When speaking English, and accent is nothing to be ashamed of…
Many Lingoloop students come to us asking if they can change or lose their accent. They dream of speaking like a native speaker.
We understand how frustrating it can be to feel like your accent is getting in the way. We all want to be understood. However, it’s important to reframe how we think about accents. Your accent is a part of your heritage. It is a part of your history and identity.
We can help you improve your pronunciation, but our goal is not to completely remove your accent.
Teacher Tiffany believe it’s all about changing your mindset:
Are you struggling to be understood?
We would love to help you improve your English! If your pronunciation is getting in the way of people understanding you, give Lingoloop a try.
Most of the students that find us want one thing… to speak English fluently.
They want to feel good speaking English for work. They want to make presentations confidently. Contribute to team meetings in English without stress. Talk with their customers freely.
They want to speak English for social reasons. Some of our students are at University and want to make new friends. Or maybe they are recent immigrants to the US or Canada and want to speak with their neighbors.
Some of our students just want to feel good using English for the basics. Speaking with their doctor… or asking questions at a store.
The hidden secret to speaking English fluently…
So what’s the secret?
Well, in all honesty there’s not one special secret that is the key to unlocking English fluency. However in our opinion, there is one area that is oftentimes overlooked when it comes to English instruction.
So simple right? Knowing the right thing to say to someone in a conversation depends very much on what you think someone is saying to you.
At Lingoloop, even though our marketing slogan is “Feel Good Speaking English,” we don’t want our students to be just great speakers… we want them to be great communicators. Speaking is just 50% of communication. Clearly listening is the other half.
Our method is designed to make you a better communicator and a big part of that is to listen mindfully. Here is a short list of things you can do to improve your English language listening:
Of course you can practice your speaking and listening with a Lingoloop teacher online.
Practicing with our expert teachers you will feel like you are in a real conversation. Not just repeating sentences from a book or lecture. We don’t do “repeat after me… “ Our expert teachers are really talented (check out the video below!).
Don’t believe us? Read our customer reviews… or better yet, sign up for a free trial class to experience it yourself. Thanks for your time!
Learning a language is hard. There are ups and downs, good days and bad, waves of confidence followed by times when you feel like you can’t get your singulars and plurals straight. As a learner you are constantly made aware of your mistakes, being corrected on wrong tense, word choice and faulty pronunciation. We often focus solely on what we’re doing wrong and seldom on what we’re doing right.
But what is the point of learning a language if we don’t acknowledge the successes? Recognizing the triumphs is just as important as noticing the failures.
Our student success stories!
Here are some success stories from real Lingoloop students to inspire and motivate you to get to your next big ‘ah-ha’ moment.
Alexandra from Los Angeles improved her communication skills through Lingoloop classes and went into her auditions with more confidence than ever before after softening her accent.
Amrita from New York was able to nail her job interview and started working as a daycare assistant after just a few weeks of Lingoloop classes.
Daniela from Toronto gained a better understanding about the different verb tenses and how to properly phrase her work emails.
Meng from Montreal learned to accept her mistakes as learning opportunities. She also learned to not let the fear of making mistakes prevent her from talking in English.
Simon from Orange County learned about American culture from his North American Lingoloop teachers. He uses this knowledge to help in his reporting job that focuses on the American perspective.
Sandra from Sao Paulo was introduced to several tricks to improve her pronunciation including fun exercises such as tongue twisters!
Steve from Mexico City used his individual Lingoloop classes to focus on phrases for the workplace and learned how to perfectly express his opinion during meetings with colleagues.
Young from Vancouver was able to communicate more clearly with his friends and neighbors in his running group after finding his voice in Lingoloop classes.
Jenny from San Francisco used her Lingoloop class time to edit a speech that she gave in front of hundreds of students after graduating with her Masters degree.
Eric from Houston worked on the delivery of his work presentation. His Lingoloop teacher helped him prepare in the days leading up to his talk with his coworkers.
So ask yourself today, ‘What am I doing right in English?’ and celebrate those achievements. If you want to aim toward success, sign up for a free trial class and learn with our awesome, qualified teachers who will have you feeling like a fearless English speaker in no time.
A tongue twister is a sequence of words that use repeated sounds. Even the most eloquent native English speakers can stumble on their words when they try to say tongue twisters quickly. Sometimes repeated sounds are alternated to add to the challenge.
What is the #tonguetwisterchallenge?
Lingoloop is excited to announce the #tonguetwisterchallenge! Tongue twisters are such a fun way to build the muscles in your mouth that you need to make the sounds of the English language. It helps a lot to listen to yourself say the sounds.
