Speech Sounds and Stress for English Language Learners

This document and the accompanying audio are meant as background material learning the sound of spoken English. It is unusual in that its primary focus is on the sounds and rhythm of English. It does not ignore vocabulary and grammar, but there are many excellent courses on that. A focus on vocabulary and grammar is necessary for reading and writing, and for speaking, of course, but, it is possible to be able to read and write well but still not be understandable in English.

One way of learning pronounciation is by rote memorization the way children do. However, as adults we have already learned, at least, one language. We will find that the pronounciation, stress, and rhythm of our first language intrudes on new languages that we learn and are the reason for accents. Accents are fine and can be charming if they are not so strong that the become barriers to communication. This written document allows you to go over concepts, find and practice areas that are challenging for you. As an adult learner, having meta-knowledge accelerates the learning process.