ESL Pronunciation Exercise:  Where I live (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: where I live. 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. I live in New York City, in Manhattan, currently
in midtown. But I do move around a lot. I’ve been in New York for about five years, and
I’ve already moved four times. One if the first things I notice is how my
voice goes up at the end of the word ‘city’, city, city. That’s because of the comma here,
and I’m not done, I’m going to keep going, I’m going to say more about that. I live in New York City. [2x] I also notice how connected that first line
is. I live in New York City. There are no breaks. I live in New York City. [2x] And I notice the ending consonant sound of
‘live’ links into the beginning of the next word, live in, v-in, v-in, live in. I live in New York City. [3x]
In Manhattan. In Manhattan. Again, my voice went up at the
end. Again, there’s a comma here, and I’m about to give more information about that.
New York City, Manhattan, more specifically midtown. So, my voice is going up at the end
of each of these little phrases to signal that there is more information yet to come
about this. In Manhattan. [2x] I notice that the stressed syllable of ‘Manhattan’
is the middle syllable. Manhattan. Also, I hear that I’m not really pronouncing these
T’s as True T’s. That would be ‘Manhattan’, -tan. But I’m saying Manhatt-an, with a little
break. That means these T’s are stop T’s. In Manhattan. [2x] Also, the last syllable, -an, is really just
the N sound. So the letter A there is representing the schwa sound. Manhattan, Manhattan. In Manhattan. [3x]
Currently in midtown. Again, I did not hear the release of this
T. That would be currently, I heard ‘currently’, with a stop, that’s a stop T. Currently, currently.
And, in this three-syllable word, I notice that stress is on the first syllable. Curr-,
curr-, currently. Currently in midtown. [2x] Midtown. Stress on the first syllable here,
and that is a true T. Midtown. Currently in midtown. Currently in midtown. [3x]
But I do move around a lot. The stressed syllables in that sentence are
do, round, and lot. But I do move around a lot. But I do move around a lot. [2x] Let’s talk about the T pronunciations here.
But I do, but I, but I. I’m hearing that as a flap T, or a D sound. But I, but I. It’s
also very connected. But I do, but I do. But I do move around a lot. [2x] The final T, lot, I did release that and give
it a true T sound. But I do move around a lot. [2x] Again, this sentence was very linked together,
the ending V consonant here linking onto the next vowel, move-a, move-a, va, va, va, move
around. But I do move around a lot. But I do move around a lot. [3x]
I’ve been in New York for about five years, The stressed words in this sentence fragment:
New, York, and Five, Years. I’ve been in New York for about five years
[2x] So how are the unstressed words pronounced?
The contraction I’ve, the word been, and in: they’re all quite quick and linked together.
I’ve been in, I’ve been in, I’ve been in New York. And the words ‘for’ and ‘about’: for
about five years. I notice I’m reducing this to the schwa, for, for, for about five years,
for about five years. I’ve been in New York for about five years. So, these three words,
I’ve been in, very quick. They’re unstressed. New, York: the pace slows down a bit there,
so those words are longer because they’re stressed. Then, for about. Those two words,
unstressed, are again quite quick. For about. And then ‘five’ and ‘years’ are both given
more time because they are stressed. I’ve been in New York for about five years,
[3x] and I’ve already moved four times. Here I’m hearing ‘al-‘ and ‘moved’, ‘four’
and ‘times’ as being the most stressed syllables in that sentence fragment. And I’ve already
moved four times. And I’ve already moved four times. [2x] I also notice I’m not really pronouncing the
L here. This syllable is coming out more as the AW as in LAW, already, already. And I’ve already moved four times. [2x] Also, did you notice how I reduced the word
‘and’? And I’ve already moved. Nn, nn, nn, the schwa N sound. And I’ve already moved. And I’ve already moved four times. [3x] So, just a few lines of speech, but there’s
really a lot to study about reductions and stressed words, the way T is pronounced, and
how words link together. 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.

79 thoughts on “ESL Pronunciation Exercise: Where I live (Ben Franklin Exercise)

  1. Great, as always! Hugs from Brazil! Until the end of this year I will speaking like you. LOL
    I have promissed it to myself! lol

  2. Dear, I have no idea what does means to live in New York, but Sao Paulo, Brazil, is pretty crowded like there. Here is one of the biggest city in the world, following New York. I can tell you that you have no accents and that makes easy to learn pronunciation, improving my speaking skills.Sometimes because I have to remember the words in your language I do say "hmm/ahhh" between the words. For sure, everybody loves your job.Thank you so much.You have been helping lots of people around the world.

  3. Rachel, thank you so much for your videos.
    Well, I would like to ask you how to pronounce "don't". Well, if there is already a video about that, I apologize.
    It's just that I got some doubts, but I'm sure that, for example, we can say something like "I dunno", this is why I wouldlike you to tell me if there are other ways to pronounce "don't" besides that one I mentioned before.
    Greetings from Brazil!

  4. I'm also from Brazil, and I gotta say that she rocks and helped me alot to improve my accent and my pronunciation.

  5. Happy New Year Rachel!
    it is the third year that i've said Happy New Year to you!
    hope to go on saying it every year until the nth year, hehe!!

  6. hey rachel! i heard some of my native say "what happened"like "whad appened"they dont pronounce the "h"but sounds like "d"?do they just ignore the "h"?

  7. There isn't a video on that, but there is one on CAN vs. CAN'T, so you can watch that get a feel for the ending sound. I can also say, as a Brazilian, you'll probably need to work on rounding your lips for the second half of the OH as in NO diphthong. 🙂

    You can reduced the phrase 'I don't know' to 'I dunno'.

  8. Yes, it sounds like your friend is dropping the H of happened (common for unstressed words, but a little unusual for stressed words), thus making the T a T between vowels, aka, Flap T!

  9. Hi Kornel, I'm afraid I really don't know much about the challenges of dyslexia or dyspraxia to give helpful advice.
    Best, Rachel

  10. Hi Rachel, that and the same in content videos are REALLY help me a lot in your lessons. It's good length and level to memorize for me so I usually repeat them without video over and over like singing to myself : ) I hope you will show us a lot more videos like those. Thanks!

  11. I definitely say 'alr' weird! Already, alright. I think it is quite common to drop the L sound and make the first syllable something more like [ɔ]

  12. You're my Best American teacher!!!!!!!!!I'm so appreciate it!!!!!!!
    It's a huge pleasure to watch your video!!!!
    I'm Chinese student.Thank you soooo much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. The musical approach is needed clear mind , and long practice , particularly the vowel sounds .Thank you so much .

  14. Hi, Rachel! your videos are great, really, really professionals. I have a huge problem with the pronunciation of the r. Could you help me, please?

  15. I have a bunch of videos on the R. Check them all out on my website, then add this at the end of the URL: /video-category/r-run

  16. I'm silently watching your videos.. thank you very much Rachel. I've just watched two of your videos and learning much! I'm definitely gonna watch all of your videos and will visit your website as well.:)

  17. Hi, thanks for the videos. I have a question: is the stop t the same as a glotal stop for example like in the word "Britain"?

  18. I really like this list. Would it be possible for you to create more video clips for the Ben Franklin exercise, Rachel?

  19. Hi thinks for this classes , but i went to say i listen  word ''d'' like  ''r'' 
    Whey? I don't know ? Because you said ''d''

  20. thankyou for posting this great video, this is so great, I recorded myself, and literally compared to the original one, it sounds pratically same,,!!!!!! Excellent video!!!!!

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