Voice & Accent Training Manual


Table of Contents DAY-1 Break up timings Overview of Voice & Accent 30. Mins Pre-assessment of Voice & Accent Recording Exercise 1. Hour Reading Exercise & Extempore (To assess Stress Pattern, Expression & Grammar) 1. Hour Pre-assessment Feedback 30. Mins DAY- 2 Consonant Sound & Articulation Review 45. Mins Sound Practice 45. Mins Reading Exercise 45. Mins Phonetic 45. Mins

DAY- 3 Vowel Sound & Neutral Accent Review 30. Mins Sound Practice 45. Mins Reading Exercise 45. Mins Visual Clips 20. Mins Phonetic 40. Mins DAY- 4 Review Session Recap of Sound using Cue Card 01. Hour Reading 45. Mins Group Discussion 30. Mins Listening & Comprehension 45. Mins

Overview of Voice and Accent
There are 3 level of English pronunciation: Level 1: People often don't understand what you want to say. You use the wrong sounds in English words. Level 2: People understand what you want to say, but it is unpleasant to listen to you.


sports or martial arts. an accent is the process by which a speaker substitutes a sound from their native language for a sound from English. music. When we combine our desire with proper instruction and practice. Clear and accurate speech comes from "doing. It involves the training of muscle groups." Reducing your accent is different than other skills such as grammar and vocabulary. The first reason is that the speaker is not aware that a specific sound exists in English." Simply observing or knowing how to. 4 . " I want to reduce my accent. Everybody is born with these muscle groups located in our tongue.they substitute a similar sound which exists in their native language. For example. Usually. Awareness and knowledge is important but you have to try it in order to be able to actually do it." or "He has an accent. they choose /i/ as in the word he or meet. Studying accent reduction is more like studying dance. and your English is pleasant to listen to Can I reduce my Accent? Anybody with the desire to reduce their accent can reduce their accent. lips and jaw. proper instruction and most of all practice and training! Accent reduction is about "doing. What is an "Accent?" We often hear people say. But what exactly is an accent ? Essentially. when saying the word chip. we achieve success! The key to learning to speak English clearly and correctly is training and practice. many students are unaware of the sound /I/ as in the word chip or big. ". Change begins with the desire to change. All that you need is the desire to change. This “transference” occurs mainly for two reasons. As a result. they use the closest sound from their native language instead. is not enough. Hence.Level 3: People understand you.

Finally. For example instead of saying convince They might say: convince This can be confusing for a listener. Don't worry. Losing your accent involves learning how to properly articulate the vowels and consonant sounds and finally. English has a melody. You have to become aware of the melody of English. O and U.” Another element of an accent is incorrect intonation. E. I. you must first become aware of all the sounds of English. many students are aware of the sound /th/ as in think or that. For example. The second reason a speaker substitutes the wrong sound is that he or she may simply find it too difficult to pronounce the correct sound. some people have accents because they put the stress in the wrong places of words and sentences. /z. it gets easier and the stress patterns start to become second nature. there are fifteen vowels sounds in English! You are probably already aware of most of them. using them habitually in your everyday speech. However. an accent -not to mention some confusion in mid -conversation.So a word like chip ends up sounding like cheap and there it is ./ /d/ or /t/. Once you learn the rules. For example. there are five vowels in the Latin alphabet-A. However the articulation of the sound is just too difficult or feels unnatural The result is that /th/ is pronounced like /s/. The word that may sound like “zat” or “ dat” The student chooses /z/ or /d/ because it's easier and “close enough. 5 . But there are simple rules to guide you when you're not sure. It's a very simple melody and you don't have to have musical training or a musical ear to learn it. It doesn't involve specific pitches – just knowing when to raise your pitch and when to lower it. In order to lose your accent.

Y. November Oscar Papa Quebec Romeo Sierra Tango Uniform Victor W. F. I. E. D.CONSONANT SOUND AND ARTICULATION Phonetic Alphabet The phonetic alphabet is an internationally recognized set of words used to clarify the letters of the alphabet. V. H. Whenever you have to take down a message and check the spelling of the word. C. U. J. L. P. M. Z. X-Ray Yankee Zulu K. B. A B C D E F G H I J K L Letters Phonetic Alphabets Alpha Bravo Charlie Delta Echo Foxtrot Golf Hotel India Juliet Kilo Lima Sound ALfah BRAHvoh CHARlee DELLtah ECKoh FOCKStrot Golf HohTELL INdeeah JEWleeETT KEYloh LEEmah 6 . G. S. T. use the phonetic alphabet to check that you have got it right. Alpha-Alfah Bravo Charlie Delta Echo Foxtrot Golf Hotel India Juliet Kilo Lima Mile N. R. O. Whisky X. Lettters Phonetic Sound Alphabet A. Q.

