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  • In this American English pronunciation video, we're going to study American English by looking

  • at a short text. Topic: free time.

  • I call this a Ben Franklin exercise. This is when you take very good notes, very detailed

  • notes, on what you're hearing. And then go back and try to record yourself based on what

  • you've written down, the notes. Did you write down a Flap T, or the way two words link together?

  • After you've recorded yourself, compare it to the original. Did you do everything that

  • you wanted to do? In this video, we're going to take notes together.

  • One of my favorite things to do with a free day is to ride my bike. Sometimes I'll ride

  • along the Hudson River or in Central Park, and sometimes I'll go visit friends in Brooklyn.

  • >> One of my favorite things to do

  • One of my favorite. I definitely here 'one' and 'fav-' as being stressed. 'Of my' is very

  • quick, very different than 'one' and 'fav'. Of my, of my, of my. So I'm using the schwa

  • here, and I am giving the V sound: of my, of my, of my, but it's very flat and quick.

  • >> One of my favorite [3x]

  • I notice that I'm dropping the middle, unstressed syllable in 'favorite'. So it's not FA-vo-rit,

  • but simply, FA-vrit. Favorite. Favorite things. And I notice that I am making that a Stop

  • T, I'm not releasing it. I'm going straight into the TH. One of my favorite things.

  • >> One of my favorite things to do with a free day [3x]

  • One of my favorite things to do with a free day ... so I notice both the words 'free'

  • and 'day' have a lot more length than the others. 'Things' is a content word, it is

  • a noun, but it's more generic than 'free' and 'day', I think that's why I didn't give it

  • as much time. One of my favorite things to do with a free day.

  • >> One of my favorite things to do with a free day [3x]

  • I notice, with the word 'to', I am reducing that to the schwa sound. It's not 'to do', it's

  • 't'do'.

  • >> To do [3x] with a free day.

  • Also the article 'a', of course, is a schwa. Now I pronounced the ending TH unvoiced, with

  • a, with a. Sometimes when people link the ending TH that is unvoiced into a voiced sound,

  • like the vowel schwa, they will voice it and say 'with a'. With a. But I left that unvoiced:

  • with a, with a, with a free day.

  • >> with a free day [3x]

  • Is to ride my bike. Ride, bike. Those were the two longest words in that sentence fragment.

  • Is to ride my bike. I notice again, I reduced this to the schwa sound. It's not 'to', it's

  • to, to, is to, is to, is to ride, is to ride my bike.

  • >> Is to ride by bike. [3x] Sometimes I'll ride along Hudson River

  • What did you hear as the most stressed syllables there? I'm hearing some-, ride, Hud-, Riv-.

  • As you practice your own speech, listen to it and make sure that you can pick out stressed

  • syllables in a sentence. If you can't, then they all sound too much the same. And we're

  • lacking good rhythmic contrast. So, it's always good to study other speech, and to note what

  • do you hear as being the longest syllables. Usually it will go along with adjectives,

  • adverbs, nouns, and verbs.

  • >> Sometimes I'll ride along the Hudson River

  • What else do you notice?

  • I notice the ending S here is pronounced as a Z. Sometimes I'll ride. Also, did you notice

  • how I pronounced that contraction? I didn't say I'll, I said I'll, I'll. So it sounded

  • a lot like this word. In fact, it sounded just like this word. I'll, I'll. I used the

  • 'aw' as in 'law' vowel. Sometimes I'll, sometimes I'll ride. So, I reduced the contraction,

  • which is already a reduction of 'I will', to I'll, I'll, I'll. Sometimes I'll ride.

  • >> Sometimes I'll ride along the Hudson River. [3x] The Hudson River. The word 'the' pronounced

  • with the schwa. Sometimes it's pronounced with an EE vowel. That would be when the next

  • word begins with a vowel or diphthong. Here it begins with a consonant, the H sound, Hudson,

  • Hudson, so it was a schwa. The Hudson, the Hudson River.

  • >> The Hudson River. [3x]

  • Did you notice how the second and unstressed syllable of 'Hudson' was pronounced? It's

  • written with the letter O, but there's the schwa vowel in there. As an unstressed syllable,

  • it's very fast, -son, -son, -son. And when the schwa is followed by the N sound, you

  • don't need to worry about making a separate schwa sound. It gets absorbed by the N. -Son,

  • -son, -son, Hudson. The Hudson.

  • >> The Hudson River [3x] or in Central Park.

  • I notice I did not reduce the word 'or', that can be reduced to 'er', Hudson River or Central

  • Park. But in this case I didn't. I said 'or'. Wait, I just realized I missed the word 'in'.

  • Or in Central Park, or in Central Park. Do you hear how fast the word 'in' is? Or in,

  • or in, or in, or in Central Park. Central. Stressed syllable of 'Central' is the first

  • one. Cen-, Cen-. The second syllable has the schwa: -tral, -tral.

  • >> In Central [3x]

  • Did you notice? I'm making more of a CH sound here instead of a T sound for the T in 'Central'.

  • Cen-tral, -tral, -tral. This can happen when the T is followed by an R.

  • >> In Central [3x] Park, and sometimes I'll go visit friends in Brooklyn.

  • And sometimes. I definitely dropped the D in that word, and sometimes, and sometimes,

  • reducing the word 'and'.

  • >> And sometimes [3x]

  • Let's talk about stress in that last part of the sentence.

  • >> And sometimes I'll go visit friends in Brooklyn.

  • What do you hear as being the most stressed syllables? Some-, sort of, but even stronger,

  • vis-, friends, Brook-. Verb, noun, noun. The content words. And did you notice the contraction

  • 'I'll'? Again, pronounced with the 'aw' as in 'law' vowel, reduced to 'I'll', 'I'll'.

  • >> And sometimes I'll [3x] go visit friends in Brooklyn.

  • Also, all of these words, as always in a thought group, were very connected. I had a Stop T

  • here in 'visit', so I didn't bother to release it, which would have made a little gap in

  • my line. Visit friends, visit friends.

  • >> visit friends [3x] in Brooklyn.

  • Also, the ending Z sound of 'friends' linked into the beginning vowel of the next word,

  • friends in, friends in, friends in, friends in Brooklyn.

  • >> visit friends in Brooklyn. [3x]

  • One of my favorite things to do with a free day is to ride my bike. Sometimes I'll ride

  • along the Hudson River or in Central Park, and sometimes I'll go visit friends in Brooklyn.

  • I hope this has given you some ideas on how to take notes and study the speech of native

  • speakers. Do this on your own. Take video and audio clips that interest you or that have

  • topics that are important to your field of work. After you take good notes, record the

  • text yourself and compare to the original recording. What do you still need to work

  • on, or what did you do well? This is a great way to improve your pronunciation.

  • That's it, and thanks so much for using Rachel's English.

  • So this is what I like to do with a free day. What do you like to do with a free day? Record

  • yourself talking about it, and post it as a video response to this video on YouTube.

  • I can't wait to hear about it.

In this American English pronunciation video, we're going to study American English by looking

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A2 hudson free day ride central central park brooklyn

ESL PRONUNCIATION EXERCISE: Free Time - American English

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    Halu Hsieh posted on 2013/09/06
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