​The Received
Pronunciation
Curriculum

The course has 76+ lessons, each introducing a new sound, or another aspect of pronunciation. Every lesson contains explanations and exercises. You will learn to create each sound, and then you will practise each sound in context.

Introduction

  • Method of learning

  • The Phonemic Alphabet

  • The Speech Organs

Long vowels

  • The [ɑː] sound as in “art”

  • The [uː] sound as in “move”

  • The [ɔ:] sound as in “walk”

  • The [i:] sound as in “see”

  • The [ɜː] sound as in “work”

Short vowels

  • The [ə] neutral vowel (schwa) as in “teacher”

  • The [ɪ] sound as in “sit”

  • Comparison [ə] - [ɪ] and [ɪ] – [i:]

  • The [ʌ] sound as in “must”

  • The [ɒ] sound as in “hot”

  • Comparison [ɒ] - [ɔ:] and [ɒ] - [ʌ]

  • The [e] sound as in “set”

  • The [ʊ] sound as in “wood”

  • Comparison [ʊ] and [u:]

  • The [æ] sound as in “flat”

Diphthongs

  • Diphthong [əʊ] as in “coat”

  • Diphthong [eɪ] as in “late”

  • Diphthong [ɔɪ] as in “toy”

  • Diphthong [ɪə] as in “nuclear”

  • Diphthong [aɪ] as in “fly”

  • Diphthong [ʊə] as in “tour” and triphthong [jʊə] as in “fuel”

  • Diphthong [eə] as in “pear”

  • Diphthong [aʊ] as in “loud”

Semi-Vowels

  • Semi-vowel [j] as in “yes”

  • Semi-vowel [w] as in “water”

Plosive Consonants

  • Plosive consonants unvoiced [p] as in “pat” and [b] as in “bat”

  • Plosive consonants unvoiced [t] as in “test” and voiced [d] as in “did”

  • Plosive consonants unvoiced [k] as in “key” and voiced [g] as in “glue”

Nasal Consonants and Nasal Plosions

  • Nasal consonant [m] as in “smoke”

  • Nasal consonant [n] as in “nine”

  • Nasal consonant [ŋ] as in “sing”

  • Nasal plosion [tn] as in “button” and [dn] as in “suddenly”

Lateral Consonants and Lateral Plosions

  • Lateral consonant [l] as in “alone”

  • Lateral consonant [tl] as in “gentle” and [dl] as in “middle”

Fricative Consonants

  • Fricative consonants unvoiced [f] as in “flower” and voiced [v] as in “very”

  • Unvoiced consonant [θ] as in “three”

  • Voiced consonant [ð] as in “this”

  • Unvoiced [s] as in “sweet” and voiced [z] as in “zebra”

  • Unvoiced [ʃ] as in “shirt” and voiced [ʒ] as in “massage”

  • Unvoiced consonant [h] as in “hello”

Affricates

  • The [r] sound as in “red”

  • Affricates unvoiced [tʃ] as in “cheap” and voiced [dʒ] as in “jeep”

Difficult Speech Patterns

  • Consonant clusters

  • Voiced and unvoiced endings for plurals and third person singular

  • Past tense verbs ending with “ed”.

  • Glottal Stops /ʔ/

  • Neutral vowel (schwa) /ə/

  • Strong and weak forms of words

Connected Speech Patterns

  • Consonant elision

  • Liaisons – Compound nouns

  • Liaisons – Phrasal verbs with adverbial particles and prepositions

  • Liaisons – Continuous verbs with adverbs or nouns

  • Liaisons – Words with prepositions

  • Liaison of vowel to vowel

  • Linking /r/

  • Intrusive /r/

Flow of Speech

  • Neutral flow of speech

  • Sentence stress

  • Intonation and inflection

  • Onomatopoeia

Ps (Power, Pause, Pace and Pitch)

  • Power

  • Pause

  • Pace

  • Pitch

  • Summary of the 4 Ps

Additional Speech Exercises

  • Maintaining correct pronunciation

  • Difficulties in pronunciation of the speakers of world languages

  • Warm-up exercises

  • Vowel comparison chart

  • Consonant comparison

  • Pronunciation of London Underground stations and place names

  • Pronunciation of British place names

  • Strong and weak forms chart

Congratulations

  • A revision

Methodology Used in This Course

In this course, I set out a complete method of learning English sounds, which somebody who comes from a different country might not have in their own native language. One of the important things about this course is that it’s made absolutely clear what is happening in the mouth: where the lips go, where the tongue is placed, if the jaw is open or closed, etc. Once those three positions are checked and sorted out then there is no way that you could not make that particular English sound.

The second important part of speech training is training the muscles of the tongue, lips and jaw, so that the brain memory responds to it automatically. You train them by pronouncing words and sentences with a target sound. You finish with a little bit of verse, something interesting and amusing, but also containing a target sound.

 

For consonants I also give practice through articulation exercises, such as period verses and tongue twisters, which get the tongue and the lips really moving so that we get clarity and crispness of speech.

English is a very energetic and dynamic language and good articulation makes a big difference.

 

All exercises are accompanied by audio files.

 

The lessons in this course are quite intensive and are aimed for those who strive to achieve outstanding results in improving their accents within a short period of time. Your results might depend on your ability to hear your own speech and the time you spend mastering the sounds.

Who This Course Is For

Native English speakers include:

  • Pronunciation and speech teachers

  • Actors with non-RP accents who wish to pursue an acting career in the UK

  • Hollywood actors who need to develop a British accent

  • Professionals for whom a high standard of English and clarity of speech are important.

