manufacturing automobiles. Using conveyor belts,
factory workers put different parts together quickly and relatively
inexpensively -- like a mechanical puzzle. Ford's Model-T was the
first car produced in this fashion, and it could be assembled more
quickly and consistently than had ever been possible before. Do you
Each person who works on an assembly line is responsible for doing
the same job on each car. For example, someone might be responsible
only for attaching the rearview mirror. This person would do the
task so many times that he or she would become an expert at it and
be able to do it very quickly.
The following is a description of national
forests and parks in the state
of Michigan. There are no national monuments
in this state. If you plan to visit or live in
Michigan for awhile then you should
definitely plan to visit some of these
Located in Michigan's Upper Peninsula,
Hiawatha National Forest borders Lake
Superior, Lake Michigan, and Lake Huron. The
forest is home to Grand Island National
Recreation Area and five wilderness areas.
Loda Lake National Wildflower Sanctuary is
located around a small spring-fed lake in
the forest. The Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness
has sand dunes up to 140 ft (43 m) high
along Lake Michigan.
Located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan,
Ottawa National Forest stretches from Lake
Superior to the Wisconsin border. There are
500 named lakes, nearly 2,000 mi (3,200 km)
of streams, and three wilderness areas in
The largest island in Lake Superior is a
place of isolation and wilderness. Along
with its many shipwrecks, waterways, and
hiking trails, the park also includes over
400 smaller islands within 4.5 miles (7.2
km) of its shores. There are only 20 mammal
species on the entire island, though the
relationship between its wolf and moose
populations is especially unique.
Do you love America and American English? Learn before
you travel. Facts and other cool stuff about your
favorite U.S. state. Visit the Fun Easy English Travel
America pages. Read about the beautiful National
Forests, Parks, and Monuments. Great English reading practice.
Planning to drive in America? Learn the rules and
regulations. Great English reading practice.
(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