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  • Well hey there I'm Emma from mmmEnglish!

  • I've got an awesome lesson for all of you today.

  • I have got an awesome lesson for all of you today.

  • What do you notice about the pronunciation

  • of these two sentences?

  • I say them quite differently.

  • Same sentence, quite different.

  • The first time, really naturally.

  • Just like I'd say it to my friends.

  • The second was a little awkward, very clear but

  • a little like a robot, don't you think?

  • Not how I would normally speak anyway.

  • Natural English pronunciation is

  • definitely not spoken perfectly.

  • Words reduce, they contract and they link together.

  • These are the secrets of natural, relaxed and

  • generally a pretty cool English pronunciation.

  • Now I will warn you that this lesson is advanced

  • pronunciation practice. Now anyone can give it a go,

  • anyone can practise

  • but I want you to know that it's not easy.

  • It takes practise speaking out loud,

  • listening carefully to native speakers and imitating them

  • Pronouncing English words correctly is

  • absolutely necessary for all of you.

  • But to really take your English speaking skills

  • up to the next level,

  • well we need to focus on your natural pronunciation

  • so that you can reduce your accent a little

  • and sound a bit more relaxed when you're

  • chatting in English.

  • Let me give a quick shout out to the sponsor

  • of today's lesson, Skillshare.

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  • Just use the link in the description below,

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  • and of course, you can cancel at any time.

  • All right, let's get back to our lesson.

  • Let me say it again, English pronunciation is

  • definitely not perfect.

  • So we're going to rough things up a little bit this lesson.

  • I want you to loosen up, let your hair down

  • and go with the flow because you just won't

  • hear a native English speaker say:

  • No no no no no no no.

  • In English, words bump into each other.

  • Sometimes sounds change.

  • New sounds can get added in.

  • And sometimes

  • sounds are dropped or just completely eliminated.

  • Natural pronunciation is not something that you can see

  • you can't read it in a sentence and know

  • exactly how a native English speaker would say it.

  • So speaking naturally is really only a skill

  • that you can develop through practise.

  • By listening to native English speakers

  • and by trying it yourself

  • and that is exactly what we're going to do today.

  • We'll take a close look at linking an important part

  • of natural pronunciation and I'll explain how it works,

  • where it happens and how you can use linking

  • to reduce your accent and sound

  • more natural when you speak English.

  • Linking is an important part of connected speech

  • in English and there are three main categories to it.

  • Now there's a lot to cover here so in this lesson,

  • we're going to go over

  • consonant to vowel linking.

  • And I'll go into more detail about vowel to vowel and

  • consonant to consonant linking in another lesson soon.

  • Now if you haven't subscribed to the channel yet,

  • please do click the subscribe button and the bell

  • so that I can tell you when the next lesson is ready.

  • And if you need to,

  • just turn on the subtitles down there too.

  • The most important thing when talking about

  • linking in English is that we're talking about sounds

  • not letters.

  • Sounds that you can hear

  • but not the letters that you can see

  • and this is really important to keep in mind.

  • We're talking about consonant sounds linking

  • to vowel sounds in quite particular situations.

  • When a word ends in a consonant sound and it's

  • followed by a word that starts with a vowel sound,

  • we can link them.

  • Consonant to vowel linking happens all the time

  • with phrasal verbs like this.

  • Now what happens all the time in English is

  • that a word that ends in a vowel letter on paper

  • can sometimes end in a consonant sound when spoken

  • Can you think of any examples of this?

  • If you can, write some of them in the comments.

  • So here, 'like' and 'it' can link together.

  • Now if we just look at the spelling,

  • 'like' ends in E, a vowel letter.

  • But the E is silent in this word so 'like' actually ends

  • in a /k/ sound, a consonant sound.

  • So with linking sounds, don't look for the letters,

  • listen for the sounds. This is the first clue to help you

  • link words together when you're speaking English.

  • All right let's keep going!

  • With consonant to vowel linking, the sounds blend

  • or they push together and this is how

  • native English speakers speak so quickly.

  • We push our words together because

  • it makes it so much quicker and so much easier

  • to say them.