Non-native English speakers include:

  • Students

  • International business people and executives

  • Diplomats

  • People who work in service and hospitality industries and need to communicate with good English.

FAQ

Why do I have an accent?

Everyone in the world has an accent when they speak. One accent is no better than any other. However, people who speak English as a second language regularly ask me for help with English pronunciation in order to stop people misunderstanding the things that they say. It's frustrating to be asked to repeat yourself, or to feel that people are listening to how you are speaking, rather than what you are saying. This course will help you to understand how small changes to your pronunciation can make a big difference to how well you are understood.

Why soften my accent?

There are a number of reasons why you may want to soften your accent. They may not all apply to you
and you may have reasons of your own, but these are some of the most common:

  • People make judgements about us when we speak, both professional and personal judgements. We may not like it, but they do.

  • A strong accent may often be perceived as a low language level, which is frustrating for the speaker and can lead to missed opportunities in work and everyday life.

  • A strong accent, even with perfect grammar and vocabulary, can prevent understanding and make you feel less confident about communicating. 

In reality, pronunciation is a separate skill and not a reflection of how fluent you are. However, the way that we speak also affects the way that we hear, so not understanding the rules of pronunciation can mean that some information is processed incorrectly, and can lead to misunderstandings and more missed opportunities.

Is it important to have good pronunciation?
Just consider the following points:

Bad pronunciation:​

  • May be confusing and hard to understand for those who listen to you

  • Gives the impression that you are uneducated

  • Doesn't allow you to become a good public speaker.

Good pronunciation and a neutral accent:

  • Allows you to become a pleasant communicator

  • Is a good basis for public speaking

  • Will enable you to enjoy speaking more

  • Gives you confidence, and your confidence in turn opens up for you all sorts of opportunities.

What accent will I learn?

The British English accent you will be learning in this course is called Received Pronunciation, or RP for short. Geographically, RP is most commonly associated with the south of England, and is one of the main accents spoken in and around London, although certainly not the only one. Queen Elizabeth Il speaks a very traditional form of RP, while many British TV and radio presenters speak one which is more typical of modern-day users

Why Received Pronunciation?

Why not learn to speak with a Scottish or London Cockney accent? Why make an effort to reduce a strong Russian or Spanish accent? The reason is very simple: to help you with making your English clear and easy to understand for the majority of English-speaking people. This course teaches you how to develop Received Pronunciation (RP). RP is simply a neutral pronunciation of educated Southern English. It's sometimes called Standard English.

What is the history of RP?

Beginning over a century ago, RP spread rapidly throughout the Civil Service of the British Empire and became the voice of authority and power in a substantial part of the world. Because it was a regionally 'neutral' accent, and was thought to be more widely understood than any regional accent, it also came to be adopted by the BBC when radio broadcasting began in the 1920s.


The first Director General of the BBC, Lord Reith, when asked why he had chosen RP for the BBC, replied: "I tried to get a style or quality of English which would not be laughed at in any part of the country.


To date RP retains its considerable status. It is still the standard accent of Parliament, the Church of England, the High Courts and other British national institutions. It has long been the chief accent taught to foreigners who wish to learn a British model. RP is also taught in acting schools in the UK, as actors from different cultural and social backgrounds are required to have the ability to speak using RP when it's necessary for their performances.

It should be noted that RP is not static. Modern RP has been simplified compared to, say, what it was over 50 years ago, and now sounds more neutral and democratic. However, it will most certainly remain the accent of educated people.

How will it feel?

Working on your accent will feel very different from working on your grammar or vocabulary. When you change how you speak, you change a part of your identity. Our voices and accents are highly personal reflections of who we are. When we speak, we instantly share information with the world about where we have come from and how we feel about ourselves. People respond to that information, and make judgements, even if they don't realize they are doing so. When you change the way you speak, people will respond to you differently, and you will also feel different about yourself. People sometimes say they feel fake when they first start learning a new accent. This is unavoidable, so I recommend treating it as part of the fun! Give yourself permission to feel different at first, like putting on a disguise. You will gradually get more and more used to talking in this way.

Where can I listen to examples of this English accent?

Search for these speakers on YouTube to hear the accents:

Female: Maggie SmithEmma WatsonKeira Knightley 

Male: Ralph Fiennes, Benedict Cumberbatch, Hugh BonnevilleJeremy IronsCharles Dance

What are your terms & conditions/privacy policy?

You can find the terms & conditions here. The privacy policy can be found here.

 

How long will it take to change my level?

It normally takes 6-9 months; however, it also depends on many things:

  • Your current level of English

  • The level of English you need (Hint: for most people, upper intermediate is enough)

  • Which languages you already speak

  • If you’re living in an English-speaking country

  • How hard you study

  • How much you practice

  • How good you are at learning languages.

 

How often can we talk on WhatsApp?

You can contact me any time except weekends and official public holidays in Britain. Feedback takes up to 24 hours to be provided.

How It Works

Skype Lessons

In these online lessons, you will learn everything you could possibly need in order to improve your English level and significantly improve your Standard Received Pronunciation. 

Practice On WhatsApp

Feedback, counsel, guidance, and conversation with voice messaging on WhatsApp. Throughout our journey, you will be able to ask me any question, anytime.

Downloads & Homework

Downloadable files with every lesson you have. These are filled with plenty of exercises that you will be required to do before the next class. They will be very instrumental in your journey.

Online payments are currently suspended, please contact: berberenglish@gmail.com to book your lesson.