Good to see you back for another episode of Speak English with Christina.
If we’re friends on Facebook and Instagram, you’ve probably noticed that I’m in Chicago this week, at a conference for people who work online. (And if we’re not yet friends on those networks, join me! I’m sharing lots of fun photos from the States!)
It also means that I’m talking to lots of Americans, with their American accents! This connects nicely to this week’s episode, because it’s a special interview episode, all about understanding British & American speakers.
MEET CARA, WHO HELPS STUDENTS IMPROVE LISTENING SKILLS
In this special interview episode, you’ll meet Cara Leopold, who teaches listening skills at leo-listening.com. She has a lot of excellent audio exercises on her blog, and I recommend that you check it out.
Like me, Cara also lives in France. But she’s British, which means that her accent is quite different from mine. You’ll hear in the video!
Like Cara says at the end of our conversation, it’s really fun to be able to identify the accents you hear, to say “Oh, he has a British accent” or “She has an American accent.”
If you want to try to hear the difference, try closing your eyes as you listen to us speaking,
UNDERSTANDING BRITISH & AMERICAN SPEAKERS
This is quite a long video, but it will help you to understand some of the differences between British & American accents. Also, you’ll learn lots of specific characteristics about real spoken English, that will help you begin to understand why it’s not always easy to understand native speakers. For example:
- Why you think native speakers speak fast
- The importance of syllable stress for understanding native speakers
- How to catch “squashed” expressions like “I dunno” (I don’t know) and “I shoulda” (I should have)
- Common incorrect English expressions native speakers use, and how to understand them
We also talk about some specific sounds in American and British accents:
- Sounds that change or disappear in American English (like /siddy/ for “city” and /twuhnny/ for “twenty”)
- The funny British “t” sound that doesn’t exist in American English
- The different ways Americans and Brits pronounce the “r” sound
Like I said, this episode is longer than the regular Speak English with Christina lessons, but it’s full of insights that will help you start to understand native speakers better, both Brits and Americans!
WHAT IS THE SERIES “INTERVIEW WITH THE EXPERTS”?
Just like the title says, this series is interviews with other experts in teaching English or American culture. There are many other great teachers out there, and part of my mission is to introduce you to them, so you can learn from them too!
Here are some past interviews with the experts:
- Are you rude in English, with Leandra King, author of The Culture Sensitive Phrasebook
- American Food vs French Food, Part 1 and Part 2, with Estelle Tracy, author of Le Guide de Survie Alimentaire aux Etats-Unis (in French)
- Improving your Pronunciation in English, with Fabien Snauwaert, creator of the program Click & Speak
So grab a cup of coffee (or if you’re like me, green tea), relax, and enjoy these conversations in English, about learning English better.
All the best from Chicago,
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