So…LingoLoop Teacher Jackie challenges you to record yourself saying these tongue twisters. You can share your videos on social media with the hashtags: #tonguetwisterchallenge and #lingoloop, or you can send them to your favorite LingoLoop tutor.
Can you say these tongue twisters?
Challenge Level 1 – /R/
Reading alone allows you to really relax.
Challenge Level 2 – /R/ + /L/
Friendly Larry laughs loudly all around the little farm.
If English is not your first language, fine tuning your accent and pronunciation can be tricky business. Our mouths develop the muscle memory from our native languages, so it can help to practice your English pronunciation just like you would for a sport. Building the muscles in your mouth that make sounds can help you speak more naturally. Let’s start with the basic building blocks of most words: the Consonants!
Improve your pronunciation of the Consonants
Watch the Consonants video closely, paying special attention to Kelly’s mouth as she says the letter sounds and words. Then, try saying the sounds yourself. Record yourself saying the sound, and listen to it. How close are you to the proper English pronunciation?
Below is a breakdown of the sounds, and some words to practice.
advanced practice words
/b/ is a short sound that pops. Both lips come together to make this sound.
/k/ is a short sound that pops.The tongue moves toward the top of the mouth to make this sound.
The letter c can also make the /s/ sound, like in city or cycle.
/d/ is a short sound that pops. The tongue moves toward the top of the mouth behind the teeth to make this sound.
/f/ is a sound made by pushing air through the front of the mouth. The bottom lip comes together with the top teeth.
/g/ is a short sound that pops.The back of the tongue moves toward the back of the mouth to make this sound.
/h/ is a sound made by pushing air through the front of your mouth. Air passes through the mouth to make this sound. The tongue, lips and teeth do nothing.
/j/ is a short sound made by the tongue touching the top of the mouth behind the teeth and releasing air slowly. The tongue touches the top of the mouth toward the back to make this sound.
/k/ is a short sound that pops. The tongue moves toward the top of the mouth to make this sound.
/l/ is a sound that can be sustained. The tongue moves toward the top of the mouth behind the teeth to make this sound.
/m/ is a sound made by air going through the nose. Both lips come together to make this sound
/n/ is a sound made by air going through the nose.The tongue moves toward the top of the mouth behind the teeth to make this sound.
/p/ is a short sound that pops. Both lips come together to make this sound.
The letter q does not make it’s own sound. When combined with the letter u it makes the /kw/ sound.
/r/ is a sound that can be sustained. The tongue touches the top of the mouth toward the back to make this sound.
/s/ is a sound made by pushing air through the front of your mouth. The tongue moves toward the top of the mouth behind the teeth to make this sound.
/t/ is a short sound that pops.The tongue moves toward the top of the mouth behind the teeth to make this sound.
/v/ is a sound made by pushing air through the front of your mouth. The lip and teeth come together to make this sound.
/w/ is a sound that can be sustained. Both lips come together to make this sound.
The letter x does not make its own sound. It usually comes at the end of a word and makes the /ks/ sound).
/y / is a sound that can be sustained. The tongue moves toward the top of the mouth to make this sound.
/z / is a sound made by pushing air through the front of your mouth. The tongue moves toward the top of the mouth behind the teeth to make this sound.
Have you practiced all the sounds? Great! Now try applying what you’ve learned in real life. Practice speaking with a friend or use your English out in the world. Do you need more help? Practicing real English conversations with our Lingoloop expert tutors online is going to improve your skills and boost your confidence quickly. Sign up for a free trial class today!
Want to speak English like an American? Focus on the Letter ‘T.’
Students often approach us with a goal to speak English confidently and/or reduce their accent. They want to speak English like an American. The truth is, this goal takes time, focused practice, and plenty of experience listening to and using English. There are, however, a few expert tips that can go a long way toward improving your pronunciation.
Such is the case with pronouncing the letter ‘T’. Here are some tips for pronouncing this letter like a native speaker to make you feel good speaking English.
The General “T” sound:
Flatten the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth just behind your two front teeth. Create a bowl-shaped seal using the sides of your tongue to trap the pocket of air inside your mouth. Release this puff of trapped air by pushing it to the front and then releasing the tip of your tongue from behind your two front teeth, pushing the air forward. This should create a “tuh” sound. Depending on the vowel that comes after this sound, it may sound like “tah,” “teh,” “tee,” “tih,” “toh,” “tuh,” or “too”. This is the basic “T” sound, and it usually occurs at the beginning of a word.
Here are some examples for you to practice:
…Did you Know?
