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.


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

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

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

7 . 2 3 (c) Voicing. which refers to where in the mouth the sound is produced. 1 (b) manner 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 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. which refers to whether or not there is a vibration of the vocal cords as the sound is produced.

Consonants P h 8 .

Pho 9 .

lipsbottom tongue .tongue on togetherlip -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 pb fv Θð VL VD td sz VL VD VL VD kg ʃʒ ʧʤ h VL n l r y ŋ w 10 .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.

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

causing friction. they must always be either followed or preceded by a vowel. 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. This is referred to as the manner of articulation for the sound. [m]. there is some obstruction of the airstream in the mouth. When occurring in a word. [v]. [k]. 4 Nasals: such sounds are produced when the air escapes through the nasal cavity rather than the mouth. e. where the passage in the mouth through which the air escapes is very narrow. [n]. 1 Stops: such sounds are produced by a complete obstruction of the airstream in the mouth. 2 Fricatives: such sounds are produced by a partial obstruction of the airstream. [j] and [w].g. e. 5 Liquids: In the production of these sounds. 3 Affricates: such sounds are produced by a stop closure followed immediately by a slow release of the closure characteristic of the fricative. [S]. [f]. [t]. and [g]. [tS] and [dZ]. [l] and [r]. and [N]. e. e.g. [s]. e.g. and [Z]. [T]. [z].g. [p].g. [D]. 6 Glides: such sounds are produced with little or no obstruction of the air in the mouth. e. [d]. and in 12 . [b].

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

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

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. Ga. Ha. (a) tank: _____________ ______________ (b) debt: _____________ ______________ (c) taught: ____________ _____________ 2. Ya. Ya Ga. Ga Consonant . (a) bridge _____________ ______________ (a) buzz: (a) thank: (b) death: (c) thought: 15 . Ya. Ga. Ha Ya. Ha. Ja.La La La La Ja. Ja Ra Ra Ra Ra Ha.

(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) vim: _____________ _____________ (b) verse: _____________ ______________ (c) vest: ______________ ______________ 5. (a) ledger: _____________ ______________ (b) legion: _____________ ______________ 4. (a) dose: _____________ ______________ (b) peace: _____________ ______________ (c) niece: ____________ ______________ 6.(b) wage: _____________ ______________ (c) change: ____________ ______________ 3.

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

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

Non double bubble gum doesn't bubble double. but Moses supposes amiss. F is unvocalized and the breath is merely allowed to escape." This is an example. and NG H is simply made by expiring through the mouth. 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. On the R. the entire tongue arches itself along the roof of the mouth—without touching it. For Moses knowses his toeses aren't roses as Moses supposes. Your tongue should snap as a whip. FOR R: Around the rugged rock the ragged rascal ran. D. FOR D: Double bubble gum bubbles double. L. F and V Both F and V are formed by biting lightly the lower inside lip. FOR WH: What whim led Whitey White to whittle near a wharf where a whale might wheel and whirl? T. H. Say the word "fife. FOR T: Thomas Tattertoot took taut twine to tie ten twigs to two tall trees. and R A lazy TONGUE will get you in trouble with these twisters. FOR V: Vern Verve is well versed in very wordy verb verse. K.FOR Z: Moses supposes his toeses are roses. The tip of it should SHARPLY TOUCH the hard palate—just above the upper teeth. The first four of these consonants are made alike. But V is vocalized. 19 . N. FOR L: Likeable Lillian loves lovely luminous aluminum linoleum.

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

However. such as [u]. such as [a]. the more intense the rounding. the tongue is positioned high in the mouth. Roundedness Roundedness refers to whether the lips are rounded or not. In high vowels. the tongue is positioned towards the back of the mouth. and not distinctive. the tongue is positioned forward in the mouth. whereas in back vowels. roundedness is a reinforcing feature of mid to high back vowels. such as [i]. some languages treat roundedness and backness separately. Usually the higher a back vowel. such as [i] and [u]. 21 .The articulatory features that distinguish different vowels in a language are said to determine the Vowel’s quality. 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 front vowels. whereas in low vowels. Backness Backness refers to the horizontal tongue position during the articulation of a vowel relative to the back of the mouth. 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. In most languages.

or tongue. is an OPEN sound. The word "vowel" came into English from the Latin vocalis meaning "voice.. it is produced by not blocking the breath with the lips. can form a syllable by itself: hell-o. ..A Vowel Sound . ie. the vocal cords vibrate.... ie. teeth." .. is always voiced (VD). 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 .

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: .

better than the bitter butter. / / Betty Botter bought some butter. it will make my batter bitter. Phil will hardly ever tell. /aw/. Practice with vowel sounds / /. but she said “This butter’s bitter. / /. When she put it in her batter. / /. and tiny little creepers. and really ripped her raincoat.(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. Treena tripped on the tree root. /I/. Phyllis didn't eat a bit of the beets. sleepers. Vowel sounds / /. She sells slippers. Feeling ill or feeling well. she bought some better butter. / .” So. the butter made her batter better. /. / /. “If I put it in my batter. /a/. Tins of tiny sardines filled the field. /a/. Feeling full. /ay/.

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

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