Speak English with a Good Pace

Speak English with a Good Pace

Speak English with a Good Pace

Speak English with a Good Pace

Do you need some strategies for speaking American English with a good pace?

Here is a strategy that will help you

When North Americans speak they divide longer sentences into phrases.

Pronunciation teachers call these phrases thought groups.

Thought Groups

As we say each though group or phrase, we emphasize the focus word.

Then, we insert a tiny pause before the next thought group begins.

You could say that each thought has it’s own melody.

You May Not Be Doing This!

Many non-native speakers never learned to speak English using thought groups.

This often makes their speech sound too fast for American listeners to easily understand.

Tiring & Difficult to Process

Speaking too fast, without using phrases and focus word emphasis will make your speech difficult to process.

You’re listeners will feel tired, because they can’t easily grasp what you’re saying.

Deliver Your Message Clearly

There’s no “Golden Rule” for dividing longer sentences into phrases or thought groups.

It really depends on the idea that you’re trying to convey.

Learn to Speak with a Good Pace

In my iBook, American Accent Fundamentals, I teach you how to speak English using a pace that Americans like & understand.

If you prefer to study & learn using your iPad, download the first chapter for free to see how it works!

There are lots of proven tips for speaking clear American English here on my ConfidentVoice blog. Keep reading if YOU wanna speak American English with a pace that Americans prefer and understand.

Learn American English Pronunciation Online

Learn American English Pronunciation Online 

Learn American English Pronunciation Online

Learn American English Pronunciation Online

Here are 4 free websites for learning American English pronunciation online.

These are helpful resources that you can use to improve the way you speak American English.

 Make Serious Noticeable Changes to the Way You Speak English 

Of course, if you want to make noticeable changes to the way you speak and communicate in American English, you’ll need more than some free websites.

International professionals who are serious about clear and engaging communication choose to work with an American accent coach.

Why Work With a Coach?

A coach will take you way beyond pronunciation.

When you work with a coach you’ll learn to:

  1. Speak with the right pace
  2. Ask questions in an engaging manner
  3. Make small talk that Americans relate to

You’ll learn to communicate clearing using the correct pronunciation, tone and melody.

Skype Accent Coaching

In my Skype based coaching program, I’ve helped hundreds of people just like you, learn to speak American English in manner that sounds clear, friendly and engaging to Americans.

Check out how my Skype accent reduction programs work.

Or….go back to those 4 websites above.

You can start learning something today!



American English pronunciation IPA

American English pronunciation IPA

American English pronunciation IPA

American English pronunciation IPA

People often ask me if they need to understand the IPA (international phonetic alphabet) in order to improve their American English pronunciation.

I do think it helps, if you understand some of these symbols.

Learn the IPA symbols you need

Very few of my accent reduction coaching clients are familiar with the IPA when they begin their lessons.

Depending on their pronunciation errors, I teach them the symbols they can use to make progress.

Vowel symbols

I teach all of my clients the IPA symbol for the schwa vowel sound /ə/.

I teach all of my clients the IPA symbols and Color Words for the 15 American vowel sounds.

Consonant symbols

  1. I teach my Indian English speaking clients the symbols /ʤ/ & /ʒ/.
  2. I teach my Chinese speaking clients the symbols for /ŋ/ & /n/.
  3. I teach my Spanish speaking clients the symbols for /s/ & /z/.
  4. I teach my Russian speaking clients the symbols for /ʌ/ & /ʊ/.

People always understand!

Learning these symbols is not that difficult.

My clients always understand the symbols (and the sounds) when we apply them to their specific pronunciation problems.

My American accent training programs

And if you’re serious about making noticeable changes to the way you speak American English, take a look at my training programs.

Thanks for visiting my blog.




American English Sounds of the Letter A

American English Sounds of the Letter A

American English sounds of the letter A

American English sounds of the letter A

Most of my the people in my accent reduction coaching program need some help using the 3 sounds of the letter A..

The letter A has 3 sounds

When you’re speaking American English, the letter A can have one of 3 sounds; /ae/ as in Black, /ey/ as in  Gray,  or /ɑ/ as in Olive.

I’m not including schwa in this list, but it’s important.

Any vowel can sound like a schwa when it’s not stressed.

When should you use each sound?

Most people are able to articulate the 3 sounds of the letter A. The challenge is WHEN to use each sound.

Here are a few examples:

1. Pronounce the A in these words like /ey/ as in Gray

  • nation
  • arrange
  • array

2. Pronounce the A in  these words like /ae/ as in Black

  • answer
  • patent
  • spam

3. Pronounce the A in  these words like /ɑ/ as in Olive

  • water
  • talk
  • launch

The Color Vowel Chart

I use an audio visual tool called the Color Vowel Chart to teach these sounds to my clients.

That makes each sound easy to remember.

To  read more proven tips for speaking clear American English see the posts below.


Speak in phrases for smoother speech

Speak in phrases for smoother speech

Speak in phrases for smoother speech

Speak in phrases for smoother speech

Many of the people who I work with in my accent reduction coaching program learned English by reading.

Because of that, they learned to speak English word by word.

Americans don’t speak word by word

Americans don’t speak word by word though. That sounds funny to us.

We speak in phrases.

Speak more fluently

One of my Chinese speaking clients told me that once he learned how to speak in phrases, he was able to speak more fluently.

