How to Pronounce ‘INTERESTING’

How to Pronounce 'Interesting'

VIDEO BLOG! How do you say the word ‘interesting’? You’ve probably heard several different pronunciations of this word. Watch this video as I explain the many different acceptable pronunciations of the word ‘INTERESTING’. It’s a quite interesting video! Check it out! :-)

Let me know in the comments how YOU normally say ‘interesting’.


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How to Pronounce ‘REFRIGERATOR’

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image27128621

VIDEO BLOG! Today’s word, ‘refrigerator’, is a special request from Bollette Joergensen in Denmark, and let me tell you, Bollette, you are definitely not the first person to ask me about this word. I think people just get intimidated by this word because it’s so long. Let’s take a closer look at ‘refrigerator’.


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3 Ways to Overcome Your Fear of Speaking English

fight the fear

VIDEO BLOG! Do you fear speaking English? Do you feel like people don’t really know you when you speak English? Do you stay quiet because you want to avoid the embarrassment of making mistakes? You’re not alone. In this video I’ll share three tips with you to overcome your fear of speaking English. These are the tips that I personally have used to overcome my own fears when I’ve been speaking foreign languages.


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What’s with all these new videos?

VIDEO BLOG!
You might have noticed a few new videos popping up on this site! I have officially joined the video revolution, and will be creating TONS of videos for you.
The main reason I’m doing this is because YOU asked for it! I have had so many emails saying “Heather, we love the audio course, but we want to SEE you! It’s great to listen, but we want to watch your mouth move and see you in action!”
So here I am. I hope that these videos will be really helpful for you.


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How to Pronounce ‘Heather’

How to Pronounce 'Heather'

VIDEO BLOG This is one word I know pretty well, and it is one of the most common pronunciations people ask me about. How ironic that a speech specialist has one of the hardest names in the world to pronounce! The ‘th’ sound is tough for just about all non-native speakers, and the final ‘r’ can also cause problems for some. And why is the ‘ea’ pronounced as a short ‘e’ and not a long one like ‘heat’? Yes, I know it’s challenging, but here’s a short video telling you a little bit more about my name, Heather, and how to say it. I actually forgot to mention the funniest story about my name in the video. My husband and I took a short trip   Read More


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How do I pronounce new words correctly?

Reading & Listening to Improve Pronunciation

This is probably the most common question I’m asked by my clients, and one of the hardest to answer. It’s a frustrating problem for learners because even if you learn how to articulate every English sound correctly, you still won’t necessarily pronounce an entire word correctly on the first try. You need to know which letters make which sounds, and unfortunately in English, certain combinations of letters can make a number of different sounds. My answer to this question used to be to “look it up”. In other words, go to an online dictionary like dictionary.com and press the little speaker icon to hear the word pronounced. I grew up with my mom saying this to me, and I think this answer bugged my clients   Read More


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I don’t have an accent. Do you?

Do you have an accent?

Growing up in California, I didn’t give much thought to the way that I spoke. I sounded the same as everyone else. I sounded just like my parents, teachers and friends. Sure, I’d sometimes hear accents on TV, but I didn’t have a lot of contact with people who sounded much different than me. It wasn’t until I became a teenager that I began to really notice differences in how people speak. I went to the national speech & debate tournament in Minnesota, and it was quite a wake-up call. I couldn’t believe how many kids from other parts of the United States had accents! There were our hosts the Minnesotans, the Texans, the New Yorkers, and my very favorite, that kid from Boston who   Read More


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Pronunciation Practice: Reading Children’s Books

Pronunciation Practice - Children's books

When I was learning Danish I was excited to discover a treasure trove of dusty children’s books in the back corner of my in-laws’ closet. They were familiar stories that I remembered from childhood, and my husband and I quickly developed an evening ritual of reading the books together. He would read one page as I would focus on how he spoke the language. Then I would do my best to read the next page while he corrected my pronunciation. 9 years later, I now sit with my 3-year-old daughter reading her books in English while my husband reads to her in Danish. She has her favorite 3 books which get read over and over again to the point that she now has them memorized.   Read More


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Speaking rate – How fast is too fast?

Speaking Rate - How fast is too fast?

I’m often asked whether how quickly we speak influences how well others understand us. If you speak clearly, speed shouldn’t be the reason why people misunderstand. But the problem is, as you speed up, it gets harder for you to speak clearly. If you drop your word endings and everything mumbles together, people might have a hard time understanding you. But, if you’re able to maintain crisp enunciation despite your quick pace, your listeners shouldn’t have a problem. More important than your speed is how you choose to group (or ‘chunk’) your words. Make sure that your pauses, no matter how short, are in logical places. You should pause according to your punctuation, after phrases and clauses or in order to emphasize important points. So   Read More


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938LIVE’s A Slice of Life Interview

Heather & Eugene 938LIVE

Today I had the great pleasure of speaking with Eugene Loh on his radio program, A Slice of Life, on Singapore’s talk radio station, 938LIVE. We had a wonderful discussion about a lot of pronunciation issues, including the difference between accent and clarity, why modelling a native accent is illogical, if not impossible, what we should focus on when it comes to speaking English clearly, why your pronunciation matters, plus some real examples of pronunciation gone wrong. It seems like common sense that International English would be used and accepted in international circles, yet still, we strive to achieve a native-English norm. Why is this happening? Click on the link below to hear my thoughts (approx. 23 min). Slice of Life Interview What do you   Read More


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