Speak English Naturally: My pronunciation secret for difficult words


Hi. I’m Rebecca from engVid. In this lesson you’re going to learn a pronunciation
secret that will help you to say English words more easily and correctly,
especially long, difficult ones. Okay? Now, this is actually a professional technique
that’s used by actors, and singers, and linguists, and lots of people who have learned many different
languages and want to or need to pronounce words correctly and
authentically. Okay? Now, the reason why pronunciation is difficult
for everyone when you’re learning a new language is because when we grow up speaking our
native language, we get used to… Our ears get used to hearing certain sounds, and
our mouths get used to making certain sounds. And when we learn a new language, like English,
then you have to train both your ear and your mouth to work a little
bit differently. Okay? Now, the other part is because English is
not phonetic, it’s not completely phonetic. A large part of it is. Some people say about 80 to 85% is
phonetic, but a lot of it is not phonetic. What does that mean? That means when we see a word, the way
we say it is not the way it looks. Right? So, there’s also that factor
to take into account. But this technique can help you
with both of these difficulties. Okay? So, first let’s look at what we normally do
when you’re learning how to pronounce a word. Okay? So normally what we do is we do something
called frontchaining, and I’m going to explain to you exactly what that is, but what I’m
going to teach you in this lesson, the secret is something called backchaining,
and that’s what we will practice. Now, let’s take our first example and do what people
normally do, even teachers, even ESL teachers. All right? When they’re teaching classrooms, they don’t
normally spend that much time on pronunciation because they don’t have time. There’s so much to teach and the class is so
big, there’s so many students it’s difficult to spend time on pronunciation. So naturally, people have a harder
time learning that and mastering that. And if you think about it, when a child is born
and when a child is growing up, it doesn’t learn to read first, it
just learns by listening. So this is an opportunity to listen afresh,
like new in a different way to words so that you can reproduce the correct
sound, the correct pronunciation. Okay? So let’s take our first example, and our
first example is the word “pronunciation”. Okay? Because by the way, a lot of people
do not say this word correctly. Now, let’s do it in the standard way,
frontchaining, and see what happens. So in frontchaining, we start pronouncing or
saying the word from the front and going forward. So if I did that, if I was teaching you how
to say this word by using frontchaining, I would say to you: “You need to say
it like this: pro-nun-ci-a-tion.” Okay? I’ve divided up here just to make it a little bit
easier for you to see and hear the syllables. Okay? This long word happens to have
five parts, five syllables. Right? So it’s quite long. Pronunciation. So when a student hears that, they’re like: “Oh my
god, I have to learn so many different sounds”, and it’s a little bit scary because there
are five sounds, you know, that have to follow. So, what happens when you feel
scared or nervous about something? Your brain shuts down. You don’t learn as effectively. You don’t learn as well as
when you’re happy and relaxed. So the advantage
of learning in… Through the other system, the other technique
called backchaining is that you feel much more relaxed because when we did it from the
front we had to learn one, two, three, four, five different sounds. But look what happens
when we use backchaining. So, backchaining is a technique that teaches you
how to pronounce words starting from the end. So let’s do that now
and see what happens. So let’s just take this last
syllable, and we can say: “tion”. So all you have to learn right
now is the word “tion”. Not word, part of the word. Next: “ation”. You can repeat it after me. “ation, ciation, ciation,
nunciation, nunciation”. And last: “pronunciation,
pronunciation”. So what happened? When we started to say this word, and especially
if it’s a word that’s really strange, you’ve never heard it, all you had to
learn was one sound, not five. So it’s not scary,
it’s manageable. It’s something you can do, it’s
something you feel relaxed about. We’re breaking down this word
into small, manageable chunks. All right? And whenever something’s small and
manageable, we feel much more relaxed. So your brain is also going to
cooperate with you much more. Okay. So that’s what I did. I basically backchained this
word, “pronunciation” for you. Now, with the next example I’m
going to go one step further. Because as I mentioned, English is not always
phonetic, so what if we backchained, plus we wrote it in a way that actually
is what you supposed to say? So let’s do that. So here’s this word:
“information”. Okay? “In-for-ma-tion”,
four syllables. If we frontchained it,