He was also able to understand North Americans more easily.

In my coaching program, I teach my clients how to speak using phrases early on in their lessons. This allows them to speak more smoothly right away.


I almost always teach phrasing along with intonation.

Everyday greetings and requests are easily learned this way, making you sound friendly and natural.


  • hoWAReyou? ⤵
  • I’m FINE,⤼
  • howareYOU?⤵

Linguists call these chunks of speech

Linguists who study the way children learn languages, call these phrases, “chunks of speech”. You can read more about that in the NYT article below.

Teaching chunks of speech.

No matter what you call it, chunks or phrasing, speaking this way makes your speech sound smoother and more natural! I teach you to speak using phrases in all my American accent training programs.


Is Accent Elimination Possible?

Is Accent Elimination Possible?

Is accent elimination possible?

Is accent elimination possible?

Many people ask me if it’s possible to eliminate their foreign accent.

That’s a very good question!

Can you totally eliminate your native accent and speak like you were born in America?

My answer is…. probably not.

Besides, it’s not necessary! You don’t need to eliminate your accent in order to speak well.

What you CAN do

What you can do, if you get some training, is modify your accent so that others will understand you more easily.

  • For Spanish & Chinese speakers this means learning to pronounce word endings such as the -ed  and /z/ sounds clearly.
  • For Indian English speakers this means learning to use syllable stress correctly.
  • For Japanese, Arabic & Russian speakers this means use American English intonation patterns correctly.

You’ll need some help

You can modify your accent so that others will understand you more easily. But you’ll need some help.

Here are two small steps you can take to start learning right away:

  1. Get an accent reduction book
  2. Take an accent reduction course

Books and courses are an excellent first step!

Making noticeable improvements 

If you need to make noticeable improvements in a shorter period of time, the best option is  accent reduction coaching.

An accent reduction coach, like myself, can teach you to modify the features of your current pronunciation that are creating breakdowns in communication.

You probably won’t eliminate your accent. Don’t believe the marketing hype that tells you that.

But you can learn to speak American English in a manner that’s clear and engaging!

Accent reduction coaching

I can help you make noticeable changes much faster that studying on your own.

Read about my accent reduction coaching here if you are serious about improving your American English communication skills!

Need more information? Send me a message at susan@confidentvoice.com.

I’m happy to answer all your accent related questions!

 Keep reading

Or, keep reading the posts here on my blog. There are hundreds of free tips and techniques you can use to help you speak clearly.


2 American English Intonation Patterns

2 American English Intonation Patterns 

Intonation refers to the rise and fall of pitch in spoken language.

Since intonation patterns convey meaning and emotion, it’s important to use these patterns correctly.

Rising falling intonation

The most common type of intonation in American English is called rising-falling intonation.

Americans use rising-falling intonation at the end of statements and questions that begin with the WH words; what, where, when, why, who & how.

  • How are you today ,Susan?⤵
  • What’s going on?⤵

Series intonation

Another type of intonation is called series intonation.

Americans use series intonation when describing a series of choices as seen below:

  • Would you like coffee,⤼ tea, ⤼water ⤼or soda⤵ with your meal?
  • I went out on Friday,⤼ Saturday,,⤼ and Sunday.⤵

Listen here


If you’re trying to improve your American English communication skills you must learn to use the correct types of intonation.

Pronunciation alone is simply not enough, if you want to be a clear and engaging communicator!

 Learn to use American intonation patterns

Learning to use intonation on your own or from an accent reduction book isn’t easy.

The best way to learn to use intonation patterns and communicate effectively to work one on one with an accent reduction coach.

How do you pronounce Maryland?

How do you pronounce Maryland?

How do you pronounce Maryland?

How do you pronounce Maryland?

One question that people frequently ask me is,

Susan, how do you pronounce Maryland?

There’s a trick here

The trick to saying Maryland correctly has to do with the schwa sound.

To say this word correctly you need to say the y in Mary and the a in land using a schwa vowel sound.


Listen here

Don’t say Merry Land. That will sound sort of silly!

Learn to say all the states correctly

I teach you to say all the states & cities correctly in my accent reduction coaching programs.

If you’re a professional living in the US, you should definitely want to say these place names correctly!

Ketchup or catch up?

Ketchup or catch up?  

Ketchup or catch up?

Ketchup or catch up?

This past weekend, one of my accent reduction coaching clients said to me~

Susan, I’ve been so busy since the holidays. I’m still trying to ketchup on my work.

Of course I understood that he meant catch up.

Phrasal verbs rules

Catch up is a phrasal verb.

That means that you stress it on the second part when you say it. This is true for all phrasal verbs.

Listen here



I’m still trying to catchUP on my work.

Speak clear American English

In order to speak clear American English you must apply the correct syllable stress. Not doing so can change the meaning of a word.

Here are a few examples:

  • put down ~ to put something down
  • put down ~ an insult
  • stand up ~ to get off your chair
  • stand up~ a type of comedy
  • turn on~ the computer, the stove
  • turn on ~ that’s a sexual term
  • turn over ~ a piece of paper
  • turn over ~ a type of pastry

Learn your phrasal verbs

In my accent reduction coaching programs I teach you to speak clearly using phrasal verb stress and other types of syllable stress that you’re probably unaware of.