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Interactive video lesson plan for: Pronunciation: How fluent speakers pronounce plosives

Activity overview:

Tim's back in his pronunciation workshop. This time he's finding out about plosives in natural spoken English - and he's wondering which country he'd like to visit next... For more, visit our website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/course/towards-advanced/unit-17/session-5

Transcript
Tim
Hi. I'm Tim and this is my pronunciation workshop. Here I'm going to show you how English is really spoken. Come on, let's go inside. Wow. Isn't the world an amazing place? Look how many countries there are! Well – at least ten! Do you like travelling? How many countries have you visited? Now, is there any particular place, or country, that you'd like to visit? This is what the people of London told us when we asked them that same question.

Voxpops
I'd like to visit Iceland.
I'd like to visit South America.
I'd like to visit Spain and Greece.
I'd love to go to Egypt.

Tim
The contraction 'I'd' ends in the sound /d/, doesn’t it? Or does it? Listen again - can you fully hear the /d/?

Voxpops
I'd like to visit Iceland.
I'd like to visit South America.
I'd like to visit Spain and Greece.
I'd love to go to Egypt.

Tim
We make the sounds of English in different ways, using different parts of our mouths. There's a group of consonants called plosives, and if this sounds a bit like the word 'explosion', well, that's not a bad way of remembering it. Plosive sounds are made by suddenly releasing air that has been blocked by various parts of the mouth. The sound /d/ is one of these plosives. The others are /b/, /t/, /p/, /k/ and /g/. But in fluent, everyday speech, when one word ends in a plosive sound and the next begins in another consonant sound, we don’t always hear the release of the plosive sound. 'I'd like to', becomes 'Idliketuh'. This is called 'an unreleased stop', or, if you want to get really technical, 'a stop with no audible release'. Here are some more examples.

Examples
How about a quick chat?
You should thank her.
It was a sad time in his life.
Why don't you sit down?

Tim
Right, so you've heard the examples, and now it's your turn. You know the drill by now: listen and repeat.

Examples
How about a quick chat?
You should thank her.
It was a sad time in his life.
Why don't you sit down?

Tim
Well done. And remember, if you want to learn more about this, then please visit our website, bbclearningenglish.com. And that is about it from the pronunciation workshop for this week. I'll see you soon. Bye bye! Now, if you were to ask me where I'd like to visit next… well – anywhere! I just love travelling. Now let's see if we can find my next destination. Oww! I hurt my finger… again!

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