  • When one word ends with a consonant sound

  • and the next word starts with a vowel sound,

  • we can push them together.

  • The two sounds come together

  • so that they flow.

  • So can you tell me, looking at this sentence,

  • where there is a word that ends in a consonant sound

  • followed by one that starts with a vowel sound?

  • There are two examples here.

  • Both of these vowels are unstressed so the

  • sound actually reduces to a schwa sound.

  • And if you're not sure about what a schwa sound is,

  • then check out this video next, it will explain everything.

  • But the /k/ sound from the end of 'like'

  • joins with the vowel schwa.

  • Hear how quick that is

  • when you push those sounds together?

  • There's no space between these sounds.

  • Don't take a breath, don't do anything like that,

  • just combine the two sounds together

  • until they roll smoothly from the /k/ to the

  • sound so it becomes like one word.

  • Now 'slice of' follows the same rules.

  • You blend the /s/ from the end of 'slice'

  • and connect it to the schwa sound at the start of 'of'

  • which is pronounced

  • and so it's smooth and connected,

  • moving from one to the other.

  • Okay so I think the rules are pretty clear here,

  • consonant sounds at the end of a word linked to a word

  • following that starts with a vowel sound.

  • Simple, as long as you remember

  • that you're listening for sounds

  • rather than looking for letters, you'll be fine.

  • So right now I want to practise with you a little but first

  • I want you to think of your own sentence

  • that includes an example of consonant to vowel linking.

  • See if you can write your sentence in the comments.

  • Practise saying it out loud.

  • And if you see other people's sentences down there,

  • then try and practise with them as well.

  • Practise the linking between those sounds.

  • Okay so I'm going to put a sentence right here

  • on the screen and then I want you to listen to me

  • say each sentence.

  • Listen carefully because I want you to

  • listen to how these words connect,

  • where do they link, when they're spoken.

  • I want you to look at the sentence, listen to me say it

  • and try and work out where this linking can happen.

  • You can write it in the comments so that looks like this.

  • Using little dashes to link those words together.

  • Okay ready! It's hot today!

  • Okay.

  • Where are the linking opportunities?

  • Did you get those?

  • Did you hear how those sounds push together?

  • So the words move together in your sentence.

  • Now speed it up, I want you to say it with me.

  • Are you ready?

  • Nice one!

  • Okay!

  • Say it with me.

  • So where in this question can we link words together?

  • For sure.

  • And

  • Where are those linking opportunities?

  • Or even it might reduce down to

  • There are lots of opportunities to connect

  • these consonants to these vowel sounds, right?

  • It's really addictive when you start, isn't it?

  • You'll notice all of these opportunities to link

  • words together all the time.

  • And you haven't even seen part two or part three

  • of these lessons, right? I've got more.

  • Can you say it with me?

  • So we're replacing the full vowel sound of 'of'

  • with the schwa.

  • Nice!

  • Well I hope that you've enjoyed this lesson so far.

  • Remember that this is part one, there's more coming.

  • And while it may seem complicated at first,

  • this kind of linking is quite straightforward

  • when you slow down and you think about it.

  • You'll notice that lots of small and very common words

  • start with vowels, prepositions, articles, conjunctions

  • these are all great places to start practising

  • linking and connected speech.

  • Remember to practise with your ears by imitating

  • and copying a native English speaker.

  • This is a really great way to improve your linking sounds

  • and your natural expression.

  • My imitation lessons are a great place to start

  • practising connected speech

  • so you can check them out right here.

  • And with a little practice, you'll start feeling that flow

  • and that rhythm in your sentences and it will start to

  • impact on the way that you speak English naturally.

  • Don't forget that part two and part three

  • of these lessons are coming soon,

  • so in the meantime while you're waiting,

  • why don't you check out these lessons here?

  • That one in particular, where I'll show you how to focus

  • on your pronunciation and natural English expression

  • through imitating.

  • Thanks for all of your hard work today

  • and all of your comments

  • that you've been writing down there.

  • Make sure you say 'hi',

  • you are amazing, I'll see you next week.

Well hey there I'm Emma from mmmEnglish!