Free English Pronunciation and Accent Reduction Lessons
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Saturday June 27th, 2009
In this week's podcast, we're going to learn how to pronounce the consonant sound /z/ as in the words "zoo " and "lose."
Pronouncing this consonant can be quite challenging, especially if your first language is Korean or Japanese. However, this lesson is important for everybody no matter what your first language is because students confuse /z/ with /s/ or /ʃ/.
ThIs consonant is very common in English and learning to recognize it by its spelling is also an important step in speaking English with a clear American accent.
The focus of this week's podcast is:
So let's begin by learning how to pronounce the sound /z/.
How to Pronounce /z/:
The good news is that of you can pronounce /s/ you can also pronounce /z/.
Tongue: Point the tip of your tongue forward to the gum ridge (bump on the roof of your mouth.) Do not touch the ridge. The sides of the tongue should gently touch the side teeth. Create a small hole for the air to flow through
lips: slightly spread.
In podcast #32 , we learned about "stop consonants" and "continuant consonants". /s/ is a continuant because the air flows continuously over the center of our tongue.
In podcast #30, we learned about "voiced" and "voiceless" consonants. /z/ is a voiced consonant because we use our voice to make this sound.
Exercise: Listen and repeat: /z/
/z/ ... /z/ ...
If you're having trouble pronouncing /z/, remember- it's the same position as /s/. You can learn to pronounce /z/ by breaking it down into these two steps.
Step1) put your tongue and lips into the /s/ position and make the sound /s/
Step2) add your voice
Or you can do it the other way around:
Step 1 ) make a vowel sound
Step2) put your tongue into the postion for /s/
I'm gently raising my tongue tip to create an /s/ position as I vocalize.
Exercise: Listen and repeat the following words containing /z/.
zoo... zip ... zen ... easy ... musician .. result ...crazy .. lose...
Exercise : Listen and repeat the following American expressions and idioms containing /z/:
That store was a zoo. ( unorganized and filled with rude, aggressive people)
You snooze you lose . (snooze =sleep , If you don't take action you won't get anything)
Your estimate is on the nose. (exact, right)
Spelling Patterns of /z/
One of the most challenging aspects of learning English pronuciation is that one sound can have a few different spelings.
Practice is Key!
Speaking English clearly and correctly takes a lot of practice.
The Right Training Tools for Better Pronunciation:
It's important to have right training tools in order to improve your accent.
That's why I recommend that you check it out my English Pronunciation Course in mp3 format- Best Accent Training mp3s!
No matter what your first language is, Best Accent Training has the lessons you need for speaking English clearly and correctly.
All the sounds of English in one course!
Best Accent Training mp3s contains all the sounds of English with step by step instructions and practice exercises.
Best of all, Best Accent Training is a fast and easy download that you can put on your mp3 player and take with you wherever you go!
Thank you and see you next time!Share
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