which refers to the way the air is obstructed in the mouth while producing the sound. Consonant sounds can be characterized according to three main phonetic properties: 0 (a) place of articulation.M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Mike November Oscar Papa Quebec Romeo Sierra Tango Uniform Victor Whiskey X-ray Yankee Zulu Mike noVEMber OSScah pahPAH KehBECK ROWmeoh seeAIRrah TANGgo YOUneeform VIKtah WISSkey ECKSray YANGkey ZOOloo CONSONANT Consonants are produced when the airstream is obstructed in the vocal tract. which refers to where in the mouth the sound is produced. which refers to whether or not there is a vibration of the vocal cords as the sound is produced. 7 . 1 (b) manner of articulation. 2 3 (c) Voicing.

Consonants Ph 8 .

Pho 9 .

VOICED AND VOICELESS CONSONANTS Voiced Consonants – These are the consonant sounds which is produced from the larynx and the pronunciation of the same will make the vocal chord vibrate Voiceless Consonants – These are the consonant sounds which is produced from the tongue tip and their will be no vibration of vocal chord while pronouncing the same.tongue on together lip teeth toothridge teeth hard palate back of tongue on soft palate throat VL VD VL VD VL VD stop fricative affricate nasal liquid glide m p b f v Θ ð VL VD t d s z n l VL VD VL VD k g ʃ ʒ ʧ ʤ ŋ r y w h VL 10 . lips bottom tongue .

[h] and [/]. [f] and [v].g. e. [tS] as in “choose”. which are produced when the front part of the tongue touches the alveolar ridge and then the hard palate (that part of the mouth which is just behind the alveolar ridge). which are produced by raising the front part of the tongue to the alveolar ridge. Interdental sounds.g. [p]. and [D] as in “this”. which is the final sound in “king”.g. and [r]. which are produced when both lips are brought together. e. [T] as in “think”. [z].Places of articulation • • Bilabial sounds. e. Arabic [÷].g. Labiodental sounds. [n]. e. which are produced by raising the back part of the tongue to the soft palate or the velum. which are produced by having the lower lip touch the upper teeth. Alveopalatal sounds. e. e.g.g. Pharyngeal sounds. [k]. and [dZ] as in “jam”. [g]. which are produced when the tip of the tongue comes between the upper and lower teeth. [b]. e. Glottal sounds. [S] as in “shoe”. which are produced by raising the back of the tongue to the uvula. and [m]. and [N]. Velar sounds. [d]. which are produced at the pharynx.g. • • • • • • • 11 . Alveolar sounds.g.g. [Z] as in “vision”. Uvular sounds. French [{] and Arabic [q]. e. [s]. e. [l]. [t]. which are produced at the glottis.

[S].g. Affricates: such sounds are produced by a stop closure followed immediately by a slow release of the closure characteristic of the fricative. Fricatives: such sounds are produced by a partial obstruction of the airstream. there is some obstruction of the airstream in the mouth. [v]. [T]. [s]. Liquids: In the production of these sounds. [z]. Nasals: such sounds are produced when the air escapes through the nasal cavity rather than the mouth. This is referred to as the manner of articulation for the sound. [k]. [l] and [r]. [D]. [tS] and [dZ]. [m]. [p].g.g. where the passage in the mouth through which the air escapes is very narrow. When occurring in a word. [j] and [w]. [d]. causing friction.g. they must always be either followed or preceded by a vowel. and [N]. [f]. e. but not enough to cause any real constriction or friction.Manners of articulation • Speech sounds are also differentiated by the way the airstream is affected as it travels from the lungs up and out of the mouth and nose.g. and in 12 1 • 2 • 3 • 4 • 5 • 6 • .g. and [Z]. Stops: such sounds are produced by a complete obstruction of the airstream in the mouth. [t]. [n]. e. Glides: such sounds are produced with little or no obstruction of the air in the mouth. and [g]. e. e. [b]. e. e.

the airstream forces its way through and causes them to vibrate. Voicing 1 • Consonant sounds may be produced either with or without a vibration of vocal cords. Aspiration 2 1 A few sounds (specifically the voiceless stops) are produced with an extra puff of air when occurring initially. [d]. • By contrast. Compare your pronunciation of the [p]. if the vocal cords are together. Such sounds are voiced sounds. the air is not obstructed at the glottis and it passes freely into the supraglottal cavities. [p]. The sounds produced this way are characterized as voiceless. and [z]. 13 . [t]. and [s]. [t].g.g.their articulation the tongue moves rapidly in a gliding fashion either toward or away from a neighboring vowel. e. e. [b]. 2 • If the vocal cords are apart when the airstream is pushed from the lungs.