that’s what you do. But let’s backchain it, and this time I’ve
written it phonetically the way it actually should be said, not
the way it’s spelled. Don’t worry about
how it’s spelled. We’re not teaching
spelling here. We’re teaching pronunciation. So, how does “tion”
actually sound? Because it’s a “t-i-o-n”, right? It sounds something
like this: “sh’n”. “tion”. Okay? So just say: “sh’n, sh’n”. Next: “may-sh’n, may-sh’n”. Good. Next: “fer-may-shen,
fer-may-shen”. Don’t worry about the
spelling changes. “fer-may-shen”. Next: “in-fer-may-shen,
in-fer-may-shen”. Okay? Now, what happened? Yes, there were
spelling changes. Doesn’t matter. Here we’re not… We don’t care about that. We care about: How
does this world…? Word actually sound? So write it in a way that will help you to
say it properly based on what you hear. Now, how do you know how the word
is supposed to be pronounced? Well, you go to a good dictionary, for example
the online, the Cambridge English Dictionary shows you how to pronounce
every single word with a… In a British way and
in an American way. What we teach on engVid is usually the American
way, except for some teachers who are British who teach you the British way. Okay? So here what I’m teaching you
is the American pronunciation. So you can use any
kind of online… Good, reputable
online dictionary. All right? To teach you the correct pronunciation, and
then backchain it like that, and you will end up with a much more
accurate presen-… Pronunciation of the words. Now, you can not only use
this technique for words. You can actually also use it for phrases and
sentences, but I don’t recommend that if you’re doing it by yourself. It’s better if you’re listening to a real
teacher in a live classroom who is a native English speaker, and she… She or he can teach you the correct
intonation and everything. But it is definitely useful
for you to use with words. Let’s try a few more words. You know that this is one of those lessons that’s
going to help you to make a big breakthrough, right? Good. I’m glad you know that. Let’s get started. All right, this word,
frontchaining “February”. Okay? Let’s try it the other
way, through backchaining. Ready? “ree”, say it after me. “air-ree”, “roo-air-ree”,
“Feb-roo-air-ree”. Okay? This actually a word that’s mispronounced
by lots of students because they sometimes say: “Feb-oo-air-ee”. It’s not “Feb-oo-air-ee”,
it’s: “Feb-roo-air-ree”. “ree, air-ree, roo-air-ree,
Feb-roo-air-ree”. Now you’ve got it. Good. Next one: “Wednesday”. Let’s backchain it. Okay? Are you ready? Look how easy it gets when
you actually just listen. Don’t look at the word. Just listen. “Wednesday”. Now let’s backchain it. Ready? “day, Wenz-day”. Do you see how easy it became
when we did the two things? We backchained it, plus
we wrote it phonetically. We wrote what we should
actually be saying. “day, Wenz-day”. Good. Let’s try a third one. “Ambassador”. Let’s backchain it. “der, a-der, bas-a-der,
em-bas-a-der”. Okay? Good. Very good. “Ambassador”. And it doesn’t matter that here
it was being pronounced… Sorry, spelt with an “a”. The actual sound isn’t
“ambassador”, it’s “embasader”, so: “der, ader,
basader, embasader”. You’ve mastered the correct pronunciation
of this word, and many other words that end like that, by the way. Okay? Next: “knowledge”. So many letters, so many useless
letters in terms of our pronunciation. Right? Let’s see what happens when we backchain
it and when we write it phonetically. Are you ready? “lij”. There’s only two parts now. “naw-lij”. There are only two parts, really, to the sound
of this word, the pronunciation of this word. “lij, naw-lij”. Isn’t it much easier? Don’t you find it much more enjoyable
to say this word than this word? I hope so. Okay? “naw-lij”. “lij, naw, naw-lij”. Ready. Okay. “Psychiatrist”, okay? “Psychiatrist”. Again, lots and lots of letters.
Right? And let’s start from the end, but this
time you do it and then I’ll do it. Okay? So, backchain it. Did you get it? Let’s try together: “trist, a-trist,
ky-a-trist, sy-ky-a-trist”. Okay? Excellent. All right? If you were able to backchain these words,
then you could backchain any words. All right? And remember this is a strategy
that’s used by the professionals. The linguists teach it, the actors use this when
they need to act a part and it’s a different pronunciation, they need to play a
British actor or an Australian actor. This is how they master the techniques,
the correct pronunciation. And you can do it, too. So I’m glad, I’m so glad that you watched
this lesson today so you could also save so much time and improve your pronunciation
with a very big breakthrough. Okay? If you enjoyed this lesson and if you have not
already subscribed to my YouTube channel, please do that now so you can continue to get
lots of lessons that will save you probably years of time in terms of
your English learning. All right? And please go to our website, www.engvid.com for
lots and lots of other lessons about everything to do with English,
including pronunciation. Thanks for watching. Bye for now.

