Fun Easy English Classroom February 9


American English
lesson 5
Pronunciation Lesson 5

Today in the Fun Easy English classroom you are going to learn to pronounce the sound o as in the words calm, hot, on, spa. Remember "practice makes perfect" if you want to improve your English speaking ability.
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Pronunciation: American English Lesson 5

Pronounce the sound o as in the words calm, hot, on, spa. Watch the following pronunciation videos and learn to pronounce this sound correctly.
Video: American English Pronunciation Lesson 5
a calm, father, palm, spa
o blond, box, doll, drop, holly, hot, job, not, on, top, cot
Note: the red letters all have the same sound
Sound: Voiced and Unvoiced

This is a VOICED sound which means Your Vocal Cords DO vibrate when making this sound.
You CAN LISTEN to your Vocal Cords vibrating if you cover your ears with your hands.

Try covering your ears with your hands as Akiko is doing in the picture.

Now make the sound of this lesson. Can you listen to your vocal cords vibrating?
You CAN FEEL your Vocal Cords vibrating if you place your hands on your neck.

Try placing your hands on your neck as Akiko is doing in the picture.

Now make the sound of this lesson. Can you feel your vocal cords vibrating?
The following diagram shows the most important parts of your head and mouth used for pronouncing the sounds of English. It also shows the location of your Vocal Cords.
Position: Mouth, lips, and tongue

The following descriptions explain the proper mouth, lips, and tongue position when you make this sound.

Your mouth should be slightly tense.

Your lips should be unrounded.

The front part of your tongue should be in the lower part of your mouth.
Practice video

Listen to the video and practice repeating each word.
Pronunciation practice words

Look at your mouth in a mirror and practice pronouncing the following words. Make sure your mouth, lips, and tongue are in their proper positions.
calm blond cot doll
palm drop spa hot
job not on top
Note: the red letters all have the same sound (watch the video above)
Test: Pronunciation word test

Choose the correct letter or letters to complete each of the following words.
1.  c_lm
2.  bl_nd
3.  d_ll
4.  dr_p
5.  sp_
6.  h_t
7.  j_b
8.  n_t
9.  _n
10.  t_p
Note: the letter or letters needed to complete each word all have the same sound.
From YOUR Teacher: Pronouncing This Sound

This sound is particularly easy especially for native Japanese speakers since this is one of the five vowel sounds found in the Japanese language.
Additional Lessons
About These Lessons

The following classroom lessons are great for students who want additional conversation, listening, and reading practice.
  • Conversation Lesson - Beginner Level. Let's Learn English conversation lesson with a conversation video, a video script, audio listening practice, video speaking practice, video pronunciation practice, a new words section, and a writing activity.
Conversation Lesson 40 - The Woods Are Alive
(Beginner - Conversation, Listening, Reading)

In this lesson Anna's New Year’s Resolution is to try something new. She auditions for a play. Will she get the part?
Lesson Video

Watch the video and then do the activities on this page.
Video Script

Anna: Happy New Year! Some people, at the start of a new year, make a resolution -- a promise to yourself to be better. I thought about my resolution carefully. I want to be an actor on the stage! Today I will audition for a show called "The Woods Are Alive!" Wish me luck!
Director: Next! What is your name?
Anna: My name is Anna Matteo.
Director: Are you ready to audition?
Anna: (warms up voice) Yes.
Director: Great. Let's begin on page 1. Here is the story. You are lost in the woods. You are searching desperately for a way out. Suddenly, you hear something.
Director: Now, say your line.
Anna: 'What was that? Hello. Is someone there?'
Director: Anna, you are speaking too softly. Can you speak more loudly and a little more, um, seriously?
Anna: Yes, of course I can. 'What was that? Hello. Is someone there?' Is that loud enough?
Director: Yes, that is loud enough. Let's turn to page 25. In this scene, you are moving slowly and quietly through the woods.
Director: Anna. Anna! You are walking quickly and loudly. Walk slowly and quietly.
Anna: I'm walking slowly and quietly. I am walking…
Director: Anna. Anna. You don't need to say "slowly" and "quietly." Alright, let's try the last scene. Turn to page 48. I say my line first, then you say your line.
Director: 'You will never get out of these woods alive! Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!'
Anna: 'Yes, I will.'
Director: Okay, Anna, you said that line -- you said that line really late. You need to say it earlier.
Anna: Sorry. Sorry. Let me try again.
Director: 'You will never …'
Anna: 'Yes, I will.'
Director: '… get out of the woods alive.'
Anna: I was too early, wasn't I?
Director: Yes. Yes, you were.
Anna: Director, how am I doing?
Director: You know, Anna. I think that I have the perfect part for you.
Director: The costume is in the back. Please go try it on.
Anna: Awesome! (Anna returns as a tree.)
Director: Oh, Anna, that fits you perfectly!
Anna: I'm a tree. I'm a tree in … "The Woods Are Alive!" Yes!
Anna: My new year is starting awesomely! Excuse me, Director! I have a great idea for my tree. Oh, wait! Until next time!

Now practice listening to only the audio portion of the conversation.

In this video, learn how to say the new words. Then learn about asking for and giving feedback.

Use this video to learn about projecting when public speaking. Learn one way to make your voice sound more confident when you speak to a group.
New Words
  • actor - n. a person who acts in a play or a movie
  • audition - n. a short performance to show the talents of someone (such as an actor or a musician) who is being considered for a role in a play or a position in an orchestra
  • desperately - adv. in a way that is very sad and or upset manner because of having little or no hope
  • director - n. a person who directs a play or a movie
  • enough - adj. equal to what is needed
  • line - n. the words that an actor speaks in a play, movie or TV show
  • loudly - adv. in a manner that makes or causes a lot of noise
  • page - n. one side of a sheet of paper
  • quickly - adv. at a fast speed; rapidly
  • quietly - adv. in a manner that makes little noise
  • resolution - n. a promise to yourself that you will make a serious effort to do something that you should do
  • scene - n. a division of an act in a play during which the action takes place in a single place without a break in time
  • script - n. the written form of a play, movie, or television show
  • softly - adv. in a quiet voice or manner
  • stage - n. a raised platform in a theater or auditorium where the performers stand
  • suddenly - adv. very quickly in usually an unexpected way

In this lesson, Anna tries something new. What new activity do you want to try in 2017? Why do you want to do it? Write about it in the Facebook Comments section below. Then practice using adverbs as well as acting out and guessing everyday activities. Click lesson activity to get the printable PDF version. The page opens to a new window.
Conversation Lessons

Study all 52 English conversation lessons. Let's Learn English conversation lessons each with a conversation video, a video script, audio listening practice, video speaking practice, video pronunciation practice, a new words section, and a writing activity. These lessons are for beginners.
Source: Voice of America
Additional Information
Study Tips
(Beginner - Listening)

Avoid Ineffective Study Methods. An audio lesson to help you study English more effectively. The English is spoken at 75% of normal speed. Great English study tips.
Click here to visit the lesson page with the written script for this audio program.