Wa.and [k] sounds in both words in each of the following pair: 3 0 (a) pit vs.g. which is called aspiration. Wa.Voiced Da Da Da Da Na Na Na Na Wa. Ng. e. the voiceless stop is released with a strong puff of air. Ng Zsh Zsh Zsh Zsh Ba Ba Ba Ba Ma Ma Ma Ma Va Va Va Va Th Th Th Th Za Za Za Za 14 . Wa Ng. school You can easily notice that in the first word of each pair. Ng. In transcription. spit [spIt] Consonant Drill Consonant . which distinguish them from the unaspirated voiceless stops that do not occur initially. star 2 (c) cool vs. pit [phIt]. The voiceless stops in the first words are therefore characterized as “aspirated” sounds. we indicate this difference in aspiration by superscripting the aspirated sound with [h]. spit 1 (b) tar vs. whereas in the second word of each pair no such aspiration is found.

Ga. Ya. (a) tank: _____________ ______________ (b) debt: _____________ ______________ (c) taught: ____________ _____________ 2. Ha. Ja. Ja. Ya. Ga Consonant .Voiceless Ph Ph Ph Ph Th Th Th Th Sa Sa Sa Sa Ch Ch Ch Ch Fa Fa Fa Fa Ta Ta Ta Ta Sha Sha Sha Sha Ka Ka Ka Ka Exercises Consonant contrasts that cause difficulty Transcribe and say the following: 1. Ja Ra Ra Ra Ra Ha. Ha.La La La La Ja. Ya Ga. Ga. (a) bridge _____________ ______________ (a) buzz: (a) thank: (b) death: (c) thought: 15 . Ha Ya.

(a) dose: _____________ ______________ (b) peace: _____________ ______________ (c) niece: ____________ ______________ 6.(b) wage: _____________ ______________ (c) change: ____________ ______________ 3. (a) vim: _____________ _____________ (b) verse: _____________ ______________ (c) vest: ______________ ______________ 5. (a) same: _____________ ______________ (b) sea: _____________ ______________ (c) ass: _____________ ____________ (b) ways: (c) chains: (a) leisure: (b) lesion: (a) whim: (b) worse: (c) west: (a) doze: (b) peas: (c) knees: (a) shame: (b) she: (c) ash: 16 . (a) ledger: _____________ ______________ (b) legion: _____________ ______________ 4.

Tip. Real lemon. which would you pick every time? Ribbons rolled.Consonant Tongue Twisters Exercise Twisters with "t" and "th" Those toes aren't these toes. They make your lips. 17 . Twisters with "s" and "sh" She's so sick. Those threads the two tikes tied are tight. real lime. Something sure is fishy in this city. Feely filly fay. A shout from the south woke the sleeping sherriff. It is simple and can BE INTERESTING. and she's so sore. I wish her well forevermore. leafy lettuce reminds me of really pretty. rip and rap. Thirty tee-shirts are tan. clickety clackety cluck. trickety trackety truck. hair untied. The teal tee-shirts total thirteen. rap. Twisters with "r" and "l" The rickety ladder rattled right and left before it crashed through the glass. These teas aren't those teas. what's your excuse? Tip and tap. ribbons loose. Tongue twisters are excellent for sharpening enunciation. tap. the tan tee-shirts total thirty. lap. and thirteen tee-shirts are tie-dyed teal green. Tongue Twisters For S T C F L Snickety snackety snuck. jaw. green trees. reapy rippy ray. lip. This tike ties threads together twice. Rotten lettuce really reeks. Twist twice to tie tightly. freely frilly fray. lip and lap. rip. Learn to articulate properly. leapy lippy lay. Silver slivers shimmer softly in the sunlight. Loose. That tike ties together three threads.

