Fun Easy English Classroom January 16


American English
lesson 2
American English Pronunciation Lesson 2

Today in the Fun Easy English classroom you are going to study pronunciation lesson 2. You are going to learn to pronounce the sound a as in the words eight, mail, pay, taste.
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then use the Fun Easy English dictionary (opens in a new window)
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Pronunciation: American English Lesson 2

Pronounce the sound a as in the words eight, mail, pay, taste. Watch the following pronunciation videos and learn to pronounce this sound correctly.
Video: American English Pronunciation Lesson 2
Spelling: This sound can be spelled in any of the following ways
a gate, lace, lady, shade, taste, late, race
ai complain, explain, mail, tail, wait
ay day, pay
ea great
ei eight, neighbor, veil
ey they
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 center 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.
gate explain day great
eight they lady tail
pay neighbor taste wait
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.  g_te
2.  expl_ _n
3.  d_ _
4.  gr_ _t
5.  _ _ght
6.  th_ _
7.  l_dy
8.  t_ _l
9.  p_ _
10.  n_ _ghbor
Note: the letter or letters needed to complete each word all have the same sound.
From YOUR Teacher: Pronunciation and Spelling

Hey you really need to spend some time learning the pronunciation and spelling of certain words. In many countries like Japan, people learning English often make spelling mistakes because they spell words the same way they pronounce them. For example they confuse the letters L and R and pronounce rice as lice and lice as rice. WATCH OUT FOR THIS.
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 16 - Where Are You From?
(Beginner - Conversation, Listening, Reading)

In this lesson Anna interviews tourists on the National Mall in Washington, DC. She learns about where they are from and the languages they speak.
Lesson Video

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

Anna: Hello! Washington, D.C. has many tourists! People from different countries come here. Today, my job is to interview tourists. I have to learn why they come here. This is very exciting! Excuse me. I’m Anna Matteo from The News. Do you have time for an interview?
Sabrina: Sure, I have time.
Anna: What is your name?
Sabrina: My name is Sabrina.
Anna: What country are you from?
Sabrina: I’m from Bangladesh.
Anna: So, you are Bangladeshi.
Sabrina: That’s right! My nationality is Bangladeshi.
Anna: Do you like Washington, D.C.?
Sabrina: Yes! The city is very beautiful!
Anna: What do you like to do in Washington D.C.?
Sabrina: I like history. So, I like walking around and looking at all the monuments and memorials. They make history come alive!
Anna: Washington has many monuments and memorials. The Washington Monument is behind us! Which is your favorite?
Sabrina: I really like Lincoln Memorial. It is very beautiful. And it feels like Abraham Lincoln is still alive.
Anna: Awesome. Thank you for your time, Sabrina!
Sabrina: You’re welcome.
Anna: Let’s find another tourist.
Anna: Oh! Excuse me. I am Anna Matteo from The News. Do you have time for a couple of questions?
Louis: Sure!
Anna: Are you from Washington, D.C.?
Louis: No, I’m not.
Anna: What is your name and where are you from?
Louis: My name is Louis. And I’m from China.
Anna: What languages do you speak?
Louis: I speak Chinese and English.
Anna: What do you like about Washington DC?
Louis: I like the museums. I really like the art museums.
Anna: Many of the museums are free.
Louis: I like that too!
Anna: Awesome! Thanks for your time, Louis.
Louis: You’re very welcome. Bye!
Anna: Now, let’s find another tourist!
Anna: Hello! I am Anna Matteo from The News. Do you have time to answer a couple of questions?
Mehrnoush: Sure!
Anna: What is your name and where’re you from?
Mehrnoush: My name is Mehrnoush. I am from Iran. I’m Iranian.
Anna: What language do they speak in Iran? Is it Persian?
Mehrnoush: They speak Farsi.
Anna: What do you like to do in Washington DC?
Mehrnoush: Well, I like learning about government and politics.
Anna: Washington has many politicians!
Mehrnoush: It does! I want to see the U.S. Capitol.
Anna: Look, you are very near.
Mehrnoush: I am!
Anna: Have fun!
Mehrnoush: Thanks!
Anna: There you have it. Tourists from all over the world come to Washington, D.C. They all like doing and seeing different things in the city. This is Anna Matteo reporting for The News. Until next time!
Anna: Is that okay? Awesome! Now, I want to do my favorite thing in the city … ride the carousel!

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

In this video, you can learn to say the new words. Learn how to say your country and nationality.

In this video, you ​learn about how English speakers say, "a couple of."
New Words
  • Abraham Lincolnn. the 16th President of the United States
  • aliveadj. living; not dead
  • artn. something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful or that expresses important ideas or feelings
  • carouseln. a machine or device with a moving belt or part that carries things around in a circle
  • countryn. an area of land that is controlled by its own government
  • couplen. two (things) or a few (things)
  • favoriten. a person or a thing that is liked more than others
  • freeadj. not costing any money
  • governmentn. the group of people who control and make decisions for a country, state, etc.
  • historyn. the study of past events
  • memorialn. something (such as a monument or ceremony) that honors a person who has died or serves as a reminder of an event in which many people died
  • monumentn. a building, statue, etc., that honors a person or event
  • museumn. a building in which interesting and valuable things (such as paintings and sculptures or scientific or historical objects) are collected and shown to the public
  • nationalityn. the fact or status of being a member or citizen of a particular nation
  • questionn. a sentence, phrase, or word that asks for information or is used to test someone's knowledge
  • politicsn. activities that relate to influencing the actions and policies of a government or getting and keeping power in a government
  • ridev. to sit on and control the movements of (a horse, motorcycle, bicycle, etc.)
  • touristn. a person who travels to a place for pleasure
  • U.S. Capitoln. the building in which the U.S. Congress meets in Washington, D.C.
  • Bangladeshn. a country in Asia
  • Bangladeshin. a native or inhabitant of Bangladesh. adj. of, relating to, or characteristic of Bangladesh or its people.
  • China - n. People's Republic of, a country in E Asia.
  • Chinese - n. the standard language of China, based on the speech of Beijing; Mandarin; a native or descendant of a native of China. adj. of or relating to China, its inhabitants, or one of their languages​
  • Iran - n. a republic in SW Asia.
  • Iranian - adj. of or relating to Iran, its inhabitants, or their language; of or relating to the Iranian languages. n. a subbranch of the Indo-European family of languages, an inhabitant of Iran; Persian.​
  • Farsi - n.​ the modern Iranian language of Iran and western Afghanistan, written in the Arabic alphabet; modern Persian.​
  • Persianadj. of or relating to ancient and recent Persia (now Iran), its people, or their language. n. a member of the native peoples of Iran; the principal language of Iran and western Afghanistan, in its historical and modern forms.

Where are you from? What languages do you speak? What do you like to do when you travel? Write about it in the Facebook Comments section. Then practice writing and talking about countries and nationalities with a friend. 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.