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26 common English pronunciation problems

FIX PROBLEM ENGLISH SOUND - COMMON ERROR - PRACTICE MATERIALS
Move tongue to a lower front position. /æ/ "man" /e/ "men" Minimal Pairs /e/ or /æ/ practice

Weak endings: e.g. "London" "England" /ə/ "the" (schwa)

Practise the neutral vowel /ə/
using spoken dialogues


Tongue low & back. Jaws together. Long. /ɔ:/ "nought" /ɒ/ "not" Minimal Pairs /ɒ/ or /ɔ:/ practice

Fix tongue in central position. Long. /ɜ:/ "bird"

Minimal Pairs /e/ or /ɜ:/ practice
Minimal Pairs /ʌ/ or /ɜ:/ practice
Minimal Pairs /ɔ:/ or /ɜ:/ practice

Tongue moves from front centre to front high. /eɪ/ "late" /e/ "let" Minimal Pairs /e/ or /eɪ/ practice

Tongue central. Then tightly round lips. /əʊ/ "bone" /ɔ:/ "born"
From low front vowel to lips tightly rounded. /aʊ/ "cow"

Minimal Pairs /əʊ/ or /aʊ/ practice

Voiced. Vibration. Trap air with lips. /b/ "bill" /p/ "pill"
Tip of tongue behind top teeth. /d/ "made" /t/ "mate" Minimal Pairs /t/ or /d/ practice

Voiced. Friction with top teeth & bottom lip. /v/ "of" /f/ "off"
Voiced. Friction with top teeth & bottom lip. /v/ "vet" /w/ "wet" Minimal Pairs /w/ or /v/ practice

Start with lips tightly rounded. Unround & glide. /w/ "west" /v/ "vest" Minimal Pairs /w/ or /v/ practice

Voiceless. Friction. Tongue between teeth. /θ/ "thin" /d/ "din" Minimal Pairs /θ/ or /d/ practice

Voiceless. Friction. Tongue between teeth. /θ/ "thin" /s/ "sin" Minimal Pairs /θ/ or /s/ practice

Voiced. Friction. Tongue between teeth. /ð/ "they" /d/ "day" Minimal Pairs /ð/ or /d/ practice

Voiced. Friction. Tongue between teeth. /ð/ "clothe" /z/ "close" /z/
Voiced: tip of tongue behind top teeth. Friction. /z/ "rise" /s/ "rice" Minimal Pairs /s/ or /z/ practice

Voiceless. Friction. Front of tongue to palate. /ʃ/ "sherry" /ʧ/ "cherry"
Voiced: Front of tongue to palate. Friction. /ʒ/ "confusion" /ʃ/ "Confucian"
British "r" is weaker & usually silent
unless followed by a vowel.
silent "survivor" /r/ "Sir Ivor"
Glide /j/(i:) the tongue quickly to next sound /j/ "yam" /ʤ/ "jam" Minimal Pairs /ʤ/ or /j/ practice

Back of tongue to back roof. Nasal. /ŋk/ "think" /ŋ/ "thing" Minimal Pairs /ŋ/ or /ŋk/ practice

Unvoiced: Tip to alveolar. Front to palate. /ʧ/ "cherry" /ʃ/ "sherry"
Unvoiced: Tip to alveolar. Front to palate. /ʧ/ "chin" /ʤ/ "gin"
Voiced: Tip to alveolar. Front to palate. /ʤ/ "Jerry" /ʃ/ "sherry"
Voiced: Tip to alveolar. Front to palate. /ʤ/ "job" /j/ "yob"


External links:

Non-native pronunciations of English: German L1

Non-native pronunciations of English: Swiss German L1

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