where is the sieve of sifted thistles Theophilus the thistle sifter sifted? What dost thou think of those that go thither? S. 18 . quick. made a big black bear bleed. If Theophilus the thistle sifter sifted a sieve of unsifted thistles. Force the breath through the narrow fissure. The same for the "Z"— except it is vocalized.and tongue EXERCISE and increase your ability to articulate. If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. Tongue Twisters For: B. FOR B: A big black bug bit a big black bear. groove it. and WH These sounds require extremely tenuous coordination. Z. how much wood would a woodchuck chuck. sifted a sieve of unsifted thistles. To pronounce "S" you raise your tongue. FOR S: Suzy Schell sells sea shells on the seashore. FOR W: If a woodchuck would chuck wood. P. FOR M: Military malarkey makes monstrous madmen into maligned martyrs. pucker the lips. where is the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked. and sharply for B. the thistle sifter. M. For the W. how much wood would a woodchuck chuck. if a woodchuck could and would chuck wood? Th (thing) and TH(thou) Touch the tip of the tongue to the rim of the upper teeth. FOR P: Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. For "Wh" purse the lips as you blow the breath through the extended fissure. and arch it toward the hard palate. M. The tongue tip should protrude ever so slightly. if a woodchuck would? But if a woodchuck would chuck wood. Explode that "b. FOR TH: Theophilus Thistle. For "Sh" and "Zh" the fissure is broader." Bring those lips down hard. and W These consonants demand ACTIVE LIPS! Say "Boom". P.

and R A lazy TONGUE will get you in trouble with these twisters. FOR L: Likeable Lillian loves lovely luminous aluminum linoleum.FOR Z: Moses supposes his toeses are roses. but Moses supposes amiss. FOR F: I never felt felt feel Hat like that felt felt. FOR N: A snifter of snuff is enough snuff of a sniff for the snuff-sniffer. FOR R: Around the rugged rock the ragged rascal ran. FOR WH: What whim led Whitey White to whittle near a wharf where a whale might wheel and whirl? T. FOR T: Thomas Tattertoot took taut twine to tie ten twigs to two tall trees. and NG H is simply made by expiring through the mouth. H. D. F is unvocalized and the breath is merely allowed to escape. Your tongue should snap as a whip. On the R. the entire tongue arches itself along the roof of the mouth—without touching it. 19 . L. F and V Both F and V are formed by biting lightly the lower inside lip." This is an example. The tip of it should SHARPLY TOUCH the hard palate—just above the upper teeth. FOR V: Vern Verve is well versed in very wordy verb verse. The first four of these consonants are made alike. FOR D: Double bubble gum bubbles double. N. For Moses knowses his toeses aren't roses as Moses supposes. But V is vocalized. Non double bubble gum doesn't bubble double. Say the word "fife. K.

Vowel A vowel is a sound in spoken language that is characterized by an open configuration of the vocal tract. singing singers sang winning songs. If Harry Hugh hid the heel behind the high hill. again arch the tongue in the same manner. G is merely the vocalized form of this sound. The breath is then released VERY SHARPLY. where is the heel Harry Hugh hid? FOR K: Cass Cash can catch a check cashier to cash his un-cashed check. in contrast to consonants. FOR H: Harry Hugh hid the heel behind the high hill. which are characterized by a constriction or closure at one or more points along the vocal tract Articulation 20 . swinging. When sounding Ng (sing). FOR NG: The ringing.K requires the back of the tongue to touch the soft palate. But force the voice through the nasal passage.

However. and not distinctive. such as [i]. whereas in low vowels. the tongue is positioned forward in the mouth. such as [i] and [u]. In Round vowels such as [o] and [u] the lips comes together and forward to form round shape. the tongue is positioned low in the mouth. such as [u]. Vowel System is determined in terms of common features like: 1) Height (vertical dimension) 2) Backness (horizontal dimension) 3) Roundedness (lip position) Height: Height refers to the vertical position of the tongue relative to either the roof of the mouth or the aperture of the jaw. In most languages. roundedness is a reinforcing feature of mid to high back vowels. Backness Backness refers to the horizontal tongue position during the articulation of a vowel relative to the back of the mouth.The articulatory features that distinguish different vowels in a language are said to determine the Vowel’s quality. Roundedness Roundedness refers to whether the lips are rounded or not. 21 . In high vowels. the tongue is positioned towards the back of the mouth. whereas in back vowels. the tongue is positioned high in the mouth. such as [a]. some languages treat roundedness and backness separately. In front vowels. the more intense the rounding. Usually the higher a back vowel.

