Lose your accent! English vowel /ə/ “schwa”

It looks like he's saying it right!
It looks like he’s saying it right!

You can sound like a native.

The vowel /ə/schwa” requires special work by English learners, because /ə/ is articulated so much like /a/ and /ɛ/. In this video I contrast these sounds in similar words.

  • but, bought, bet
  • cut, caught/cot, get
  • dud, dot, dead

As usual I talk specifically about the tongue and lip position, as well as the jaw, so that you can feel and see the sound, in addition to hearing it.

Even though speaking with a foreign accent seems like a normal state, you can learn how to make the sounds that sound easy in the mouths of natives. This video series increases your awareness of all the parts of your mouth you use for speaking. A language never felt so good!

Dr. Thomas Coates blew my mind. He taught me how my tongue, lips, jaw, and teeth create language. Like a Chinese calligrapher learns how each finger holds a brush, like a yogi breathes with specific depth and stretch of her diaphragm, I took the first steps towards mastering language: losing my accent.


One thought on “Lose your accent! English vowel /ə/ “schwa”

  1. Nick

    I remember when I first found out about schwa sounds when I enrolled on a TESOL course in Thailand in 2012. It really blew my mind, as it is such an important yet overlooked aspect of English pronunciaion. By the way, I am really loving these in-depth videos and articles about how to form your mouth and make the correct sounds. This is something I feel there should be more of an emphasis on when it comes to language teaching / learning.

    Liked by 1 person

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