100 thoughts on “Speak English Naturally: My pronunciation secret for difficult words”

  1. Hello Rebeca. My name is Altagracia Ureña.
    Thank you learn english most better that before
    Í apritation yours time
    Sirsaly
    Altagracia Ureña.

  2. I appreciate your style. I was told that I have a naturally 'English' r. It's soft. Doesn't roll . 😊no fear, mimic. Kids mimic what they hear… btw. I have done this with my students. At first very many fear…

  3. Woooooow amazing way to correct pronunciation English words ….
    You really made me hopeful to learning correct pronunciation English words …..but
    I don't know where I can find more pronunciation English words that I want to learn by this technique😞

  4. Thanks indeed Madame,
    You are so excellent in teaching
    Best whishes from me and all my students.
    Algiers, Algeria.

  5. ..You are truly an asome teacher I love your lessons, besides your methodology is the best, you are my favorite teacher just keep on doing this we will be always thanksfull to you my dear teacher, I love you, greetings from Loja – Ecuador..

  6. Great lessons, but I find the American pronunciation of many words confusing compared to NZ and Australian english :/

  7. We shouldn’t say “The reason why you’ll find it difficult is …”- cliche. “The reason you”ll find it difficult is …”

  8. tremendous lesson!!! mam honestly say you are a very good teacher. I am beginner but I still following american accent. any mistake by making a sentence please give me a perdon.

  9. Thank you Rebecca to offer a new method to teach pronunciation. Although you have emphasized that it is a pronunciation class so we do not care about the spelling, I sill worry whetehr this way may confuse students when they are trying to memorize the spelling of the words. So do we need to let students learn how to spell first and then learn how to pronunciation. But this idea also sounds weird. I am so confused about that and looking forward to your advice. Thank you a lot.

  10. I would like to know which channel can help me learn Birtish pronunciation. Thank you.
    And Miss Rebecca you teach in the most effective way.

  11. I am a new nurse and it is extremely difficult for me to pronounce medications I get so embarrassed and I have to rehearse before I say it out loud

  12. Thanks l am so happy l watched this. Now I can pronounce words easily when I am reading.😃😃😃😃😃🤩🤩🤩🥳

  13. Hi professor; this is an excellent way of learning pronunciation of words. When I attended school, I was taught to break words into syllables; in order to pronounce them; which are also breaking big words into small words; only that we started from the front of the word. Can backchaining and frontchaining also be called syllables? I await your response and thank you very much!

  14. Even having English as my first language, I still had trouble with spelling because of phonetic but after learning back chaining, it made a million more sense. Thank you!

  15. Hello, I would really appreciate if someone can explain to me how and why is the surname "Powell" is pronounced as "Pal-o", not "Po-Well". Thanks in advance!

  16. Thank you ma'am.I really require to improve English pronunciation effectively.If you could manage some more time to help people like me who lack in correct pronunciation through your awesome videos.

  17. Rebecca. You changed the way I have been learning english. I'm so glad to find your videos. You're so much kind. Thank you!

  18. Thanks so much, the back chaining technic really helped. I was starting to think there was something wrong with me.

  19. I've been watching your videos Ma'am. It's very useful for me and you're such a good teacher. 💕 Lovelots from Philippines. 😘

  20. She is undoubtedly one of the best Teachers I have come across ; she comes to the point straight away with total clarity, makes learning English grammar a pleasure ! Best regards from India

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