Livestream: US Embassy English Speaking Workshop

The US Embassy in Hanoi hosted an English Speaking Workshop. It took place November 5, 2019. It was livestreamed and you can watch the entire event. I watched the first 15 minutes. I want to share what I learned.

Here’s a description of the workshop from the US Embassy Facebook page.

Do you want to enhance your pronunciation and speaking skills? This workshop will identify common pronunciation mistakes of Vietnamese speakers, identify major problematic English sounds and offer tips to overcome them, show you how to better understand native speakers, and outline steps to follow to approach sounding like a native speaker.

Speaker: Mr. Quang Than, ESL Teacher in the U.S, with areas of expertise: correction of mispronunciations, accent reduction, how to speak like a native speaker.

Here’s what I learned in the first 15 minutes. You should watch the entire livestream to learn more!

  • Mr. Quang Than has taught ESL to Vietnamese students for more than 40 years.
  • You will not be instantly successful. You have to work hard and practice.
  • English pronunciation is crazy! Don’t assume how a word is pronounced unless you know for sure.

Some words that are most often mispronounced by Vietnamese speakers of English.

  • receipt (P is silent)
  • south/southern (the sound in Southern changes here when adding ERN but not when adding ERN to these words North/Northern, West/Western, East/Eastern)
  • history
  • help
  • pretty
  • restaurant
  • style
  • comfortable
  • pizza

Some words that look like they might have the same pronunciation but they don’t. Don’t look at one word and assume that another word has the same pronunciation.

  • to, two, too
  • flew, clue, shoe
  • go/to
  • how/low
  • touch/couch
  • daughter/laughter
  • cough/tough
  • though/through/thought

Here are some common speaking mistakes made by Vietnamese speakers when speaking English.

  1. Dropping sounds in a word, especially the end sound (Examples – online, Facebook, design, sound, point, about, like)
  2. Failure to link sounds (sound at the end of the word connects with the next word – if there’s a consonant sound at the end of the first word and a vowel at the start of the next word, you connect the two sounds — Examples – speak up, come on)
  3. Speaking in a monotone, lacking stress, rhythm and intonation (putting together many sentences without pausing in between the sentences)

Watch the entire livestream here –

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