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Youtube pronunciation course! (highly recommended!)

Adrian Underhill (a wonderful teacher who specialises in pronunciation teaching) has a Youtube channel called Pronunciation Skills. It's aimed at teachers, but I think many learners will benefit from it too. Teachers will definitely find this helpful.

Although there are 39 videos (the entire course is quite detailed!), each video is only two to four minutes long, so you can watch it in several parts. Also, even though the videos are aimed at teachers, Adrian Underhill's English is rather slow and clear.

Please watch the videos in order, avoid "jumping about" too much. Although the course is very basic in the beginning, the videos become harder and harder as you progress.


(PS: Please feel free to use the "comments" on this discussion to ask about anything you didn't understand. Just remember to tell me which video it's from, so that I know what you're talking about!)

Sep 12, 2016 11:54 AM
Comments · 9

Excellent! Thank goodness someone on this board posted a link to a guy who knows what he's talking about! Learning to pronounce a foreign language is not a "listen and repeat after me" exercise. This is what I'm been trying, in vain, to communicate to people on this board who won't listen. It's soooooooo simple. Every language has its own unique sounds that other languages don't have. So to learn correct pronounciation in your target language, you have to know how sounds  are produced by native speakers in their mouths! That's a physiological matter, not accomplished by hearing and repeating noices.  All you do when hearing a foreign language and "shadowing" it is parroting words in a foreign language and trying to find completely different sounds in your native language that are mere close approximations of the foreign sounds. That DOES NOT work! Because you're not moving your mouth, throat, and tongue in the proper way to produce the non-native sounds! Hence an accent. No one teaches this in a foreign language course, and it is SO obviously needed. 

Speed of speaking has nothing to do with this. That comes later with grammar and vocabulary building. Speed is irrelevant to this guy's lessons. Speed of speech is easy to get used to anyway. 

This guy just focuses on English sounds, which is great, but contrasting this with the sounds of the foreign language one is learning would have been better.  But the guy's on the right tract! Whatever happened to the study of linguistics in foreign language learning or speech therapy? It's an integral part of learning any foreign language. Great videos. Two thumbs up!!

December 1, 2016

Hi Laura. He's British.

I was pretty excited when I discovered the video series. I strongly believe pronunciation should be taught systematically, and as far as I know no such course exists on YouTube.

However I think I was a bit hasty in posting this here: it's probably too technical for learners.

The BBC course I posted in the comment might be more learner friendly.

September 12, 2016
He is so slow though.  I don't think that;s natural. He slowed it down for everyone to understsand and that's actually the wrong approach. If you get used to that you will have enermous problems to understsand people in daily life. 
December 1, 2016
Thanks for the helpful links, Susan! I hadn't heard of Piers Messum but will definitely be checking him out more. And also for pointing me back to the great British Council TESOL seminars. I used to watch them quite regularly but hadn't in a long time.
September 14, 2016

I agree his stuff is great.  If you like it, you would probably also like some of the stuff posted on the website  and their youtube channel.  

For example, What to teach before you teach sounds with Piers Messum

and TPD 2016, W3 The Articulatory Setting of English #2

September 13, 2016
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Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, Persian (Farsi)
Learning Language
Chinese (Mandarin), Persian (Farsi)