I am looking for a book(let) on (British) English tongue position/setting, not too elaborate or expensive, to improve my spoken English.

Anyone heard of such a thing?

Thanks in advance.

I only know there's this website. It's supposed to be for American English though.


Anyway, as long as you don't put your tongue in a completely different place (and therefore you really can't pronounce a sound decently), I don't think that focusing too much on tongue position is vital.

I think that once you can pronounce the sounds "decently", all you need is just an accent reduction course, and after that, when you feel your English is better and after enough practice, you might realize you are able to pick up more subtleties in spoken English.
Thank you Koyeen. That website you gave me is amazing. Emotion: smile I think I'm quite advanced
in my speech at this point, if I can say so myself. But I can learn a lot from that site.

But contrary to what you say about focusing too much on tongue position and that is not that vital, I actually disagree with you on that issue. I think tongue position is actually very vital, because it facilitates smooth, fluent motion of the tongue in your mouth, and consequently, it enables you to find and feel all sounds much better. To me it's somewhat like playing tennis: you have to take a position in the centre of the field, and only from that position can you smoothly and fluently hit the
ball in all sorts of stances.

Lately I've read a thing or two about anchoring the tongue. Do you by any chance know
anything about that?


Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
dokterjokkebrokI actually disagree with you on that issue. I think tongue position is actually very vital, because it facilitates smooth, fluent motion of the tongue in your mouth,
Well, that's actually true. What I was saying was I would avoid spending too much time on complicated details, for example. There are a lot of variations, and no book or course covers them. You can only get the basics, and then you might improve and pick up the variations you like over time.
For example, every course will tell you that to make an L-sound your tongue needs to touch the roof of your mouth, but that's not always true in several dialects/accents. When I say "real", the tip my tongue gets very close to the roof of the mouth, but doesn't touch it like when I say an "n", like, "bean".

I found information on how to connect sounds much more useful, on the other hand. Example:
S + SH = This shoe >>> SH + SH = Thish shoe
N + TH = Burn this >>> Both N and TH move toward each other, so N is more behind the upper teeth, and TH is higher and moves behind the upper teeth too.

You can find the most important information in accent reduction courses. For more advanced stuff, you would need to study linguistics, I guess, but then it would get very complicated, definitely too complicated for an average ESL learner.
Okay. I see your point. Emotion: smile Thanks again.
Amazon.com 'Acting with an accent - british received pronunciation' (about 30 dollars) with a CD by David Alan Stern - the best course ever but if you think it is going to be easy - I am telling you it is not Emotion: wink) warning: he teaches the accent to Americans here - so it is not for non-native speakers of english, so I assume you have to have the American tongue position here first, I prefer am acc and I am learning it from his course (am acc for non-native speakers of English) - it is like learning to talk from the very beginning
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
This topic of "tongue placement" is elusive, yet used by many folks in the speech/drama circles. In Accent reduction circles, it is not taught much. Here is one site that mentions it: http://www.speakmethod.com/accentschart.html

David Alan Stern is a guy from the voice/drama circles. So, he uses it in his tapes. A phonetician who has tackled a bit about this: John Laver. He calls it voice settings.

I could not understand what these guys were saying at first.

This is what I understand today after trying to expand my knowledge beyond English sounds. Most if not all think that both tongue and jaw are used simultaneously to produce vowels (lips, if one want rounded versions).

The trick to get to what these authors were saying is to isolate the tongue from the jaw. Keep your jaws 10 mm wide (or keep a pencil) and try to produce all vowels in the IPA vowel chart (monophthongs). Now you realize that you can produce all vowels without moving your jaw, as long as the jaw not clenched, not too wide opened (if your jaws too wide open, you will hear the clack sound--which is not good).

The above exercise is to get rid of the myth that both jaw and tongue movements are required to produce vowel sounds.

What Americans tend to do when they speak, there is a space in the middle of mouth. Keep your mouth in such a way that you can feel both cheeks in your mouth: usually there is a space in the middle of mouth. In this setting, you can produce all vowels. This is what these guys talking about.

What confuses most people is the notion that there is ONLY ONE way to produce vowels; this is an illusion due to the way we are taught that both tongue and mandible move when you produce vowels. Many jaw exercises in voice/singing circles and many vowel gliding exercises with a fixed jaw position in phonetics circles (esp JC Catford, L. Canepari) help you gain awareness and change your voice. You can play ventriloquist that way, just changing these things.

Tongue setting: lets take Indians. Those who know a bit about a voice can figure out that these guys are producing in the back or heavy back resonance. This has to do with less pharyngeal space. Their vowel realizations are retracted a bit; there could be a tongue root tension. One can see many other things.

Free jaw movement fixes the pharyngeal space problem. But it doesn't reduce the accent. Accent acquisition or reduction includes this kind of resonance awareness as well as other things.