Is fish spelled, GHOTI?

American spelling is confusing, not only to foreign speakers, but to native English speakers as well.  American spelling is notorious for interfering with people learning pronunciation.  That is why I love this note that a client sent about the Minute of Speech video for WOMEN: "As hard as I try to…


What are the most commonly used words in English?

According to the Reading Teacher’s Book of Lists, Fourth Edition, the top 25 words make up about 1/3 of all print material. They are as follows: the of and a to in is you it he was for on are as with his they I at be this have from


What is accent reduction?

Accent reduction teaches the sound system and rules of English. Native speakers learn this though listening as a child. Foreign speakers do not. In most English training programs, sounds are not addressed or are only touched upon briefly. An accent comes from a foreign English speaker using their…


Did I say that correctly?

My response to the question: “Did I say that correctly?” is typically, “What do you think?” This is when my clients are thinking, "Then why am I paying you?" When I first start seeing clients, I always tell them, that is correct, try it this way, or fix that. I give a lot of feedback. But, my goal…


Slow Speaking Concerns

All of my clients, yes all of them, complain of frustration with the slow rate of their pronunciation. Of course this will be the case. Pronunciation is a very complex motor task. As with any complex motor task, like playing a piano, golfing, and typing, the learner must start out doing the actions…


What do ESL clients REALLY want to know?-How to avoid embarrassing mistakes!

My clients are usually very driven individuals, who want to communicate better, advance in their careers, and build better relationships. But the biggest thing they want know: "What embarrassing words should I avoid saying?" Almost every client has a story where they unintentionally mispronounced a…


How to say LEAD

LEAD can be pronounced two ways depending on the definition. To say LEAD as in the metal: L-short e-D To say LEAD as in to guide: L-long E-D  


How to say MISSION

MISSION is not pronounced the way that it is spelled. There is no S sound in the pronunciation. To say this word correctly, say these five sounds:  M-short i-SH-short u-N


Difference between FLOWER and FLOUR

These words are pronounced the same way. The only difference in these words is the definition. FLOUR is the powdery foodstuff made from grinding grain. FLOWER is the bloom of a plant. Both words have four sounds: F-L-long OW-ER Check out this video for more assistance.


Difference between SEALING and CEILING

How do you say SEALING and CEILING? These words are pronounced the same way. The only difference in these words is the definition. SEALING which means to prevent something from escaping by closing a container or opening. CEILING is the top of a room. Both words have five sounds: S-Long E-L-Short…