Received Pronunciation Courses & Workshops
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**NEW WORKSHOP EVENT** An Introduction to British English Pronunciation and Accent: Saturday, May 13th, 2023
Learn the accent spoken by BBC newsreaders, presenters, journalists, and the top British actors in Hollywood.
This website is dedicated to helping you achieve an authentic British RP accent through a variety of resources and services. Whether you're looking for self-study courses, in-person or virtual workshops, or simply helpful tips and tricks, I'm here to help.
Improving your accent can be a challenging and intimidating process. That's why I provide a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the necessary thought process required to achieve your pronunciation goals. I break down the sounds of the English language, helping you identify the areas that need improvement, and providing specific exercises to help you practice.
My monthly pronunciation workshops in London are a great way to get hands-on experience and interact with other learners. These workshops cover a range of topics and are suitable for all levels, from beginner to advanced.
For those who prefer to learn at their own pace, I offer a complete self-study course on Thinkific. This course includes video lessons, audio exercises, and quizzes to test your knowledge and help you track your progress.
I also offer in-person and virtual coaching sessions, so you can receive personalized feedback and guidance from a qualified pronunciation coach.
Whether you're looking to improve your accent for professional reasons or simply to better communicate with native speakers, this site has everything you need to achieve your goals. So why wait? Start your journey to better pronunciation today!
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Discover my online courses for natural British English pronunciation. Choose from two courses: Received Pronunciation: Complete Course or the Student Correction Course. The Complete Course is a comprehensive program that includes over 300 lessons, covering everything from basic articulation to connecting sounds more fluidly. With video tutorials, listening exercises, shadowing exercises, and muscle memory exercises, this course takes an average of 50 hours to complete.
The Student Correction Course focuses on correcting the common mistakes made by non-native English speakers based on their linguistic background. This course contains almost 7 hours of video content and is designed for those who are already familiar with the basics of English pronunciation. It introduces students from different language backgrounds, including Russian, German, Polish, American English, Japanese, and Spanish. Both courses offer review exercises and lesson PDFs. Enrol now and speak with confidence!
The Complete Course is available exclusively on Thinkific.
The Student Correction Course is also available on Udemy. Purchase on the Thinkific platform is recommended (includes extra study materials, quizzes and higher encoding rate, etc).
What is Received Pronunciation?
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According to the Cambridge Dictionary, Received Pronunciation is defined as
"the standard way in which middle-class speakers of southern British English pronounce words".
Received Pronunciation (RP) is an accent of Standard British English that was originally associated with the educated social group in southern England. It is also known as the "Queen's English", "Oxford English", or "BBC English". RP is considered a prestige accent and is widely recognized as a standard of English pronunciation in the UK and other countries.
RP is a historically determined accent that emerged in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and it was based on the speech of public school-educated individuals and the British upper-middle and upper classes. RP is characterized by its clear, precise pronunciation, and its relatively standardized grammar and vocabulary. Despite being associated with a specific social group, RP has become a widely recognized accent that is considered the benchmark for standard English pronunciation in the UK and elsewhere.
Many aspiring British actors learn RP at acting school, and many famous and notable people speak it within the UK. Look at these Pinterest links to get an idea of British people who speak RP in some form or another.
Some would also distinguish between the traditional, upper, neutral, and modern forms of RP. We could say that the RP accent has evolved over the years. For example, perhaps the younger members of the royal family, such as Prince William, could be considered to speak with a more modern RP accent.
There is no "correct way" to speak English, however, Received Pronunciation would be suitable for non-native English speakers who want to speak with an accent that is clear and can be easily understood by others. Those who need to communicate clearly and effectively, such as diplomats, business people, interpreters, and scientists, would benefit from learning RP.
Key characteristics of RP
Received Pronunciation has a certain set of features that distinguish it from other accents of English. Some of these features include:
Vowel Sounds: RP has a distinctive set of vowel sounds, including a longer and more open pronunciation of the /ɑː/ sound in words such as "bath" or "dance".
Consonant Sounds: RP is known for its clear and precise pronunciation of consonants, particularly the /t/ and /l/ sounds.
Intonation: RP is characterized by its distinct rhythm and melody, with a relatively flat intonation and a consistent stress pattern.
