ESL Pronunciation Exercise:  Breakfast (Ben Franklin Exercise)
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In this American English pronunciation video,
we’re going to study American English by looking at a short text. Topic: what I ate for breakfast. I call this a Ben Franklin exercise. This
is when you take very good notes, very detailed notes, on what you’re hearing. And then go
back and try to record yourself based on what you’ve written down, the notes. Did you write
down a flap T, or the way two words link together? After you’ve recorded yourself, compare it
to the original. Did you do everything that you wanted to do? In this video, we’re going
to take notes together. This morning for breakfast, I had Barbara’s
Shredded Oats with milk. This is my favorite breakfast. But sometimes, I do have eggs. So let’s take a look at what’s happening here. This morning for breakfast. One of the first
things I notice is how much this S and M were connected. This morning, this morning. It’s
almost like the S went on the next word: smorning, smorning. This morning. This morning for breakfast.
Did you notice how I pronounced the word ‘for’? That was reduced to ‘fer’, ‘fer’, ‘fer’. Very
quick, with the schwa/R sound. For, for, for breakfast. This morning for breakfast. Also
I notice the rhythm here. Morn- and break- are the two stressed syllables. This morning
for breakfast. They have that swooping up and then down shape of the voice that makes up
a stressed syllable. Let’s listen in slow motion. This morning for breakfast. This morning for breakfast, I had Barbara’s
Shredded Oats with milk. What do you hear as being the stressed syllables?
I hear Barbara’s, Shredded, and milk. What else do you notice? I had Barbara’s Shredded Oats with milk. I
notice that ‘Barbara’s’ is only two syllables, even though it looks like it might be three.
We sort of leave this middle sound out here. Barb-ra’s, -ra’s. Also note this apostrophe
S is the Z sound. That’s because the sound before is voiced, so the apostrophe S is also
voiced. Zzz, zz, -ra’s, -ra’s. Barbara’s. I also notice that the ED ending here is pronounced
as the IH as in ‘sit’ vowel, D sound. That’s because the sound before was a D. ED endings
are among the few cases in American English that follow regular rules. I had Barbara’s Shredded Oats with milk. I notice that the word ‘with’ is not reduced,
but it’s very flat in pitch because it is unstressed. With, with, with. It’s also quite
fast. With milk, with, with, with, with milk. I had Barbara’s Shredded Oats with milk. Let’s listen in slow motion. I had Barbara’s Shredded Oats with milk. I had Barbara’s Shredded Oats with milk. This
is my favorite breakfast. What was stressed in that sentence? I heard fav- and break-.
Also, these three words, ‘this is my’, those were incredibly fast. Listen again. This is my favorite breakfast. So this string of three unstressed words,
this is my [4x]: very fast, and very connected. I also notice that the word ‘favorite’ was
only pronounced with two syllables, as if this letter was dropped. Fav-rit, favorite,
favorite. This is my favorite breakfast. I’m also noticing this T pronunciation. The
final T in ‘favorite’ was pronounced as a stop. Favorite, favorite, favorite breakfast.
So, there was no release, tt, of the T sound. Favorite breakfast. Let’s listen in slow motion. This is my favorite breakfast. This is my favorite breakfast. But sometimes,
I do have eggs. Did you notice the lift here, where the comma
is? But sometimes, I do have eggs. There was just a little pause there for the punctuation.
I also noticed how I stressed the word ‘do’. I do, I do have eggs. But sometimes, I do have eggs. The word ‘eggs’, even though it’s a content
word, a noun, which is usually stressed, doesn’t have that much stress, I notice, because it’s
at the end of a sentence. I do have eggs. Eggs, eggs, with just a little curve up, and
then down in the voice. I do have eggs. Also, the plural ending here, S, is pronounced as
a Z. That’s because the sound before, the G sound, is a voiced consonant. Eggs, eggs.
Let’s listen in slow motion. But sometimes, I do have eggs. But sometimes, I do have eggs. So, just three little sentences. But we really
were able to study a lot about American English pronunciation. Let’s listen once in slow motion. This morning for breakfast, I had Barbara’s
Shredded Oats with milk. This is my favorite breakfast. But sometimes, I do have eggs. I hope this has given you some ideas on how
to take notes and study the speech of native speakers. Do this on your own. Take video
and audio clips that interest you, or that have topics that are important to your field
of work. After you take good notes, record the text yourself, and compare to the original
recording. What do you still need to work on, or what did you do well? This is a great
way to improve your pronunciation. That’s it, and thanks so much
for using Rachel’s English.

45 thoughts on “ESL Pronunciation Exercise: Breakfast (Ben Franklin Exercise)

  1. Thanks a lot for these tips! I was waiting for you to go into details about. NATIVE SPEAKER. linking sound. Is the V sound totally dropped or it changes to a new sound? Thanks.

  2. You're perfect as our teacher Ibrahim Adel said about you . I think need more practice about this video that I watched it .Thank you very much teacher Rachel I hope for my self keep going learning how to pronounce American English accent with you

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  4. Thanks a lot I am enjoy with your teaching really you are my best teacher on YouTube thank you again

  5. Nowadays I can have a little more time to study your incredible Ben franklin´s videos and grab piece by piece that amazing tips you very kindly share with us, I´m very thankful with you and I wish I could afford any of your courses Rachel, but thta´s out of my budget, so I´l keep on checking all the knowledge you share. saludos desde mexico Raquel¡

  6. I made some response videos with the kids I teach. It was amazing. They sound so much better after watching your videos 🙂
    Please check them out on my channel. They'd love your comments ♥

  7. Do u know what its funny? I am going to UK but wanted to learn the american english instead of the uk english.

  8. Thank you Rachel. These Ben Franklin videos are the most useful English teaching videos I've ever seen.
    No doubt you are helping a lot of people.

  9. Hola, estoy estudiando inglés,soy principiante. Y veo que tu canal promete mucho. Espero aprender mucho con vos,saludos desde Guatemala.

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