Greek language backgrounds

29 common English pronunciation problems

FIX PROBLEM ENGLISH SOUND - COMMON ERROR - PRACTICE MATERIALS
Relax the mouth and keep sound short. /ɪ/ "sit" /i:/ "seat"
Keep tongue front & low and jaws apart. /æ/ "cat" /ɑ:/ "cart" Minimal Pairs /æ/ or /ɑ:/ practice

Tongue low central. Lips relaxed. /ʌ/ "cup"

Minimal Pairs /æ/ or /ʌ/ practice

Keep mouth round and tongue back. /ɒ/ "not"

Minimal Pairs /ɒ/ or /ɔ:/ practice

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

Practise the neutral vowel /ə/
using spoken dialogues


Keep mouth open and tongue low central. /ɑ:/ "part"


Mouth more open. Make sound longer. /ɑ:/ "part" /ɒ/ "pot" Minimal Pairs /ɑ:/ or /ɒ/ practice

Back of tongue high. Lips tightly rounded. Long. /u:/ "fool"

Minimal Pairs /ʊ/ or / u: / 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 low front to high front to centre. /aɪə/=/aɪ/+/ə/ "fire"


Tongue central. Then tightly round lips. /əʊ/ "note" /ɒ/ "not" Minimal Pairs /əʊ/ or /ɒ/ practice

Tongue low front. Then round & unround lips. /aʊə/=/aʊ/+/ə/ "flour"


Tongue high and front. Move to centre. /ɪə/ "beer" /eə/ "bear"
Tongue from centre front. Draw back to centre. /eə/ "bear"


Start with lips tightly rounded. Unround. /ʊə/ "tour"


Unvoiced. Use more air. Trap it with lips. /p/ "pit" /b/ "bit"
Tip of tongue behind top teeth. /t/ "tie" /d/ "die"
Voiceless stop: back of tongue to back roof. /k/ "come" /g/ "gum"
Voiced stop: back of tongue to back roof. /g/ "regal" /j/ "real"
Voiceless: tip of tongue behind top teeth. Friction. /s/ "mass" /ʃ/ "mash"
Voiceless. Friction. Front of tongue to palate. /ʃ/ "push" /s/ "puss"
Voiced: Front of tongue to palate. Friction. "beige" 129 "bays" /z/
Quickly push air from throat out of mouth. /h/ "hot"
"ch" in "loch" Minimal Pairs /h/ or silent "h" practice

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

Start with lips tightly rounded. Unround & glide. /w/ "win"
"(g)win"
Unvoiced: Tip to alveolar. Front to palate. /ʧ/ "which" /t/+/s/ "wits"
Voiced: Tip to alveolar. Front to palate. /ʤ/ "wage"



External links:

Non-native pronunciations of English: Greek L1

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