SayLish for Pronunciation Practice

  SayLish is a quite-new website to help you listen to English words and phrases – as part of presentations and conversations posted on YouTube.  PLUS – you can record your own voice, to compare your pronunciation with the video.

Voice recording support has been added just recently on iPhone/iPad with Safari, and we’ll give an example with that.  It also works with Android phones/tablets, and desktop computers.

For example, if you search for videos with the word “infrequently“, you will see part of a YouTube video that contains your chosen word.  After you listen to this, you can pause and …

  •   Repeat this to hear it again 
  •   Go to the next video that contains this word
  • or press the “Speaking” button to switch to the screen where you can record your voice
  •   After you listen, press the microphone to record, and try to pronounce the words you hear.  Then press Stop () when you finish

Then you can …

  •   Compare your pronunciation with the speaker in the video
  •   Go to the next part of the SAME video
  •   Go to the next video that contains your search word

Saylish has additional features which we will cover in another posting.

Listen a Minute

  Listen a Minute is a free website with hundreds of short listening lessons.  Each recording is less than one minute.

  • Listen to the recording while you read the words
  • If you have time, you can try one or two exercises
  • This website is in England, so the accent and a few words are a little different, but it’s still good practice and will work well on your smartphone

Here’s an example about Eggs:

Eggs are great. Where would we be without them? They are so useful. I can’t imagine life or cooking without them. There are many ways of cooking eggs for breakfast – fried eggs, scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, etc. There are even many ways of “cooking” these. You can have a runny or hard fried egg or even have it sunny side up. You can have soft or hard-boiled eggs and fluffy scrambled eggs. There are also many things to put on top of eggs – mayonnaise, ketchup, salt, soy sauce. Each country has something different. I like cooking with eggs. I particularly like breaking them. I can now do it with one hand, without breaking the yolk. Sometimes it gets messy and the egg white starts dripping down your arm.

  • Quiz 1 (Choose the correct words of the story)
  • Quiz 2 (Dictation – write the words you hear)

Listening Exercises

   Seminole State College in Florida has a web page with many helpful listening exercises. There are three levels of difficulty.

Each activity has 10 questions.  For questions 1-5, listen to the audio and choose the sentence you hear.
Here’s an example:

  • That blue house was great!
  • That new house is great!
  • That new house isn’t great.

For questions 6-10, listen to the audio and choose the best answer that you see.
Here’s an example:

  • She pays every month.
  • He pays every month.
  • They pay every month.

To begin, try this exercise.  If you like it, here are many more.

Do You Like Rainy Days?

  Listen to 6 people say what they think about rainy days.

If you listen on the website – ELLLO.ORG – you can read the words (the “script”) while you listen, and take a quiz to see how much you understand.

They call this exercise “Mixers”, where 6 people – with different English accents – give their opinion about something.  You can see many more of them on the website.

There are also many other listening and video lessons on this website.

StoryCorps

StoryCorps is an organization that records short stories (~3 minutes) that people tell about their lives.  They post them on their website.  For each, you can listen to the story, and you can also read the words (transcript) while you listen.

  Here’s one story called “Tell Me About Your Childhood in Mexico“.

StoryCorps also makes podcasts (like a recorded radio show) that are 10 to 20 minutes long.  You can download these to your phone/tablet, and then play it using a podcast app on your device.

Some of the stories are animated, where you can watch and listen to the story while you read the English subtitles.  Many of these are posted on YouTube.  Here’s one called Facundo the Great…

Dictation

  Dictation is listening to someone speaking and then trying to write what you hear.

Practicing dictation can help improve your:

  • English listening skills
  • Grammar
  • Writing and Punctuation
  • Spelling
  • Speaking and pronunciation (if you speak the words you hear – out loud – while you’re writing it)

The EnglishClub website has a good collection of dictation exercises, at 3 different levels of difficulty.  Here’s an example:

1. Listen to the dictation at normal speed (just listen; don’t try to write it).

2. Listen again at slow speed and try to write/type what your hear (with a smartphone, you need to use paper).
Include capitalization and punctuation.

3. Listen again at slow speed if you need to.
4. Listen at normal speed for a last check.
5. When you’re ready, click/press Show Answer and compare the answer to your writing.
    (The mailbox is just behind the big water fountain.)