Grammar and Vocabulary: RP follows standard grammatical rules and uses a relatively standardized vocabulary.
Examples of famous people who are known for speaking Received Pronunciation:
The Royal Family: Many members of the British Royal Family, including Queen Elizabeth II, have traditionally been associated with RP.
Actors: Many British actors, particularly those trained in classical theatre, are known for speaking RP. Examples include Benedict Cumberbatch, Maggie Smith, and Helen Mirren.
Broadcasters: RP has been the accent of choice for many British broadcasters and news presenters such as David Attenborough.
Politicians: Some British politicians, including former Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and John Major, have been associated with RP.
These are just a few examples, and it's worth noting that while these individuals may have used RP in the past or in specific contexts, they may also use other accents or variations in their daily speech. Additionally, many people who are known for using RP have not necessarily had it as their first accent, but have learned it later in life.
Examples of Received Pronunciation can be found by visiting the link below:
Speakers of RP: British Hollywood Actors
Overcoming the Fear of Sounding "Posh" When Speaking English
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When embarking on this course, some clients express concern about sounding "too posh". However, what exactly does it mean to speak "posh", and is it the same as speaking well? Let's explore.
Received Pronunciation (RP) is a standardized British accent that originated in the early 20th century and was popularized by the BBC. It's characterized by its lack of regional or cultural markers and its emphasis on clear articulation and enunciation. While RP is often associated with the British upper class, it's important to note that not all speakers of RP are posh, and not all posh people speak RP.
Famous actors like Daniel Craig and Ben Kingsley speak with clear accents that have become part of their identity in their acting careers. Even robotic AI assistants like Alexa and Siri have been given an RP accent to ensure clear communication. However, what students may be referring to is their fear of speaking in a manner that comes across as overly dramatic or condescending.
Certain speakers of RP may stress certain vowel sounds too much, resulting in this type of perception. For example, if the /ɑː/ sound is overemphasized, it can potentially come across as affected or snobbish. It's important to note that speaking clearly and articulating sounds properly is different from speaking in a way that's perceived as haughty or pretentious.
It's not the goal of this course to encourage individuals to speak in a way that's perceived as elevated or condescending. Rather, the course aims to provide individuals with the resources to articulate the sounds of English clearly and effectively. By focusing on clear pronunciation, grammar, and intonation, individuals can communicate effectively and confidently in a variety of contexts.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of misunderstanding regarding Received Pronunciation due to the UK's complex history regarding accents and class. While there may be certain societal biases or assumptions associated with RP, it's important to remember that clear communication is a valuable skill in any context. Whether you're speaking in a professional setting, giving a presentation, or simply communicating with friends and family, clear articulation and effective communication are key.
In summary, don't let the fear of sounding "posh" hold you back from developing your English language skills. By focusing on clear pronunciation and effective communication, you can speak confidently and effectively in a variety of contexts.
The Role of Accents in Popular Media: From Downton Abbey to Harry Potter and James Bond
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The RP accent plays a significant role in popular films and TV series such as Harry Potter, James Bond, Mary Poppins, Notting Hill, Four Weddings and a Funeral. You will notice that there are variations depending on the characters from the more traditional forms to the more modern forms. For example, Professor McGonagall in Harry Potter speaks with a more traditional RP accent, which conveys her desire to speak with authority, while Harry Potter himself speaks with a more modern form. In James Bond movies, the character speaks with a more neutral RP accent, which reflects the suave and sophisticated nature of the character. The RP accent goes beyond just pronunciation. There are other aspects such as pitch and rhythm. This is why it is important to observe the use of the RP accent in film and media to get a better understanding of the variations of the accent.
Similarly, in the popular British television series Downton Abbey, accents play a significant role in conveying the social and class dynamics of the time period. The show features a range of accents, from the upper-class Received Pronunciation (RP) of the wealthy Crawley family to the regional dialects of their servants and staff. The use of these different accents helps to highlight the divide between the upstairs and downstairs characters, as well as the cultural and social differences between them. Additionally, the RP accent of the Crawley family serves as a symbol of their status and cultural capital, while the regional dialects of the servants and staff reflect their working-class backgrounds and roots. Overall, the use of accents in "Downton Abbey" serves to enrich the storytelling and help to create a rich and complex representation of early 20th-century England.
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