.. aw-ful front high sit /I/ mid say /ey/ met /ɛ/ low cat /æ/ seat /iy/ central back do /uw/ book /ʊ/ up /ʌ/ no /ow/ schwa /ə/ ball /ɔ/ my /ay/ stop /a/ now /aw/ 22 ." • .. is always voiced (VD).. teeth. The word "vowel" came into English from the Latin vocalis meaning "voice. is an OPEN sound.. ie. it is produced by not blocking the breath with the lips. ie. can form a syllable by itself: hell-o. • . or tongue..A Vowel Sound • . the vocal cords vibrate.

Vowels Phon 23 .

Phon Vowel Exercises 24 .


LONG VOWEL SOUND Aa CAR BARK DARK HEART BAR CAR CALM PALM CHARM I BEET QUICHE DEEP HEAT EAT SEAT DEEPER KEEP NEAT Uu SHOE TRUE CLUE DROOL DO FOOL COOL FOOD RUDE Er SHIRT DIRT TURN FERN CHURN BURN CURT BURST SURF awh HALL LONG TALL BROAD LONGER ALL WALLET WALNET WALL Vowel contrasts that cause difficulty Transcribe and say the following: 1(a) buy: _____________ ______________ (b) fete: _____________ ______________ (a) boy: (b) foil: .

(c) tie _____________ : ____________ (c) toy : (d) I’ll: ____________ ______________ (d) oil: 2(a) sail : ______________ _____________ (a) sell: (b) fail: _____________ ______________ (c) paper: ____________ ____________ (d) late: _____________ _____________ (b) fell: (c) pepper: (d) let: 3(a) low: _____________ ______________ (b) show: _____________ ______________ (c) so : _____________ ______________ (d) coke: _____________ ______________ (a) law: (b) snore: (c) saw: (d) cork: 4(a) hurt: _____________ _____________ (b) curt: _____________ ______________ (c) shirt: ______________ ______________ (a) hut: (b) cut: (c) shut: .

(d) turn: _____________ _____________ (d) fun: 5(a) green: _____________ ______________ (b) meals: _____________ ______________ (c) ease: ______________ ____________ (a) grin: (b) mill: (c) is: (d) beaten: _____________ _____________ (d) bitten: 6(a) main: ______________ _____________ (a) men: (b) hail: _____________ ______________ (c) raid: ____________ ____________ (b) hell: (c) red: (d) wait: _____________ _____________ (d) wet: 7(a) hate: _____________ ______________ (b) made: _____________ ______________ (c) rate : _____________ ______________ (d) rain: _____________ ______________ (a) hat: (b) mad: (c) rat: (d) ran: 8(a) back: _____________ _____________ (a) bark: .

Phil will hardly ever tell. Vowel sounds / /. /I/. She sells slippers. / /. Practice with vowel sounds / /. it will make my batter bitter. / /. and really ripped her raincoat. /. / / Betty Botter bought some butter. sleepers. she bought some better butter. /a/. Phyllis didn't eat a bit of the beets. “If I put it in my batter. When she put it in her batter. Tins of tiny sardines filled the field. Treena tripped on the tree root. the butter made her batter better. and tiny little creepers. Feeling ill or feeling well. better than the bitter butter.” So. / . / /. /aw/. /ay/. but she said “This butter’s bitter. /a/. Feeling full.(b) hat: _____________ ______________ (c) pack: ______________ ______________ (d) cat: _____________ _____________ (b) heart: (c) park: (d) cart: 9(a) pool: _____________ _____________ (b) fool: _____________ ______________ (c) shooed: ____________ _____________ (a) pull: (b) full: (c) should: Vowel Tongue Twister Practice: Twisters with "i" and "ee" Bumblebees briefly buzzed beneath the bins of beans.

as we have new life experiences. It is therefore impossible to speak without an accent Your accent results from how. and when you learned the language you are speaking and it gives impressions about you to other people. Practice with diphthongs /ay/. where. Practice with /ow/ Joe told a joke he wrote on his own. Most people vary their accent depending on who they are speaking with. often without noticing. Practice with /iy/ and /I/ The sheep on the ship slipped on the sheet of sleet. We change our accents. People do not have a single fixed accent which is determined by their experiences. We can control the way we speak. Neutral Accent . The coat from the coast cost more than most Neutral Accent What is Neutral Accent? An accent is a way of pronouncing a language. and do. both consciously and unconsciously. and /aw/ /ay/ Quite nice white mice /aw/ How now brown cow / y/ The spoiled boy foiled the coy boy’s joy by purloining his toy.Gnats are not now gnawing on the nuts at night. The keen king kissed the quick queen on her green ring. I know that’s not the note that Noel wrote. / y/.

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