In my previous posts I introduced you to my favorite pronunciation teachers. They are Rachel andMandy. I referred to their materials (videos, audios, websites) in several other posts of mine such as classification of English vowel sounds. I still like their activity; however, if I wrote these posts nowadays, they could be little different. Why? I would consider another pronunciation teacher as well whose name is Jennifer Tarle. Today, I would like to write about her activity, Youtube channel and website.
”Jennifer founded her company called Tarle Speech in 2005 in order to empower individuals at all stages of life through better communication skills. Jennifer is a Certified Speech Pathologist with over 16 years of experience in speech-related training and pathologies.” ...”Jennifer is a self-published author of accent workbooks, audio CDs, DVDs, and iBooks. She distributes her books solely through this web site. Introductory through advanced classes on foreign accents are taught throughout the city of Chicago and via video conferencing throughout the world.”...” Jennifer works with individuals from all walks of life and all age groups.” You can read more details here.
I would like to highlight that she specialized on speech therapy of children and accent reduction of people speaking foreign accent. I’m not really surprised because these areas aren’t far from each other. Let’s think of a small child who can understand and describe everything, he or she can be very clever but there are problems with some sounds. A specialist is needed who help him or her. How can such problems be fixed? With a lot of practice during lessons as well as at home. And now let’s think of a foreigner guy who can speak excellent English, but he can’t pronounce some sounds of English. Why? Because many sounds of English don’t exist in other languages. Even his teachers could not teach them each sound as they’re not native English speaker (such as American) either. A specialist can help again. As I feel that both the problem and the solution are similar for small kids as well as people speaking English with foreign accent. There can be differences but they’re related as well.
Jennifer provides several kinds of materials. Firstly let’s speak about her Youtube channel.
I do like and appreciate when a teacher builds up a full system of learning materials even on a free Youtube channel that is more than just some examples to call the people’s attention. Jennifer teaches how I like the best. Anyway I do understand when someone uses Youtube as an advertisement possibility. Jennifer videos are clear, understandable and at last but not least short. Generally her videos are two minutes long (some are longer when the subject requires it). Her videos are solid and clear, they are easy to understand. In addition, solidity and clarity are true for all of her products. That’s why she became one of my favorite teachers.
I think the first step can be to watch the videos in that she introduces the vowel sounds, and the consonant sounds. She explains how to create each sound, gives examples (words and sentences) as well as she shows the most common mistakes when foreigner create any sounds.
I’d like to show a video as example:
In this video, Tarle teaches the ’AW sound’. Jennifer teaches this sound after the caught – cot merge. As I wrote in a previous post that the AW sound is merged with the short O sound in many parts of the United States. However, where these sounds are not merged yet, they are almost the same. I think it’s one of the main features of American English. I’m happy that Jennifer teaches these sounds as ONE merged sound.
I don’t have too much critical notes but now I give one. Videos of these playlists (vowels and consonants) are uploaded in a quite weak (240p) quality. It doesn’t really affect their usefulness but it can result that some people quit the video seeing the picture quality. (See her comment.)
Fortunately, the situation is better relating the series of frequently mispronounced words, embarrassing pronunciation mistakessome confusing word pairs. Jennifer tries to help you to avoid some problems that can occur while foreign people are speaking English.
I’d like to show an example again:
She explains the difference between the words ”hot” and ”hut”. After years of learning English, I still have problems with the pronunciation of the vowels sounds of ”hot” and ”hut”. I begin to be able to differentiate between these two sounds both in speaking and comprehension.
Here comes another example again:
In this video, she explains the difference between “of” and ”off”. The word “of” is among the most frequent English word, so is ”off”. So it’s important that you create and understand them correctly.
As I mentioned Jennifer’s free videos on Youtube from a full system. But if you want to learn and practice more, Jennifer also provides excellent learning materials to buy. I bought two books from her:
These two books excellently complete the free videos. Watching the videos one by one on Youtube channel then going through the audios and practicing a lot can be the best way to learn each sound.
In the books and audios, Jennifer gives clear explanation of creating, and spelling patterns of each sound, in addition she gives examples of the sound in beginning, middle, end position of the word as well as some practice sentences.
At last but not least, I’d like to speak about Jennifer’s website. It’s very rich, very well detailed, but it’s a little different from her other products. Her videos, books, audios are clear, user friendly. Maybe I’m not familiar enough with her website, so sometimes I have difficulties to find any information I need. Maybe it’s my mistake, maybe it’s caused by the structure of her website that could be reconstructed. (See her comment.)
In this short article, I couldn’t introduce all of her activity, products, videos, audios, but I tried to give you some information how and where to begin to learn with Jennifer. If you need more information, visit her website, blog, Facebook page, Youtube channel, or Twitter.
Learning English is not always easy, but Jennifer is able to make it as an enjoyable adventure. I highly recommend you to follow Jennifer.
“Try it, people will notice the difference.”
Here comes Jennifer's comment:
“Attila, thank you so much for the great article. I am pleased to hear that you find my products useful.
My goal is to provide easy to use materials. My YouTube Channel and iTunes Podcast (the same videos) are my way of helping for free. (If clients prefer, my videos and blog posts are posted on my Tarle Speech FaceBook Page, Twitter, Linked In, and/or Google Plus.) This is why I always tell clients to start with videos. There is so much information. I even publish “older” materials, like my first DVD, which are the “how to” vidoes for vowels and consonants. Believe it or not, these videos were state of the art at the time I published them in 2005. Now that they are 9 years old, they seem to have poor quality. My thought process was “why not publish them, the information is still relevant”. Glad you found them helpful even with the “old school” quality.
I couldn’t agree more that my website is difficult to use. I am happy to report that I am working on a new site with even more FREE videos and articles for 2015. My materials are all being republished in higher quality audio AND video and will be available on my site and through the iTunes store.
Thanks for the feedback and the exposure on your amazing blog. If you are in Chicago let’s get together for dinner!
Thank you for your attention.
See you later,