If you’re learning English it’s important to include American accent training in your studies. In this video I show you accent training exercises that you can use to pronounce three of the most difficult consonant clusters in American English: –sks, –sts and –sps. These consonant clusters come at the ends of words and are an important part of learning English. With this American accent training video I’ll show you exactly how to pronounce each of these clusters, and I’ll also give you multiple example words and sentences. Practicing it slowly, over-and-over, you will incorporate these sounds into your accent as you’re learning English and you’ll sound more and more like native speakers.
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You’ll be learning English the way native speakers do: by listening to yourself repeat each sound and sentence, and then making subtle corrections to your accent based on my teaching. American accent training in this format will help your pronunciation of these three consonant clusters—you’ll sound more like a native English speaker. Combinations of consonant sounds are an important part of the process when you’re learning English. I’ll help you get these three sounds just right, leading to you feel more confident when you’re in conversations.
An American English accent is made of individual sounds, made consecutively and together. Here you’ll get training on one of the most challenging sounds in American English: the Stop-T. Words ending in –sts include the Stop-T sound and I’ll show you exactly how to pronounce it! Non-native speakers have found a lot of help with the Stop-T using this method. American accent training needs to include many of these stop-consonants and in this video you’ll learn (and train!) on native speakers’ use of stop consonants and can mimic my voice as you do so. When you study and train on how to make each sound in the sequence your accent begins to sound more natural and smooth!
Learning English with this American accent training video will help you improve your confidence with three tricky consonant clusters and show you how to conceptualize these sounds and also how to train your accent to sound more native. You can master these American English sound combinations and grow your skills!
I’ve gotten a lot of questions from you about ending consonant clusters. In American English, there are lots of combinations of consonant sounds that can be challenging for non-native speakers. In this video, we’re going to talk about three of these combinations: words that end in SKS, STS, and SPS, like risks, tests, and wasps.
The tricky thing about these combinations of consonant sounds is how native speakers handle the stop consonant in the middle of S consonants.
In words like tests, dusts, we use a stop T. This means that after the first S, we’ll very quickly stop the airflow for a moment, and then release right back into the second S. When this happens very
Quickly, it can be difficult to hear.
Let’s examine one of the words in detail to get a better sense of this. Lasts. This word starts with a light L consonant sound, ll, tip of the tongue is lifted up and making contact behind the upper teeth. Lahh– Then the AH as in bat vowel so the tip of the tongue goes down behind the bottom front teeth. The jaw drops open and the back of the tongue lifts. Lah, lah.
Then we close the jaw and the teeth come together for the S.
The tongue tip is just behind the teeth and it can point up or down. Lass—Then we make a quick stop of the air, interrupting the S, this is the T. So you stop the airflow but you might also move your tongue. For example, my tongue presses against the roof of the mouth.
It’s not actually the tip that moves but the front top of the tongue just behind the tip. The tip stays in place, this is for the S, while this other part of the tongue lifts to the roof of the mouth then comes back down. Lasts. The air keeps going after the tongue comes back down, mouth is already in position for the S, so the S happens. Lasts.
So I lift the tongue, cut off the airflow, bring it back down, everything else is the same, so I’m going right into the S sound again. Practice this with me, holding out an S, stopping the air in the middle. Lasts. Sts. Sts. Lasts.
When the K consonant is between the two s constants, everything is the same except we move the back of the tongue. The front of the
Tongue is in position for the S. Ssss. Then the back of the tongue lifts and that cuts off the airflow, and it touches the soft palate. Sskkksss. Try that. Hold an S. Then lift the back of the tongue. Ssskkkksss. When you release the tongue, if you haven’t moved the front of your mouth, then you’re in position to make the S and just let the air flow through that. Ssskkksss. Ssskkkss. Let’s do some words. Risks.
