Author Archives: Blythe

Sounds of “A” in Tack and Take- #20049

This lesson allows you to listen to and practice two different pronunciations of the letter A.

english pronunciation practiceLISTEN

Practice your listening skills by listening for the difference between the two sounds of /æ/ and /eɪ/ in the following words.

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Minimal Pairs

    /æ/     /eɪ/
1. tack     take
2. stack   stake/steak
3. mat     mate
4. past     pace

Other Words to Compare

    /æ/            /eɪ/
5. relax          relate
6. manager     main
7. scratch        scrape
8. hack           ache
9. tablet         table

More Practice
Once you have finished this lesson, you may also want to visit these related pages:
Difficult Vowel Sounds Overview
Difficult Vowel Sounds Practice A

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Learning English On Your Own – #20046

This lesson offers helpful tips on studying English on your own. You will learn how to: analyze your learning style to determine how you learn best, vary your English study strategies so you won't become bored, and organize your efforts to identify achievable short-term English language goals. The questions at the end of the lesson are designed to guide you as you formulate your plans to learn English through self-study.

english pronunciation practiceANALYZE

Find out what kind of learner you are. You can learn more effectively if you understand your strengths and use them to help you. Think about what has helped you in the past. Answer these questions to get an idea of how you learn best.

  • Do you need to “see” it on paper to understand?
  • Do you need to “hear” it to understand?
  • Do you learn better when you are having fun?
  • Do you remember more when you are moving around?
  • Do you need to memorize rules?
  • Do you learn by talking to people?
english pronunciation practiceVARY YOUR STRATEGIES

Change your study habits once in a while so you don't get bored. Try new strategies. What worked for you 10 years ago might not work for you now.

  • Keep a record of how many people you talked to in one day. Try to break that record.
  • Start a blog or personal journal.
  • Create your own YouTube instructional videos about something you know a lot about.
  • Write comments on news articles.
  • Listen to podcasts on a subject you know nothing about.
  • Buy a grammar book and review the rules of English grammar.
  • Subscribe to a magazine and read the articles every month.
  • Join a book club and attend meetings.
  • Volunteer at a community event.
  • Go to a lecture or talk at a university.
  • Join a tour group in the city and learn about your local area.
  • Meet a conversation partner at a cafe to simply talk.
  • Take an English class at a local school.
  • Join a Meetup group and attend events.
  • Volunteer to give a presentation at work.
english pronunciation practiceORGANIZE

Set achievable, short-term goals. (For example: My goal is to finish a book this month; to learn 10 vocabulary words; to be able to tell a story; to be able to ask questions in meetings.)

  • Create a study notebook with material that you have studied. Review it every month or two.
  • Study in short intervals. (10, 20, or 30 minutes a day)
  • Tell someone about your study plan, and talk about it frequently.
  • Plan out when, where and how you will study.
english pronunciation practiceQUESTIONS

Answer these questions to help yourself get started on a self-learning program:

  • What is your first goal? [Example: I will be able to... by (deadline).]
  • When will you study?
  • How will you study?
  • Who will you study with?
  • How will you measure improvement?

Your biggest obstacle is fear. Don’t let it stop you. Good luck!

More Practice
Once you have studied this lesson, you may also want try these pages with related content:
Fluent English

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Introduction (Cold) Email Template – #20030

This page provides a template for writing a cold introduction email, an email you send to introduce yourself to a new contact. Two additional sample scripts are included to guide you as you compose follow-up emails. One of the scripts is a suggested response for when your new contact wants to meet you; the other tells you what to say when the contact does not want to meet you.

english pronunciation practicePRACTICE

In addition to making a cold call, you will want to send an email introducing yourself to a new contact.

INTRODUCTION EMAIL
Sample:

Dear (name),

My name is (your name), and I am the (your title) at (your company). We provide (service) and are very interested in discussing (topic) with you. I met the director of marketing at your company last week, and she suggested that I contact you about this. Please let me know if you would be interested in meeting with us to discuss (topic). I look forward to speaking to you soon.

If you would like more information about (your company), please visit (your website).

