December 18, 2020

In the three classes that remain (12/18, 01/08 and 01/15) each student will get a chance to practice doing his or her presentation. After that practice, the teacher will send a revised version of the powerpoint file with notes about how to improve pronunciation and performance of the speech. Every student should practice performing the speech many times. Record your voice and listen to the recording. Think about how to do it better, then do it again. After you have practiced enough, make your final version of your powerpoint file, with an audio recording, and send it to the teacher by email attachment. You don't need to convert it to a video file. If the file is too large to send as an attachment file, put it in Google Drive and share link with me by email.

Find the best microphone possible. Sometimes the internal microphone in a computer or smartphone doesn't sound very good. Try to use an external microphone that you can plug into your computer. The earphone-mic headsets for smartphones are usually good enough (see the photo below). Check your recording and try not to record breathing sounds or unwanted sounds like your microphone moving against your clothing and so on.



Remember the video lessons that we watched during the class about voice training, voice imitating, stressed and unstressed syllables, and linking between words. The challenge of the presentation assignment is to apply these skills.

That is all you need to do to finish the course, but be sure to attend all the classes to listen to the other students' presentations. The presentations are much more interesting if students ask questions about their presentations.

Here are some video lessons to review:


How to Relax your Accent, Part 1: Connected Speech & Linking in English. The final consonant of a word links to the vowel at the start of the next word. This was the most important linking that we practiced. Example: She danced-in-an-extraordinary way. The hyphens indicate the linking between words.


Advanced speaking practice: English Imitation Lesson

Friday December 11, 2020

Today four students practiced their presentations. I want every student to have this chance to practice before they record their final version. I want to give each student some advice about pronunciation and speaking, and I want students to ask questions about the presentations' content.

The deadline for the final recording is one week after you practice your presentation during the class. That means the students who practiced on December 11 should submit their final recording by December 18. We will finish all the practice during the last three classes on December 18, January 8 and January 15.

Practice is the most important thing. Repeat your recording several times before you make your final version. Do voice warm-up exercises. Pronounce difficult words correctly, link words together, vary the stress pattern, and speak in your best "public speaking" voice. Use a good external microphone if possible (like a headset for a smartphone, for example). Listen to your practice recordings. When you are ready, record your final version.

You can send your final recording as a Powerpoint file. You don't have to convert it to a video file format, and you don't have to record video if you are worried about privacy. Just audio is OK.

Friday November 27, 2020


Download the transcript of the video about tsunamis. Study page 4 to see how the speaker puts stress on one syllable in words with more than one syllable, and stress on some of the one-syllable words.

Go back to the video and replay it with the sound off. Read aloud while you practice all your pronunciation skills: linking words, saying words in groups rather than as individual words, and putting stress on the syllables that should be stressed.

Finish the first draft of your final project (without a voice recording) as soon as possible and send it to the teacher.

Friday November 20, 2020

Work on your final project. You have to complete it by the end of November.

Download the transcript of the lecture about how babies acquire language.

Practice pronunciation and reading aloud with this video of the lecture about how babies acquire language. Remember your lessons about connected speech and word and sentence stress. Try to read aloud without pausing between words.

Friday November 13, 2020

Work on your final project. You have to complete it by the end of November.

Download the transcript of the lecture about how babies acquire language.

Practice pronunciation and reading aloud with this video of the lecture about how babies acquire language. Remember your lessons about connected speech and word and sentence stress. Try to read aloud without pausing between words.

Friday November 6, 2020

Work on your final project. You have to complete it by the end of November.

Download the transcript of the lecture about how the Internet works. Read the explanation of analogy on page 8 and be sure that you understand the analogy used by the speaker in the lecture. We are going to study this in the next lesson.

Friday October 30, 2020

Begin work on your final project.

Go to this video link to practice reading aloud of the lecture about how the Internet works. Try to use the linking technique that you learned about during the lesson (see the video below).

Here is the voice training video that we watched during the class: How to Relax your Accent, Part 1: Connected Speech & Linking in English. You can also do Part 2 and Part 3 in this series if you search on the same YouTube channel.

Friday October 23, 2020

Download the file How to Write a Summary.


Go to this video link to practice reading aloud of the lecture about how the Internet works.

Begin work on your final project.

Friday October 16, 2020

Download the transcript and notes about Pompeii. Use the notes on page 7 to write a summary of the lecture. Practice reading your summary aloud because you will have to perform it during the next class.

Practice reading aloud of the original script. You can use this video to practice. Pause the video after each line and repeat it the way the teacher says it.

Decide the topic of your final presentation!

If you want to practice the imitation technique again, here is the link to the video you watched during the class: Imitation Lesson--Weekend Plans

Friday October 9, 2020

Decide the topic of your final presentation. See the homework of September 25 for the details.


After you listen to the video at the link above, turn off the volume on it and play it again. Practice reading it aloud, and pay attention to words that are difficult to pronounce. Be sure you can pronounce the new vocabulary, numbers and dates correctly. Concentrate on speaking quickly (but not too fast) and connecting the words that appear together on the screen. There should be no pause between words. After you have practiced a few times, do it one more time and record yourself. You don't need to send the recording to the teacher, but it is important that you do the final step of listening to the recording of your voice and thinking about your weak and strong points.

If you would like to review the voice training video that we watched, go to this link. Remember the three things he advised for warming up your voice before an important speech:
1. relax your neck, throat,  shoulders, and stomach
2. hum for ten minutes, and try to make your chest vibrate as you push your voice lower
3. Say "QE, QR" repeatedly. This warms up the muscles of your mouth and jaw. Q makes your lips a small circle. E makes your lips a wide horizontal line, and R makes your mouth open wide vertically.

Friday October 2, 2020


After you listen to the video at the link above, turn off the volume on it and play it again. Practice reading aloud, and pay attention to words that are difficult to pronounce. Be sure you can pronounce the numbers and dates correctly. Concentrate on speaking quickly (but not too fast) and connecting the words that appear together on the screen. There should be no pause between words. After you have practiced a few times, do it one more time and record yourself. You don't need to send the recording to the teacher, but it is important that you do the final step of listening to the recording of your voice and thinking about your weak and strong points.


Review the voice coaching videos we watched in class:

Amy Walker, tour of American accents

Amy Walker, voice coach, voice affirmation

Choose the subject of your final presentation--biography of a famous person.

Friday September 25, 2020

Final Project Assignment:

Presentation assignment for this semester: Biography. Create a multi-media presentation (Powerpoint) about a famous historical figure. Write and produce your own script and narration for the presentation. Biographies of contemporary popular culture figures are excluded.

I would like students to finish the first draft of their final projects by the end of November, then finish the final draft by mid-December. During the last two or three weeks, students will show their presentations to their classmates.

When I return your homework by email, you will see my corrections in it in red font. Please read this IMPORTANT DOCUMENT that explains how to use the reviewing and editing features of MSWord:

How to Track Changes and Accept Changes in MSWord