But did you know that native speakers often do not make the standard “T” sound? If you want to speak English confidently, you should be aware of these other sounds “T” can make:
When “T” Changes to “D”
When the letter ‘T’ comes between two vowels, or between a vowel and the letter ‘L’ or ‘R,’ it makes a quick, soft “D” sound. Although in the mouth the “D” sound is formed exactly like the “T” sound, the key difference is that you use your voice for the “D” sound, but you do not use your voice for the “T” sound. You can notice this difference by placing your hand on your throat and practicing each sound: “Duh” and “Tuh”. You should feel vibration in your throat for the letter ‘D,’ but no vibration for the standard “T” sound.
Here are some examples of T’s that are actually pronounced as D’s:
Hint: This is a key difference between the American and British accents!
When “T” stops air behind the teeth.
When “T” comes at the end of a word (and the next word does not begin with a vowel), a native speaker puts his/her tongue right behind the front teeth to form the “T” sound, but simply stops the air without releasing it to make any sound.
Here are some examples of Stop T’s:
When “T” stops air in the throat
Have you ever noticed that Americans seem to sometimes “swallow” the letter ‘T’? This is called a “glottal stop,” and it basically means that the speaker abruptly stops his/her voice in the throat.
Below are some examples of Glottal (throat) Stop T’s:
When “T” simply disappears.
If you thought some of the pronunciations above seemed strange, wait until you hear this one: In some cases, especially when the speaker is talking quickly, the “T” sound disappears entirely. This often happens when the “T” comes right after “N” .
Here are some examples of T’s that are sometimes not heard at all:
Speak like an American native.
If your aim is accent reduction, focusing on your “T” sounds is a great place to start. This will not only help you to feel good speaking English, but will also help to improve your listening skills, since you will be able to recognize words with “T” in them even though you don’t hear the standard “T” sound.
…And there are native speakers of English here on Lingoloop to help you learn to speak English like a pro! Click here to register for a FREE TRIAL CLASS!
Can you tell the difference between reading ‘I’m starving’ and ‘I’m ehstarving?’
What if you were to hear it? Do you think you could you tell the difference then?
This is a pronunciation error that repeatedly comes up for Spanish speakers learning English.
It’s hard to consistently use letters in English differently than how you’ve been using them your whole life in Spanish– and it’s nearly impossible when you can’t pinpoint these errors.
Below we outline some common mistakes for Spanish speakers, from Madrid to Monterrey, and tips on how to smooth out your speech.
Words Beginning With ‘S’:
‘I am from Spain’ vs ‘I am from Ehspain’ ; ‘I’m starving’ vs ‘I’m ehstarving’
Cause of error: As many words in Spanish begin with ‘es’, Spanish speakers sometimes unconsciously use the ‘eh’ sound before English words beginning with ‘s’ .
Practice saying words beginning with ‘s’ by emphasising the ‘sss’ sound.
Practice running the previous word into the ‘s’ word: ‘I’mssstarving’- Leave no room to come up for air in between the two words.
With practice, you can shorten this ‘sss’ sound until it sounds natural.
The ‘Y’ Sound
‘I was there last year’ vs ‘I was there last jear’
Cause of error: Transferring from some dialects of the Latin American Spanish ‘y’ sound (also the English ‘j’ sound), to the English ‘y’ sound.
Helpful tip: Remember ‘y’ in English is a soft sound, made primarily using your lips.
Compare this to the ‘y’ sound in Latin American Spanish (Example: ‘Yo’) – here it is a sound made primarily with your tongue.
‘I love the mountay-ns’ vs ‘I love the mountains’, ‘Let’s get a drink at the fountay-n’ vs ‘Let’s get a drink at the fountain’
Cause of error: This is a tricky one– English pronunciation loves to twist and turn: some words in English have ‘silent vowels’. These are vowels and vowel combinations that don’t necessarily follow regular pronunciation rules. This is a very common error for Spanish speakers, as in Spanish nearly every letter is always pronounced.
Helpful tip: Words like ‘mountain’ and ‘fountain’ are pronounced more like ‘moun-tin’ ’ , and ‘foun-tin’
We do not pronounce the ‘a’, nor over pronounce the ‘i’. It’s a soft vowel sound.
But English loves to confuse: There are many other words ending with ‘ain’ (abstain, pain, refrain) which do not follow this soft vowel rule: which need full pronunciation of all vowels.
Cause of error: Over-pronunciation of the ‘h’: Directly transferring the ‘j: jota’ sound from Spanish to the ‘h’ sound in English.
Helpful tip: The ‘h’ in English is often very soft. Instead of the ‘h’ sound coming all the way from the back of your throat, concentrate on the sound coming from the middle of your tongue.
It’s the subtle common errors that make the difference between being perceived as an advanced English speaker, or as a Spanish speaker learning English. Book a lesson today with LingoLoop to get tailored tutoring in English pronunciation!