A Pioneering Way To Think About Improving Your Pronunciation

By Ashley | Confidence

Aug 27

Have you heard of the expression ‘lost at sea’? In my experience, when it comes to British English pronunciation, that’s how most learners feel. Partly because there seems to be no rules to follow - and you can’t trust the spelling, that’s for sure!

When I trained as a voice coach I discovered a phonetician called John Wells and he came up with a perfect life-belt for this experience - Lexical Sets. Quite simply, if the stressed vowel sound in one word, rhymes with the stressed vowel sound in another, they belong in the same group. Which means that you could create groups of words (or as I call them ‘word banks’) based on their pronunciation instead of their spelling.

For example, in a standard British English accent, the vowel sound in ‘car’ rhymes with that of ‘staff’, ’laugh’, ‘calf’, ‘sergeant’, ‘heart’ and ‘are’. And in my experience, you’ll be getting the pronunciation of at least one of the vowel sounds in one of those words accurately, (possibly because the spelling seems to actually suggest the sound) and so it’s matter of getting the other vowels to rhyme. It’s good, isn’t it?

I can imagine that some of you are thinking, "yeah, but how do I know which words go in which groups?" Well, I've done it for you! I've sourced 850 of the most commonly used English words and group them into their lexical sets. I've also drawn pictures of the shapes and positions of the tongue and lips for each vowel sounds, and I've recorded over 40 minutes of audio. And it's FREE! Scroll down and click on the 'LEARN MORE...'.


Remember to scroll down leave a comment, give me a thumbs up or thumbs down, either way just give me a reaction, subscribe to my channel, like my page, leave a comment and I’ll speak to you soon.

Want to keep learning?

English Pronunciation Roadmap CRASH COURSE

FREE DOWNLOAD for how to pronounce 850 of the most common, everyday English words that you will definitely be using all day every day.

  1. How to pronounce the words
  2. Over 40 mins of audio for you to imitate and practice with
  3. Discover which words belong together to help remember their pronunciation
  4. Pictures illustrating the shape of the lips and position of the tongue for each vowel sound

Head on over to this blog post 5 British Pronunciation Hacks: How To Bridge The Gap Between Spellings And Speech have a read, scroll down, click on the FREE DOWNLOAD and get started now!


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