R/L Word Pairs

February 14th, 2021 by

The flies that are linked on this pater are word pairs that exchange ‘r’ and ‘l’ sounds. They are organized into separate files per word pair and the name of the file is the word pair. 

Download the files (more keep coming) and put them on your phone, ipod, or other device you used to listen to music.  Listen to them randomly and see if you can identify the word pairs.  Practice saying the back.  Many devices give you the ability to slow the audio down, so you should try that to help you make the sounds. 

Donald Steiny Reading the Word List 

There is a PDF file at the end of this page that is the list of words. 




Syllable Exercise – Up in the Air

November 17th, 2020 by

Read the section in the text about syllables, then listen to the speech George Clooney’s character plays in this video clip. The first time you listen, watch his mouth, and his face as much as possible. Listen to it again, and this time follow along with the text. 

Now,  go through the text looking for three things. 

  1. Syllables (put a slash between the syllables, or something else meaningful).
  2. Stressed syllables (often a grave quote is used for that – `)
  3. Vowels that have been reduced to schwa [ə] (circle them, color them, or anything meaningful). 

Stress and Rhythm Exercise – Up In The Air Speech 1

October 28th, 2020 by

This exercise consists of a video clip from the movie Up In The Air, where George Clooney plays a human resources consultant named Sean who is an expert at firing people. In the clip, he is giving a motivational speech. 

In addition to the clip, there is a PDF file that is a transcript of the speech. 

You need to read the transcript along with the speech, mark all the stressed syllables with an accent mark (`), and draw a line through all the unstressed syllables that have been converted to schwa (ə).  Notice other places where unstressed syllables have been compressed by contractions or changing the vowels. 

Read the speech along with Sean several times and make sure you say the unstressed vowels correctly.  Put more emphasis on the stressed vowels and less on the unstressed. It creates a rhythm where the stressed vowels are somewhat equal distance apart, louder, and more distinct than the unstressed ones.