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To continue to improve your pronunciation of word stress, you will need to become familiar with word stress patterns of various word combinations. For example, how would you pronounce the following words: downwind, watch over, underestimate, USA, and autistic? What about conduct when used as a verb or when it is used as a noun? Would you place the primary stress in the same part of the word in both parts of speech? These are additional issues that I will focus on in my Speak Clearly Premium Pronunciation Service.
Having appropriate word stress can benefit your TOEFL iBT test-taking experience three ways. First, having appropriate word stress improves your intelligibility. Second, avoiding word stress shifts ensures that your speech does not distract listeners from what you are saying. Finally, competently using word stress makes you natural-sounding. Of course, human raters, impressed by your clear, non-distracting, and natural-sounding speech, will be pleased to give you high scores on TOEFL iBT speaking.
Unfortunately, word stress poses great challenges for learners, so much so that TOEFL iBT human raters are specifically trained to pay close attention to your proficiency or lack thereof in this area. Due to inexperience with English or interference from a first language, you may be unsure what to do, for example, when two adverbs combine to form one word: northwest. Is the stress placed on the first or second word? In other cases, in words such as go through and put down, would you place stress on the first or second word? Furthermore, if you hear reCORD, is it being used as a verb or noun? How about when someone says EXploit? Is it being used as a noun or a verb? Do you change your word stress when using nouns or verbs? There are even additional rules with word stress and verbs which have prefixes such as dehumidify, preview, and withdraw. In these examples, would you stress the prefix or the base? As you can see, there are numerous rules regarding word stress and certain word combinations, and it will take you time to get familiar with these rules.
Through my Speak Clearly Premium Pronunciation Service, you will learn word stress patterns of compound adverbs, two word verbs, two-syllable nouns and verbs, verbs with prefixes, and abbreviations and symbols. In addition, you will learn how to predict stress with suffixes and word endings: -ic, -ical, -ify, -ogy, -tion, -graphy, -ious, -ian, -ical, -ee, -eer, -ese, -esque, -ique, -ette, -et, -ate. For example, you will learn that when you see a word that ends with the ending -ee the stress is placed on the last syllable, i.e., referEE. The value of using word endings to predict stress in incalculable: by learning stress patterns of word endings, you will be able to predict word stress patterns of thousands of academic words. Now you may be thinking to yourself, “Heck, I can learn this naturally by speaking regularly with native speakers.” It is true that you can learn word stress naturally, but it may take you 5-10 years before you internalize all the rules that are explicitly taught in this course.
Therefore, my Speak Clearly Premium Pronunciation Service can dramatically short-cut your path to near-native speaker proficiency by giving you intensive practice with word stress in the form of listening discrimination exercises of academic sentences and paragraphs. You needn’t wait 10 years before you can win your battle with word stress. Subscribe to my Speak Clearly Premium Pronunciation Service and begin reducing your word stress shifts immediately.
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