Tag Archives: pronunciation

Two Superb Sites to Practise Pronunciation by Reading Along

In this post, I want to share with you two superb sites that can help you improve pronunciation by reading along.


By asking students to repeatedly read a selected text or story while simultaneously listening to a text or a story, you can help them

  • improve reading fluency
  • improve pronunciation
  • improve automatic word recognition

1. The first site Listen A Minute.com is one I have been using for years. Here you can find alphabetically-listed topic- based activities  from  Airports and Harry Potter to Zoos.You don’t even need to register. It’s completely free!! Choose a topic and read along. One minute a day… that’s all they are asking and in return… you’ll be passing your listening/speaking tests with flying colours.

2. The second site I want to share with you is a youtube channel called Learn English Through Story ,where short stories at various levels are read at a slow pace to further improve reading and listening skills in English. There are 7 levels. Choose the one that fits your level best. Visit youtube and write  Learn English through Story on the search box.


  • Pick a topic or a story
  • Set a  timer for one minute, and read the article/ story aloud until the timer goes off.
  • Read aloud the same passage  three times or until you feel confident.
  • Remember that the aim is to read along, not just to listen.
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Most Common Pronunciation Mistakes Heard in Oral Exams

Even for the most confident students  taking an oral exam can be quite stressful. Twice a year, in June and September,  I  assess students’ speaking abilities acting  as both an interlocutor asking questions and interacting with students, or an assessor listening to students’ performance.

It was while acting as an assessor that I  decided to write down the most common pronunciation  mistakes students make  with the intention of  going over them ,with my own students, at the very beginning of the course.

I  have created a quiz with, what I hope, will be the last I see of these pronunciation mistakes. I hope you find it useful!

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Phonetizer: an online free tool to help you improve pronunciation

One of the most difficult things about learning a language is its phonetics. Unlike other languages that have pronunciation rules, the English language has very few pronunciation rules and lots of exceptions. Knowing the International Phonetic Alphabet can help you pronounce words correctly.
Phonetizer is a little tool that transcribes English texts into the International Phonetic Alphabet. Phonetizer is very easy to use. It has two panels: in the first one, you write or paste the text and  then click “Transcribe” and in the second panel you will get the transcription. In this second panel you can also select a word or a phrase and click “Speak” for the software to read your selected words or phrases.


Wanna have a laugh? Try to guess the answers to these jokes. They are written with phonetic symbols using the International Phonetic Alphabet. (answers below)








1. Nothing. It just waved!

2. Because he had no body to go with.

3. Because it had a virus.

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Did you Know….Aged?

Did you know that the word “aged” has two different pronunciations?


1.It’s pronounced /eidʒd/ when it means “years old” or when it is the verb in its past or past participle form

♥a woman aged 40

♥she has a son aged eleven

2. It’s pronounced /ˈeɪdʒɪd/ when it is the adjective (formal)

♥an aged professor

♥ my aged computer is very slow

Also : The aged in this country need more services. /ˈeɪdʒɪd/ = very old people

Hope it helps! Keep posted!

Common Errors 3: Pronunciation and Grammar Errors

This is a quick post written on a Friday afternoon!

I promised I ‘d be with you every step of the way and here I am again, with a new post on common errors I have been hearing these days during tests.

The thing is I am totally sure  most of the students I interview, don’t normally have these mistakes and though I am well aware oral exams can be  really intimidating for some students the truth is that, unfortunately, there are some mistakes you cannot make when trying to get a  degree for a certain level and being nervous is a poor excuse.

Please, make sure, but really sure 🙂 you don’t have these mistakes because they are really important. For example, make sure you know how to pronounce “man”  ( I’ve been hearing ” a men” ) or the word “nervous” that you use so often at the beginning of the exam.

Check their pronunciations here

Everybody makes mistakes  and it is OK to correct them. So, if you feel you have made a mistake, don’t be afraid to correct it. Native speakers do it all the time.

But please, double check you do not make these mistakes .(grammar input below the image)

1.”People ” is plural and  takes a plural verb

2.Here and here (exercise here)

3. After an adjective , you need to use the verb in the infinitive form

It is easier to make mistakes

It is important to learn English

4. ” news” is uncountable , you need the partitive “a piece of”  or “some”

Some good news / a piece of good news

5. “hair” is uncountable , therefore you cannot say “a hair” ( unless it is in the soup 🙂

6. Difference between used to and usually  here (exercise here)

7. Other/Another . Grammar here, Exercise here

Also, check the difference between fun and funny 

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