Episode Transcript

Hey, it’s Hadar. Today I’m going to share with you the ideal morning pronunciation practice. You want to think of it as a physical workout or a yoga practice that you do in the morning to get energized for the day, but also to build muscle. And this is exactly the same thing, but in this case, we’re talking about the articulation organs.

You want to do that in the morning to set yourself up for pronunciation success, but also to build the muscles of your articulation organs, like the tongue and the lips and the jaw.

Now, I recommend doing it every single day so you’re more in control of the sounds that don’t exist in your native language, but it’s also going to help you sound more clear in your native language as well. You can do it in the morning, but you can also do it before going into a meeting or before having an important speaking gig.

Okay. Let’s get started. But before that, if you’re new to my channel, then hi and welcome. And this is the place for you if you want to speak English with clarity, with confidence, and freedom. So be sure to subscribe and click the bell to get notifications so you don’t miss out on any valuable lesson.

Let’s begin with massaging your jaw. It’s always good to become aware and kinda like relax all unnecessary tension. We’re going to start with that and end with that. There is a muscle here at the jaw hinge that connects between the upper jaw and the lower jaw, and usually we hold a lot of tension there. So I want you to massage it and kind of like try to release all the tension and maybe hum.

We’re also warming up the voice so you don’t have the morning voice. And here, the cheeks. And again, the jaw, maybe move it around a little bit with your hands. Okay, little more. Okay, good.

Now we’re going to warm up the tongue. Let’s begin by sticking the tongue out. And we’re going to move it to the right and then to the left. To the right. We’re going to do this 10 times, okay? So, right. Right, left.

Okay. Now we’re going to stick the tongue out and bring it up and down. So, stick it out. Keep doing it, I’m going to keep speaking. Again, push it out as if the tongue wants to come out of your mouth. Two more. Very good.

Now, let’s stick it out and bring it back in really fast 10 times. As far as you can. Okay, good. Let’s release tension and blow your lips out. Okay, good.

In the next exercise, we are going to clean the teeth with your tongue. So you want to move your tongue around. Keep doing it. Now, this is a really good exercise, especially before a meeting. So you make sure that you don’t have green stuff or poppy seeds stuck between your teeth. I got you covered. Keep your lips closed. Good. Relax your lips. Good.

Now, we’re going to use the tongue to massage the inside of the cheek as you’re resisting the tongue with your cheek muscles. So, take your tongue, the tip of the tongue, and push it against the inside of your left cheek while the cheek is actually resisting it. So you want to push against, you want your tongue to feel like it’s fighting something as you’re massaging it. And get to all the different places inside your mouth. And to the right. Good.

And now let’s do a trill to relax the tongue. For some of you, this is going to be really easy if you have the trilled are in your language. If you don’t, you can just do another lip trill. And now we’re going to do it while going up and down in pitch. Massage the jaw a bit more. Very, very good. You’re starting to feel your mouth, to feel the tongue, which is good because we need the tongue to articulate the sounds. And to be able to do it clearly, we need to be in control of the tongue.

Now, we’re going to warm up the lips. So push the lips forward as if you’re pushing it for a kiss, an exaggerated one, and pull it to the sides. Forward. Now, try to keep the cheeks out of the way, right, you don’t want to go like this. Okay? You don’t want to get used to engaging your cheeks when pulling the lips.

Sometimes we need that to articulate some of the sounds, like the E and the A, and we want to be able to control these muscles. So, just the lips, the corners of the mouth, and forward. One more time. Okay, very good. Make sure you’re not holding tension in your shoulders. If you do, just tell your shoulders to relax, tell your face to relax. Okay, good.

Now we’re going to go into a few sounds. Let’s start with the tip of the tongue consonants. Let’s begin with a T sound. Make sure it’s just the tip of the tongue touching the upper palate.

Tuh, tuh, tuh, tuh, tuh, tuh. Duh, duh, duh, duh, duh, duh. Nuh, nuh, nuh, nuh, nuh. Luh, luh, luh, luh, luh. Let’s do it together. Tuh, tuh, tuh, tuh, tuh, tuh. Duh, duh, duh, duh, duh, duh. Make sure it’s light.

And now we’re going to move the tongue back a bit and switch between S and Z. S-Z, S-Z, S-Z, S-Z.

Now we’re going to move on to consonants created with the lips. We’re going to start with a P sound where you bring the lips together and release air. Puh-Puh-Puh-Puh-Puh. And then the voiced version of it. Buh- Buh-Buh-Buh-Buh. And then we’re gonna go to the nasal version of it. Muh-Muh-Muh. Again.

Let’s add vowels to it. And we’re going to use the consonant M. ‘M-m-mai’, ‘M-m-mai’, ‘M-m-mai’. So we’re going into an ‘ai’ diphthong. You want to drop your jaw and then raise the tongue for an ‘i’ sound. ‘M-m-mai’, ‘mai’, ‘mai’, ‘mai’.

And then we’re going to go into ‘M-m-mei’. Okay? Now we’re going into the ‘ei’ as in “day” diphthong, starting with an ‘e’, shifting into an ‘i’. ‘M-m-mei’. Then we’re going to do a long ‘ow’ as in “go”. ‘M-m-mow’, ‘M-m-mow’, ‘M-m-mow’. Good.

The next diphthong is going to be ‘M-m-moi’, ‘oi’ as in “toy”. ‘M-m-moi’.  And finally, we’re going to use the ‘aw’ diphthong. ‘M-m-maw’. Just like in “mouse”, ‘M-m-maw’.

