PROBLEM: your narrow English comfort zone limits your speaking confidence, preventing you from expressing yourself fully and shining in your life. 🌟❌

Diagram of a student's comfort zone when speaking English

When your English comfort zone is narrow…

  • You take the quiet route through life
  • You miss out on opportunities
  • You overthink your English
  • Your mind goes blank in unpractised situations
  • You English fails you in ‘serious situations’, e.g. when dealing with senior colleagues
  • Being out of your comfort zone can make you experience a ‘shutdown’ (you stop speaking and withdraw into yourself)
When you get stuck in an English hole, it's difficult to pull yourself out without help.
For many students, getting out of their confidence hole is impossible without a helping hand.

Here’s the truth…

Confident English speaking skills are not absorbed by listening to native speakers, being on English soil or by speaking English in your job. To feel good about your English, you actively need to push the bounds of your comfort zone by practising, speaking aloud and interacting in a wide range of unfamiliar situations. Unless you can do this, nothing will change and you will stay stuck where you are.

Having good English pronunciation is important, but sometimes students pursue this goal in an imbalanced way, which leads to increased perfectionism, heightened anxiety and making more mistakes! The training methods of other teachers will instruct you to get either accurate or flowing English speech, but never both of them together.

Balancing the two kinds of speech practice is what makes the Speak Well method different and more effective at building English speaking confidence.

Solution: improving the accuracy and flow of your English by following my balanced training method fills you with confidence, and makes expanding your English comfort zone easy. ✔︎✔︎✔︎

Introducing ‘British Accent Training’, a course that grows your confidence and skill to shine when speaking English 🌟

What will I Learn?

✔︎ You will learn small details about pronunciation to improve accuracy.

✔︎ You will practise the music of English to improve flow.

✔︎ You will build skill through doing challenging speech training exercises.

How will I learn?

▶︎ This is an interactive group class that is happening on Zoom.

▶︎ You will learn in a supportive and motivating group class environment.

▶︎ You will get personal feedback and guidance from Jade to improve your speaking.

▶︎ You will expand your English comfort zone by actively participating in the class.

▶︎ You will get a video version of the course to keep forever.

▶︎ This is a small group class for a limited number of students.

Are You Suitable to Join this Course?

If you are able to understand me speaking in my YouTube videos, then your English level is good enough to join this course.

How much Commitment and Time Does this Course Require?

This course requires 1 hour and 15 minutes of your time each week for 10 weeks. This means all you need to do is show up and we will do the work together in the class. Therefore, this course is especially good for students who need the extra motivation that joining a group class provides.

When you feel calm and relaxed, speaking English is much easier. That’s why we learn in a fun and stress-free way in this course. It is very important to me as your teacher that your learning should always be interesting and enjoyable for you.

Important Course Details…

Every Wednesday evening @ 7.15pm – 8.30pm UK for 10 weeks

*First 15 minutes is optional arrival and socialising time.

Start date: 12th May 2021

End date: 14th July 2021

Cost of training: £399

Places limited to 15 students

Speak Well Student Case Studies

🎓🇮🇹 Christina, a lab technician living in the UK: Christina’s accent made her feel excluded and provoked people to ask her the irritating question, ‘where are you from?’ The loss of confidence this caused made speaking English get harder and harder in any situation where it wasn’t absolutely necessary. Following my teachings gave Christina the support, skill and strength that she needed to turn her situation around. Her best result was being able to engage in friendly chitchat with people she didn’t know, which in turn made her feel more at home in the UK.

🎓🇫🇷 Mathieu, a television executive living in France: Mathieu was disappointed with his performance in English because a central part of his personality was missing. He frequently interacted with English native speakers in meetings and social events, but instead of shining around them, he turned into a passive listener, especially in group situations. His best result from following my teachings was that dinner parties at which English was spoken stopped being torturous and/or boring because he was now skilfully and confidently able to join the conversation.

🎓🇯🇵 Hikaru, an executive living in Japan: Hikaru’s stiff manner made conversations with his international colleagues end abruptly and awkwardly. By following the Speak Well method, he learnt to speak English in a more natural manner. Instead of fishing for words in every conversation, they soon began to arise effortlessly for him. The more relaxed impression he made enabled him to keep conversations flowing, and he began to feel calm when speaking English.

🎓🇵🇱 Pavel, web developer living in the UK: Pavel’s five years living in England knocked his confidence and made his world small, due to a few bad experiences in which his English was mocked. Practising the Speak Well method made him become more open to life; he even joined a photography club because of feeling better about his speaking.

End of Course Description

Hello Students!

Today I am going to explore whether there is a standard correct pronunciation of a word. You will find out if you need to be worried about mispronouncing English words.

More from Jade Joddle

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Is There a Correct Way to Pronounce English Words?

Today I will be delving into if there is a standard correct pronunciation of a word and whether we should be concerned with mispronunciations.

On the one hand we know there is a standard pronunciation for words because quite simply that is what you will see when you look in a dictionary.

However, on the other hand it may well depend on the dictionary that you are looking in. For example, we know there are differences between American English and British English. Additionally, if you check the same word in the British, Oxford and Cambridge dictionaries, in some cases, you will still find different pronunciations.

You may also find that you and those close around you pronounce words a certain way, only to discover this is not how either dictionary suggests the word should be pronounced. Does that mean it is incorrect?

Mispronunciation of English Words: Does It Really Matter?

Whether it matters to mispronounce words depends on the situation you are in and what your needs are regarding English. As a teacher, I do like the notion of there being a standard correct pronunciation of a word. We should strive towards an ideal form of a word.

But who decides on the ideal form? That is a different matter, but let’s say if a few dictionaries agree on the correct pronunciation of a word, nine times out of 10, I’m going to go with what they say. Depending on the situation I may even adapt my own pronunciation, but I don’t advise this for everyone.  I’m just a pronunciation geek!

