Why Intonation is So Important: We Communicate Meaning Through Tone of Voice in American English

Ready to start working on your intonation? Let’s talk about the key elements of intonation you need to understand as you learn how to use your pitch and change your tone of voice in order to communicate more effectively in American English. This introduction to intonation will help you understand the following: why intonation matters for clear communication, the most important roles of intonation in American English, and the key elements of intonation you’ll need … Read the article and watch the video lesson

How to Change the Subject or Conversation Topic in English

Imagine this situation: You’re having a great conversation with a person you’ve just met. You’re talking about a topic that both of you are really interested in, and you’re sharing ideas back and forth. You’re both asking great questions and responding with enthusiasm, but then suddenly… silence. This particular conversation topic has come to its natural conclusion. You’ve said all you have to say on this subject. Does that mean the entire conversation is over … Read the article and watch the video lesson

Clarifying What You Mean, Restating Your Ideas, and Explaining Your Thoughts

It happens to all of us. You’re in the middle of a conversation with a friend, colleague, or even a stranger on the street, and you say something that just comes out wrong. Oops! What now? Maybe you used the wrong word or expression. Maybe you lost your train of thought or forgot what you were saying. Maybe you got distracted by something happening around you. Or maybe you just needed a little more time to come up with the words … Read the article and watch the video lesson

How to Pronounce -S and -ES Endings in English (Plurals, Third Person Singular Verbs, Contractions)

Let’s talk about this little letter here: s. When you see it, you should pronounce it like “s,” right? If only English were that simple! In this article and video, we’re going to talk about how to pronounce words ending in -s and -es. There are actually three possible pronunciations of these two endings on plural nouns, third person singular verbs, contractions, and possessives: /s/, /z/, and /ɪz/. The -s suffix and ‘s contraction can … Read the article and watch the video lesson

The Only Way to Improve How You Sound When Speaking English: Trust the Process and Keep Going

“Improving your speaking is like training for sports.” Last year, one of my clients made this very wise observation. You show up almost every single day; you practice drills; you take small, consistent steps; you push yourself to improve a little each day, and over time you make big progress. The same goes for anything you practice: yoga, meditation, painting, drawing, woodworking, writing, photography, cooking, baking, you name it. The list goes on and on. … Read the article and watch the video lesson

Pretty Good or Really Good? How to Use Intensifiers in American English

I’m pretty sure you’re going to find this video really interesting. We’re going to talk about a fairly challenging subject which many non-native speakers find very confusing. If you’re not really that confident using intensifiers like the ones I just mentioned, this lesson will be pretty helpful! In this article and video, we’re going to discuss intensifiers, which are extremely common in everyday, natural speech. We’ll also talk about how to stress intensifiers and how … Read the article and watch the video lesson