Free English Pronunciation and Accent Reduction Lessons
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Saturday June 6th, 2009
In this week's podcast, we're going to learn how to pronounce the consonant /tʃ/ as in the words "check " and "touch."
This consonant is very common in English and learning to pronounce it correctly is an important step in speaking English with a clear American accent.
Depending on what your first language is, you may find it difficult to pronounce this sound. More specifically, if your first language is Spanish, French, Korean, Arabic or German , you may find it especially difficult to pronounce this sound.
The focus of this week's podcast is:
So let's begin by learning how to pronounce the sound /tʃ/.
How to Pronounce /tʃ/:
Tongue:Press the tip and the blade of your tongue against the gum ridge (bump on the roof of your mouth. Press firmly. (The sides of the tongue should be touching the side teeth.)
lips: Protruded slightly. (Forward, pushed outward)
Exercise: Practicing /tʃ/ in two steps:
Step1) Press your tongue tip and blade firmly aginst your gum ridge. Exhale but block the air flow completly with your tongue. Feel the air pressure build.
Step 2) Release quickly and vocalize while doing so.
In podcast #32 , we learned about "stop consonants" and "continuant consonants". /tʃ/ is a "stop" because the air flows is stopped by our tongue .
In podcast #30, we learned about "voiced" and "voiceless" consonants. /tʒ/ is a voiced consonant because our vocal folds vibrate when we say it.
In fact, by this point, you've probably noticed that /tʃ/ is the same tongue position and movement as /dʒ/ . /tʃ/ and /dʒ/ are a voiceless and voiced pair.
Avoid this mistake:
Tip : Make sure that your tongue tip is on the ridge. A common mistake students make is to press their tongue too far forward near the teeth. It often sounds like this ...
Exercise: Listen and repeat: /tʃ/
/tʃ/ ... /tʃ/ ...
Exercise : /tʃ/ combined with some key vowels of English which we've covered in previous podcasts. Please listen and repeat. Pay careful attention to form.
/tʃi/ ... /tʃI/ ... /tʃɛ/ ... /tʃeI/ ... /tʃæ/ ... /tʃə/ ... /tʃa / ... /tʃoʊ/ ... /tʃɔ/
You may find that some of these combinations are more difficult than others.
Exercise: Listen and repeat the following words containing /tʃ/.
cheese ... chip ... check ... .chain ... chalk ... choose .... feature ...nature... attachment ... search ...touch
Exercise : Listen and repeat the following American expressions and idioms containing /tʃ/:
It's a touch and go situation. (uncertain, risky)
That red suit looks cheesy. (cheap looking and in bad taste)
That's another notch in your belt . (accomplishment, achievement )
The Right Training Tools for Better Pronunciation:
The best way to learn a new a sound is to practice it slowly.
It's important to have right training tools in order to improve your accent.
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Thank you and see you next time!
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