You may adapt your pronunciation according to the context. So, if you’re in a posh, formal or business situation, you may want to use the ideal form of a word, the dictionary form. But, otherwise, in a relaxed context, where you are just being yourself, you may wish to knowingly pronounce a word in a different way, which is just normal for you in your accent.

What Impact Does Accent Have on Incorrect Pronunciation?

When you consider the variety of different English accents, the question of whether there is a correct pronunciation of words becomes a bit of a hot potato. People have strong opinions on this because they will say there should not be an ideal form of how a word is pronounced due to the many different accents that exist. The way a person says a word is going to depend on their accent.

aying there is a correct way to pronounce words is a 'hot potato' subject. A 'hot potato' subject.
Saying there is a correct way to pronounce words is a ‘hot potato’ subject. A ‘hot potato’ subject is one that people have strong views about and often refuse to discuss.

While this may be true, I believe there is such a thing as an ideal form of language. Knowing the rules and using the rules is a kind of discipline, so it takes a lot of training to get there. It is a skill and you have to work for it.

So, yes, there is what we can call a standard or correct form and usually that’s a good form for students to pronounce. But if for any other reason, such as you don’t have that accent or you are not interested in the specifics of pronunciation, it doesn’t really matter.

My view is, as a lover of language, reading, words, I like to say words in their ideal form. That is why in my lessons I always teach you the standard British pronunciation of a word. But where relevant, I will include other variants such as the posh English pronunciation or American English pronunciation of a word.

The Oxford English Dictionary View on the ‘Correctness’ of Pronunciation

Finally, I will give the last word on the topic of ‘correctness’ in English pronunciation to the the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). They state that the dictionary is “is not concerned with prescribing the correct way to pronounce English words”, but rather that it includes the form a word that is the:

most widely acceptable, as well as most intelligible to native British English speakers and to which the speech of very many of them will in turn approximate closely.”

Oxford English Dictionary OED

Extend Your Learning

◼️ Watch my lesson on How to Pronounce ‘Garage’

◼️ Watch my lesson on Pronouncing t’s in English | The Glottal Stop

Want to speak clear and confident English? ▶︎ https://clearaccent.co.uk  ✔︎

Letter ‘s’ Pronounced as /z/: Practice your Pronunciation

In this lesson, we will learn words with a /z/ sound that are spelt with the letter ‘s’. This lesson is Part Two of Two lessons on the /z/ sound. Listen to Part One.

Here’s a surprising fact: /z/ spelt as ‘s’ is the most common spelling for the /z/ sound.

Before we begin, let’s compare /z/ and /s/. The two sounds are similar because:

/z/ and /s/ are both sibilant sounds(hissing sounds)

What is the difference between the two sounds?

/z/ is a voiced consonant (you hear vibrations coming from the throat)

/s/ is an unvoiced consonant (you hear the sound of air being forced out)

There is also a difference in the manner of articulation between /z/ and /s/. When I pronounce a /z/ sound, the tip of my tongue is down behind my front teeth. In contrast, when I pronounce a /s/ sound, the tip of my tongue points up behind the front teeth, leaving a small gap for air to pass through.

Pronounce /z/

Note on the audio: if you listen closely to the audio examples in this lesson, you will hear that a /z/ at the end of a word sometimes doesn’t like a pure /z/ sound because a small lispy or aspirated sound of air passing out can be heard. This is due /z/ at the end of a word is devoiced. It means the vibrations in the sound are not as strong as when it is a at the beginning of a word.

Now practise your pronunciation with the individual words and example phrases below. Place close attention to your articulation and repeat-after-me as clearly as possible:

Practice /z/ Spelt with ‘s’: Some Examples from the Lesson Recording

Note: the /z/ sounds are in bold in the examples below…

as: as red as a rose

has: has he got his ham sandwiches

those: whose beads are those?

wise: as wise as a wizard

diagnose: doctors diagnose diseases

Want to speak clear and confident English? ▶︎ https://clearaccent.co.uk  ✔︎

Connected speech is what allows native speakers to speak fast. In today’s English pronunciation lesson, we’ll look at how when native speakers are relaxed and talking fast, individual sounds in a sentence may change completely. This happens because our tongues naturally want to say everything the laziest way possible!

I’ll give you plenty of examples of the sounds in words changing when spoken quickly and I’ll also teach you some IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet). We’ll also practice speaking with the right intonation when asking questions, as this is really important not only to convey the right meaning, but also to get the correct rhythm in your speech. In under 15 minutes, you will be able to start sounding more like a native English speaker.

What is Connected Speech?

Connected speech means that when we speak English, the words have some effect on each other. We do not always pronounce words completely separately with a tidy space between them. In fact, many words affect each other when you put them into phrases and sentences. The end sound of one word often affects the beginning of the next word.

Learning connected speech is important because it enables you to connect your words more smoothly. Another bonus is that it will allow you to understand native English speakers much more easily.

Practise Connected Speech in Question Phrases

Read the ‘sounds like’ interpreted spelling to practise connected speech. Focus on your pronunciation and repeat-after-me the example question phrases in the lesson video.

Example Question Phrases from The Lesson

When’s he coming?

When did you meet?

When do you go home?

What’s going on?

What’s his name?

What do you think?

What do you do?

What do you want to do?

More Lessons on Connected Speech

I also made two other videos about how to pronounce ‘do’ and ‘did’ question phrases.

◼️ Watch the ‘Speed up your English‘ lesson.

◼️ Watch the ‘Speak Fast Like a Native Speaker‘ lesson.

Want to speak clear and confident English? ▶︎ https://clearaccent.co.uk