English Learner Article English Pronunciation Quiz

Summary: Test your knowledge of accent reduction

By: |Audience: All|Category: Learning English


1. What is an accent?

A. A carryover of speech sounds from your native language to your second language.
B. A speech or language disorder.
C. A personality trait/characteristic

2. Where should the tongue be when making the American /th/ sound?

A. behind the teeth
B. between the upper teeth and the bottom lip
C. between the teeth
D. Lying at the bottom of the mouth

3. What part of the mouth should the tongue tip touch when producing the American /r/?

A. The tongue tip should tap the back of the teeth.
B. The tongue tip should not touch any part of the mouth
C. The tongue tip should touch the middle of the roof of the mouth
D. The tongue tip should be between the teeth.

4. What is intonation?

A. The pattern of pitch and stress in a verbal sentence.
B. The volume you speak at, as in: loud, quiet or normal.
C. How well you can hear tones.
D. What tone you use when speaking to others.

5. How important is listening to learning a new accent?

A. Somewhat important
B. Not very important
C. Very important
D. Doesn't have anything to do with learning an accent.

6. In these words how do you make the final sound: eyes, his, lies, begs

A. With an s like it is spelt!
B. The final sound is a z.
C. You leave off the final sound.

7. Say the following sentence with the word in red emphasized, and then choose the implied meaning from the intonation.

Ginny didn't tell Chas about the car accident.

A. Ginny was not the one that told, but maybe someone else told Chas.
B. Ginny lied about the car accident.
C. That there was no car accident.
D. Ginny told some one else (not Chas) about the accident.

8. What is linking?

A. Two words produced together to sound like one.
B. Two different thoughts linked together.
C. Two consonants are together.
D. The way words are put together in a sentence.

9. What is word stress?

A. The stress we feel when trying to think of a word.
B. The syllable stressed in multi-syllabic words.
C. The stressing of certain words in a sentence.
D. The change of pitch in a sentence.

Answers:

  1. A. You are in the habit of producing sounds in the way you learned with your first language. Now you will learn a new way of producing sounds, and they will become you habit when you speak English.
  2. C. /th/ is good sound to practice with a mirror. It is easy to see if you are using the correct position, which tongue position happens to be the most common error. Most people tend to keep the tongue behind the teeth.
  3. B. The American /r/ is unique. There is no contact between the tongue and any part of the mouth. The /r/ is similar to vowels in this respect.
  4. A. Intonation is the music of speech. It is what you can hear even if you can't hear exactly what two people in conversation are saying. It is an important part of intelligibility. Remember American speech has many peaks and valleys.
  5. C. If you can't hear how the sound is produced then you will not be able to copy the sound.
  6. B. Another trick of English spelling! When s follows a vowel or a voiced consonant it is produced as a /z.
  7. A. You have implied that someone else told Chas, and maybe in a secretive way.
  8. A. Combining words to sound like one as in: forgetit, askher, tellme
  9. B. The often confusing pattern of stress American English uses in multi-syllabic words. American English is influenced by so many different languages due to our immigrant history and the pattern of word stress reflects this.

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About the author:

Lynn Bo is an expert in the field of accent reduction who posses advanced training in accent reduction and phonology. She is also the founder of Accent Master.com a line of accent reduction software programs.