So we’re going to do all five of them one after the other. ‘M-m-mai’. ‘M-m-mei’. ‘M-m-mow’. ‘M-m-moi’. ‘M-m-maw’. Let’s do it again. ‘M-m-mai’. ‘M-m-mei’. ‘M-m-mow’. ‘M-m-moi’. ‘M-m-maw’. One last time. Very good.

Now we’re going to move to the back of the mouth, pronouncing the K and G. From there, I want you to shift to the high E sound. ‘G-g-gee’. ‘G-g-gee’. So the tongue pulls back for the G and then forward for the high E. ‘G-g-gee’ ‘G-g-gee’. And then ‘K-k-kee’ ‘K-k-kee’ ‘K-k-kee’. Good. So let’s do it a few times. ‘G-g-gee’ – ‘K-k-kee’.

And then from there, we’re going to move on to the tense ‘uw’ sound, a back open vowel sound. ‘G-g-guw’. ‘K-k-kuw’. ‘G-g-guw’ – ‘K-k-kuw’. Make sure you push the lips forward for the ‘uw’ sound. Let’s do it two more times. Very good.

And now I want you to yawn. Kinda like raise the soft palate by yawning. Good.

And let’s find the voice and bring the voice to the chest. “Hello, hello. Good morning. Hello, hello. Good morning”. So you want to bring your voice to the chest. “Hello, hello. Good morning to you. Hello, hello. Good morning to you”.

And then let’s bring the voice to the head: “Hello, hello. Good morning to you. Hello, hello. Good morning to you”; you want to feel the vibrations here. And maybe a little bit to your nose: “Hello, hello. Good morning to you. Hello, hello. Good morning to you”.

Okay, let’s move on to some tongue twisters. Let’s start with my favorite. “Unique New York, unique New York, unique New York”. Let’s do it again. “Unique” – high ‘uw, high ‘ee’ – unique New York, unique New York, unique New York. Let’s say it again a little faster. “Unique New York, unique New York, unique New York, unique New York”. Now, as you’re moving through the days, if you do it every single day, you’ll see that it’s a lot easier for you to say it faster.

The next one is “Good blood bad blood. Good blood bad blood”. The “good” has that back open ‘u’ as in “book”, “cook” and “look”. And the “blood” has a ‘cup’ sound. “Good blood, good blood”, I hope you can hear the difference. “Bad blood”, here we have the ‘a’ as in “cat”, a forward front vowel, “bad blood”.

“Good blood, bad blood. Good blood, bad blood. Good blood, bad blood. Good blood, bad blood. Good blood, bad blood. Good blood, bad blood. Good blood, bad blood. Good blood bad blood”.

The next one is “Tragedy strategy”. “Tragedy strategy”. “Tragedy strategy, tragedy strategy, tragedy strategy, tragedy strategy, tragedy strategy, tragedy strategy, tragedy strategy, tragedy strategy”. Good. I used to confuse this one all of the time.

Let’s do some TH warmups. So, let’s start with just sticking the tongue out and pronouncing a voiced TH versus a voiceless TH. θ – ð, θ – ð, θ – ð. Now we’re going to work on transitions. N to TH: ‘n-ð’, ‘n-ð’, ‘n-ð’. L to TH: ‘l-ð’, ‘l-ð’, ‘l-ð’. You can also use the voiceless TH: ‘l-θ’, ‘l-θ’, ‘l-θ’. Very good.

And now S-TH: ‘s-θ’, make sure you stick the tongue out, but the tongue is not too tight against the teeth so the air comes out. ‘s-θ’ ‘s-θ’ ‘s-θ’. ‘z-ð’ ‘z-ð’ ‘z-ð’. Let’s do it a few more times: ‘s-θ’ – ‘z-ð’. Very good. Relax your lips, release air. And massage your jaw again. Good. Very good.

Finally, let’s do some chunks. ‘whadaya’ – “what do you”. ‘whadaya’, ‘whadaya’, ‘whadaya’. “What do you want?” “What do you like?” “What do you do?” “What do you say?”

Next one is “going to go” – ‘gonna go’, ‘gonna go’, ‘gonna go’. “I’m gonna go”. “She’s gonna go”. “I’m gonna go home”. “I’m gonna go to the office”.

Next one is “could have”. “could have” – ‘cuda, cuda, cuda’. Notice that the D is really, really light, it sounds like a flap T, like a /ɾ/, like an R in Spanish – ‘pero’. ‘cuda, cuda, cuda’. “I cuda, I cuda, I cuda”, “I cuda done that”. “I cuda seen it.” “I cuda been there”. “I could have done it”. “I cuda seen it”. “I cuda been there”. ‘cuda, cuda, cuda’.

‘shuda shuda shuda’ – “should have”. ‘shuda shuda shuda’. ‘wuda wuda wuda’ – “would have”. ‘wuda wuda wuda’. ‘cuda shuda wuda’.

Okay, that’s it. To wrap it up, I want you to put your palm on your belly, one on your belly, one in your chest, and try to breathe into the hand that is on the belly. And breathe out. Close your eyes, breathe into your belly, not to your chest. And breathe out. And last time. And as you exhale, you can also release a sound, breathe into your belly.

Okay, that’s it. As I said at the beginning, I recommend doing it every single day. And when you do, you will feel the improvement and how easier it is for you to articulate sounds in English and in your native language as well.

Now, to make it fun and to hold each other accountable, every time you complete this exercise, write in the comments “Done”, so we know that you did it again today.

Have a beautiful, beautiful day, and I will see you tomorrow. Bye.