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Free Speech Lesson

Speech Tip

B and Br for “Brother”- Press Firmly Lips Together and Loud Voice

This is Number 6 in our hierarchical arrangement of American English (AE) pronunciation 2 minute tutorials.  This systematic arrangement is the most efficient and makes accuracy easy in training your brain and mouth to get clear AE speech sounds and words. 

Now we show you the consonant b before the consonant r in the word “brother”.   The critical feature is pressing firmly the lips together and making a strong voice from the vocal folds in your throat for the consonant sound b.  Dr. Johnson also demonstrates the easy way to pronounce the American English consonant sound r.

 Consider doing massed practice.  Studies have shown that whole word memorization  requires an average of  35 repetitions or trials per word.  First imitate Dr. Johnson to get cognitive understanding of how to pronounce the consonants b and consonant blend br and the word.  Some people first imitate the video over and over.   Once they cognitively understand what to do, then they do deliberate practice on their own.  Typically a pause between repetitions happens automatically which gives the brain a moment to plan for the word and to determine if pronunciation was accurate.  Then do mass practice accurately to get to long lasting memory.  Do other practices on the word on upcoming days, distributed practice, which makes the brain muscle memory stronger.

B and CH for “Beach” For Fast and Easy Learning Using Human Brain Info

B and CH for “Beach” For Fast and Easy Learning Using Human Brain Info

This is Number 5 in our series of recommended sequence for fast, easy mastery of American English speech sounds.  The directed instruction is for English consonants B, CH and the word “beach”.

Your brain organizes the production of speech by phonetic feature and by muscle group of the face.

The speech sound for American English B has the phonetic features of being quick and  of having a voice from the vocal folds in your throat and releasing an audible puff of air.  The American English B is pronounced by using the fast twitch muscle fibers of the lips by pressing the lips together and then opening the lips quickly.

For the American English speech sound CH,  the phonetic features are the release of an audible quick puff of air but no voice from the vocal folds in the throat.  The American English CH is pronounced by using the fast twitch muscles fibers of the tip of the tongue by pushing up and pressing the tip of the tongue against the roof or top of the mouth directly behind the top front teeth then bringing the tip of the tongue down quickly.

How do you know if you are doing these accurately in American English?  Answer: if your speech sounds match that of Dr. Antonia Johnson’s production on the video below, you are accurate for American English.  

Information alert:  The pronunciation of those sounds may be different in your first language so pay close attention to the position of the articulators–tongue and lips– the manner which is quick for American English, and the requisite or needed speech sound!

P for “Priority” for Massed and Distributed Practice

This is Number 4 in our series of recommended sequence for fast, easy mastery of American English speech sounds.  The directed instruction is for English consonant P and the word “priority.”

It’s estimated it takes 35 accurate repetitions of a new word to memorize it accurately.  That’s called massed practice. That will get you in to the associative phase of  procedural learning.  Getting to the autonomous phase where the pronunciation is automatic and long term learning is gained through even more accurate pronunciation.  That is best spread out in time,  and is spaced learning or distributed learning or timing.  More information?  http://www.cleartalkmastery.com/blog/2023/05/10/the-endgame-is-procedural-memory/

By practicing different words, you are giving your motor system and motor memory variety so it can p for producing the P sound with the needed tension in the lips and pressing of the lips when the speech sounds preceding and following the target speech sound are different.

That’s why the words I, 3 and 4 in this series all have directed instruction on the video for the English speech sound p—“probably,”  “anticipate,” and “priority. “

Copyright 2023 by Clear Talk Mastery

P for American English and Syllable Pronunciation for Clear Speech

This is our Number 3 in the series of recommended sequence for consonants and vowels.

      Like Number 1 which has the word “probably,” this video also directly instructs for the American English (AE) consonant speech sound P.

       Ninety, 90,  sovereign and non-sovereign entities have English for their official language including India, South Africa, Nigeria, to name a few. (See For more information on “other” Englishes, see http://www.cleartalkmastery.com/blog/2023/03/17/assessment-why-bother/.)   However, the pronunciation for the consonant speech sound P is different in other Englishes than American English. The consonant sound for P in American English has a puff of air after the lips are pressed together.  If  listeners cannot hear that puff of air, they cannot accurately identify it as an American English sound for P.  Instead, they are likely to perceive the AE speech sound for F. 

  To do “clear English speech,”  perceptually enhance or make it very easy to hear the puff of air for AE.  Make the puff of air loud.

 For deliberate pactice here for the consonant sound for P, press your lips together firmly.  That tension or stiffness will make the fast twitch muscles grow bigger, stronger.  For American English proficiency and mastery, you want the stronger fast twitch muscle fibers in your lips.

      Advice for proficiency of AE– practice many times! 

      That’s why I (Antonia Johnson) am posting this recommended sequence of English speech pronunciation video tutorials (also on YouTube)—to help you get lots of deliberate practice.

     English speech proficiency is accuracy in words.  In the Accent Reduction Tip Number 71 below, you get video and audio and direct and guided instruction for the AE consonant sound P for the word “anticipate.”  Plus, you get coached on syllable pronouncing syllables clearly and accurately.  “Clear Speech” is a style or mode of talking where each spoken syllable is clear, not slurred together, so the listener can hear each syllable.  All syllables in English have a meaning.

      Consider doing this video tip speech instruction (about 2 minutes) multiple times.  Aim for AE accuracy each time.  Of course, you are getting accuracy on many speech sounds when you deliberately practice words.  Deliberate practice means your goal is to get better!

K and T English Sounds

We continue our series of recommended sequence for American English consonants and vowels. For practice this is Number 2.

Deliberately practice with this video with the intention of getting better. Don’t do this practice in a mindless manner. Just a couple of minutes.

This SECOND speech tip is our chosen one for systematic learning. It will help the muscle memory in your brain remember the four English consonants that are quick and have NO voice as a group (P, T, K, Ch).

Here’s the English speech sound K (often written as C) and the consonant sound for T.

In American English speech, speech sounds K and T have a loud puff of air.

Deliberately practice this word loudly, especially the consonants.

Deliberately make portions of your tongue stiff and tense— the back of your tongue stiff and tense for the consonant spelled c and pronounced K, and the front tip of your tongue tense and hard for the consonant T.

You get instruction for the American English short vowel A in this speech tutorial. That’s probably the most frequent error for vowels for nonnative-born speakers.