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Can you sing? I like to sing very much, but I don’t have a great singing voice. I’m better at playing the piano. I understand music pretty well, and of course I understand the English language quite well, so I feel confident that I can guide you to have better intonation and rhythm in English. In some ways, speaking a language is like singing a song. There are words. There’s a melody. And there’s a rhythm. Every language has its own music. I bet that even if you don’t speak other languages, you can probably recognize them based on what you hear, right? If you want to sound more natural in English, then you have to listen carefully to the musical quality of the English language. English is a stress-timed language. What does that mean? First, let’s talk about words. English words of two or more syllables have stressed and unstressed sounds. A stressed sound is generally louder, longer, and at a higher pitch. For example, English. Listen. DA-da communication Next, let’s talk about sentences. English sentences have stressed and unstressed words. We stress content words. Like nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs… Words that carry meaning. Function words, like articles and prepositions, are normally unstressed. We say the more softly and generally faster. Our content words fall on the beat. Function words are off beat. If you’d like to learn more about how unstressed words and unstressed sounds change in fast speech, watch my 20-day Fast Speech Challenge. In this 10-day challenge, we’ll focus mainly on intonation. These changes in pitch happen on stressed words. So you’ll learn how stress and intonation work together. Intonation is a key part of our communication in English. Are you ready for your first full lesson on intonation? We’ll start soon, but let’s not rush. Remember – after each lesson you need to take time to practice on your own. Repeat the model sentences aloud. If possible, record yourself and compare your speech to mine. You can do this kind of listen-repeat practice with other speakers as well. For example, a short film clip or part of an audio interview can provide a good model. As always, thanks for watching and happy studies!

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