Try that with me. Risks. Desks. Asks. What about the P sound like in wasps? Here, you can see, the thing that moves to cut off the airflow, it’s the lips. Sssppsss. So in the mouth, nothing moves. The tongue is in position for the S. Sssssppp. When you close your lips, it cuts off the airflow. Then when you release the lips, just let the air go through, don’t move anything else in your mouth and you’re already in position for that S. Ssspppsss.
Try that with me. Sssppppsss. Ssspppssss. Ssspppss. It’s just one long S while we close the lips throughout, making an SPS sound. Sssppsss. Sssppsss. Sssppsss. Sssppsss.
Now of course in the cluster, you’ll just close your lips once. Sps. Sps. Sps. Let’s put that in a word. Wasps. Wasps.
Let’s practice some more words together. I’ll say each word and this ending several times and I’ll wait each time for you to repeat it. Do it out loud. The only way to master a sound combination is to do it many times. Now is your chance. We’ll also do a sentence for each word. First, SKS.
Risks. Sks. Risks. Risks. There are some risks you’ll have to take.
Tasks. All the tasks are complete. Sks. Tasks. Tasks. All the tasks are complete.
Desks. Sks. Desks. Desks. We ordered two new desks.
Asks. Sks. Asks. Asks. She asks me that all the time. She asks me that all the time.
Masks. Sks. Masks. Masks. The air freshener masks the bad smell. The air freshener masks the bad smell. Masks. Masks.
Basks. Sks. Basks. Basks. The dog basks in the sunshine. The dog basks in the sunshine.
Whisks. Sks. Whisks. Whisks. He whisks the eggs for the omelet. He whisks the eggs for the omelette. Whisks.
Kiosks. Sks. Kiosks. Kiosks. The airport is full of kiosks selling all kinds of things. The airport is full of kiosks selling all kinds of things. Kiosks.
Mollusks. Sks. Mollusks. Mollusks. She studies mollusks. Asterisks. Asterisks. The contract has lots of asterisks. The contract has lots of asterisks.
Tests. Sts. Tests. Tests. The tests are hard. The tests are hard.
Dusts. Sts. Dust. Dusts. He vacuums and dusts twice a week.he vacuums and dusts twice a week.
Lasts. Sts. Lasts. Lasts. This battery lasts a long time. This battery lasts a long time.
Costs. Sts. Costs. Costs. We need to keep costs low. We need to keep costs low.
Posts. Sts. Posts. Posts. She posts on Facebook every day. She posts on Facebook every day.
Hosts. Hosts. They’re the hosts for the party. They’re the hosts for the party.
Blasts. Sts. Blasts. The blasts were heard across town. The blasts were heard across town.
Ghosts. Ghosts. I don’t believe in ghosts. I don’t believe in ghosts.
Resists. Resist. She resists getting help from anyone. She resists getting help from anyone.
Forests. Forests. We’re working on rebuilding the forests. We’re working on rebuilding the forests.
Wrists. Wrists. She broke both of her wrists in an accident. She broke both of her wrists in an accident.
Interests. Interests. I have many interests. I have many interests.
And finally SPS.
Gasps. Gasps. There were loud gasps when he came on stage. There were loud gasps when he came on stage.
Wasps. Wasps. Our garage is infested with wasps. Our garage is infested with wasps.
Clasps. Clasps. She clasps her hands. She clasps her hands.
Lisps. Lisps. I work with children with lisps. I work with children with lisps.
Wisps. Wisps. Wisps of hair were in her face. Wisps of hair were in her face.
Grasps. Grasps. The baby grasps the toy for the first time. The baby grasps the toy for the first time.
These ending clusters can be tricky until you break them down and study how to make each sound in the sequence. Once you do that, once you know that, it’s just about practicing it slowly over and over. Watch the end of this video where we practiced lots of words and sentences several times this will make these combinations much easier for you.
Thank you to everyone who suggested this topic or a similar video topic. I do read comments and I do get ideas on videos to make from your suggestions. That’s it and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.