The speech accent archive

Posted by on May 14, 2013 in Speaking |

The speech accent archive is a project run by Stephen H. Weinberger at the George Mason University Program of Linguistics.  He and his colleagues and students have collected and phonetically transcribed hundreds of speech samples from English native speakers and learners from around the world.  Everyone reads the same short script so you can really hear the differences in accent!  It’s a fun way to travel around the world, linguistically!  Below you can see the map of speakers in Europe, click the image to go to the...

Read More

Learning can be inspriational

Posted by on Mar 11, 2013 in Listening, Videos |

TED is an incredible organization that brings some of the most intelligent and passionate people in the world together to give lectures and inspire the rest of us with their ideas.  They also have subtitles in many languages and an excellent interactive transcript tool for every video.  For a taste of the amazing minds who participate in TED lectures, watch neurologist Vilayanur Ramachandran talk about some very unusual things he has discovered while studying the brain, or watch Michael Pritchard explain his invention: a handheld device that can turn contaminated water into safe clean drinking water, something desperately needed by millions of people every single day.  There are hundreds of videos on this site, all with transcripts and each one showing a different genius at...

Read More

Train your accent

Posted by on Mar 11, 2013 in Listening, Speaking, Videos |

It is possible to do some speaking practice alone, especially accent training. Choose a speaker of English who you like, someone who you think has a good accent. Try and find some videos of this person speaking on youtube or on DVD, and take a section that’s about 30 seconds long. Listen carefully to it: pay attention to the speed, the rhythm, the intonation and the pauses. Now go to Vocaroo (or use recording software on your PC) and record yourself saying the same lines. Now listen to yourself! Compare it with the original and record yourself again.  When you think you have a good recording, save it and play it at the same time as the...

Read More

Listen to every kind of British accent

Posted by on Mar 11, 2013 in Listening |

The British Library has a really incredible resource: a map of the United Kingdom that you can click on to hear the accents in different regions.  It’s really remarkable how different they are, even within the same city!  This means that many of the recordings are quite difficult to understand, but sometimes transcripts are provided.

Read More