Best regards,
(your name)

FOLLOW UP IF THEY ARE INTERESTED

Sample:
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More Practice
Once you have read this page, you may also want to try these related pages:
Cold Call Phone Scripts
Cold Call Voicemail Scripts
Accent Diet: Pausing Lesson 1 Practice 4

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Presenting Smoothly Without Quirks #20043

This video teaches you how to give a smooth presentation that is free of quirks, i.e., distracting physical habits that divert audience attention away from you and your message. Some of the most common physical quirks are demonstrated. You will learn how video taping yourself can reveal any nervous habits that you don't realize you have. You will learn about the “presentation strike zone," a safe area for your hands to occupy as you speak. Finally, you will learn some acceptable replacement gestures that give your hands something to do and reinforce what you want to communicate.

video

WATCH THE VIDEO

Main Points

  1. Identify your quirks. (Record yourself to find out what they are.)
  2. Give your hands something to do. (Keep them in the strike zone.)

More Practice
Once you have viewed this video, you may also want to try these related pages:
Hand Gestures While Presenting
Oral Presentation Skills and Voice Gestures
Look at Your Audience

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Hand Gestures While Presenting #20044

This video demonstrates the “presentation strike zone,” the area of your body between your shoulders and waist that your hands should occupy when you speak before an audience. Observe how limiting any hand gesturing body language to this area makes it easy for your audience to see both your hands and your face at one glance. The speaker demonstrates how gesturing outside this area can be distracting and ineffective; such hand motions should only be used when audience attention is purposely being directed towards something outside of the strike zone.

video

WATCH THE VIDEO

Main Points

  1. The strike zone is the area between your shoulders and waist.
  2. Limit your hand movement to the area in the strike zone when speaking.
  3. Move your hands outside the strike zone to draw the audience's attention to something else.

More Practice
Once you have viewed this video, you may also want to visit these related pages:
Look at Your Audience
Oral Presentation Skills and Voice Gestures
Presenting Smoothly Without Quirks

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Cold Call Phone Scripts – #20017a

This lesson provides a script to follow to compose an effective cold call, a phone call you make to introduce yourself to a new contact. You will be guided to personalize the script by plugging in information about you, your company and the services your company has to offer. Additional script templates provide follow-up question to ask when your contact is interested in meeting with you. One final script tells you what to say and ask when your contact does not want to meet.

english pronunciation practicePRACTICE

Practice reading the following script with your company information.

PHONE CALL
"Hi (name), this is (your name) with (company name). (Company name) specializes in providing (service), and I think we could help your company with (service). I’d like to talk with you about that if you have a few minutes."

--> If the person says"yes," follow up with these questions:

  • How do you currently solve (problem)?
  • What are your biggest problems with your current strategy?
  • How often do you…?
  • Do you need…?
  • Could you benefit from (service)?
  • If we could show you how we address (stated problem) would you be interested in taking the time to see our product?

They are interested.--> You say, "When are you available to meet?" (schedule meeting)
They are not interested. --> You say, "Thank you for your time. Have a great day."

--> If the person says, "no," follow up with these questions:

  • When is a better time to call?
  • Would you like me to email you information about our service?

They are interested.--> You say, "Great." (get information)
They are not interested. --> You say, "Thank you for your time. Have a great day."

More Practice
Once you have finished this lesson, you may also want to visit these related pages:
Introduction (Cold) Email Template
Cold Call Voicemail Scripts

If you are a MyOvient PLUS or PRO member, you can ask questions or leave comments about this page. Click here to learn more about MyOvient Membership.

Cold Call Voicemail Scripts – #20017b

This lesson provides a script to follow when composing a cold call voicemail, a voicemail that you leave to introduce yourself to a new contact. You will be guided to personalize the script by plugging in information about you, your company and its services, and how you can be reached. Follow-up scripts are provided to serve as templates for leaving second and third voicemails attempts.

english pronunciation practicePRACTICE

Practice reading the following script with your company information.

LEAVING A VOICEMAIL

First Attempt:
"Hi (name), this is (your name) with (company name). My phone number is (number). (Company name) specializes in providing (service), and I think we could help your company with (service). I’d like to talk with you about (your offer) if you have a few minutes."

"Even if you’re not actively searching for a (supplier/service), let me know if you’d like to receive (our catalog/monthly email). Again, my phone number is (number), and I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks."

Second Attempt:

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More Practice
Once you have finished this lesson, you may also want to visit these related pages:
Introduction (Cold) Email Template
Cold Call Phone Scripts

If you are a MyOvient PLUS or PRO member, you can ask questions or leave comments about this page. Click here to learn more about MyOvient Membership.

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