Hi, my name is Diana. This video is to replace another video we had on the YouTube channel and also on our website. The video is “how to study”. Why do I want to change the video? I want to change it because when I started this program a few months ago, I just wanted to share my frustration, to express that after having studied many years and investing a lot of time and money, I thought I spoke English. But I did not because I did not know the sounds of English, and when I spoke it people didn’t understand me. That frustrated me a lot, and what I wanted was to get that message across to you. I figured that the people who would most enjoy the website were those who were in my situation; those who had studied a lot, were frustrated because when they spoke nobody understood, and those who wanted to take the next step to use what they learned, and after studying wanted to know why people couldn’t understand them. To my pleasant surprise, (I am very happy) not only the people who have studied a lot of English really liked this project but also the people who are just beginning to study it and now they will learn good English, English with the correct sounds. They can avoid what happened to me, that is learning to speak English with the sounds of Spanish. This is a result of your feedback and communicating to me the things that you want, I can revise my methods and give direction to the website based on better information and your input. Therefore, I am changing the video because we are all at different levels. When you arrive at our website, hablabieningles.com, go to the home page and you will see the video for studing phonetics. On that page you will find the last ten episodes, and these videos or episodes are podcasts. There are other parts of the page to note as well; on the top right there is an icon that invites you to subscribe. You can subscribe to the podcast directly from iTunes, or if you click on the icon you can subscribe from Google, Yahoo, or any of the browsers of your choice. Our goal is that every time we upload something new to the server and launch a new episode, you will be sent an alert notifying you that there is something new. Below the subscription icon there is a game (at the moment it is only a memory game), but more will be added later. For now I have postponed development of all the games because I want to focus on organizing the information derived from your input. I want the games to be one of the most utilized areas, as the idea is for you to relax, play, and listen to sounds. Not only can you listen to the sounds, but you will be able to see visual symbols of the IPA as well. This will teach you how to pronounce each word. If you have not tried this yet, I invite you to do so. Ideally I would like to determine which games will serve you well and which ones do not as well as other games that you would like to see. My friend, Oscar in Medellin, gave us the idea to add the opportunity for you to share us with others via an icon on our web page called “Recommend this Page”. You can click on this icon and complete the information for the person you designate and it will send an email to them with a message (if you choose to include). Below this icon, you see icons for our YouTube channel, Twitter, Facebook and iTunes, and below those are links to other categories. I also wanted to comment about what’s below the Categories link. In fact, I plan to add a link called “Powered by Dictionary.com”. I thought it would be a good idea to have access to their database, so I requested it and they granted me access. For example, if I want to know how to pronounce a word such as “nest”, the result will show me the word with the pronunciation symbols. If I search for a word that is a little more difficult, such as “apple”, it will immediately show me how to pronounce that word. Any results that appear are not in our database, they are taken directly from Dictionary.com’s page, and if you want to see a definition, press the icon that says “View All Definitions”. It will lead you to a short definition of the word. The page “English Phonetics” teaches how to study. If you are at a very advanced level or you’re just starting out with learning English, you should study English phonetics, because if you learn English sounds, you’ll learn to speak English well. Whether I wanted to or not, I knew if I was going to learn to speak English well, I had to learn the sounds. On this page you will find the sounds, and I have added something new, a link to “Consonants Phonetics”. For an example, go to “vowels fonetics”, this is a reference page. Say you have forgetten how to pronounce a symbol, then go to that symbol, read and listen to it, and that should help you remember how to say it. If you want to study these symbols in greater depth, click on the symbol you want and it will take you to a page specifically to that symbol that has an explanation, video, and some exercises for practice. As with the diphthongs and consonants, you can simply click the icon to get to more specific information. My recommendation is that you study these symbols in this way. I would not recommend, however, that you sit down for an afternoon to study all the symbols of the International Phonetic Alphabet. It is best to study the sounds one at a time. Remember that this is not our alphabet, see the Epsilon. There is an “i” that coincidentally looks like our “i”, or a “I” that looks like our “i” capital, but these are symbols and not letters. You can go to the page “Re-connection” and see which is the same or you can come from the page “English Phonetics” and be directed to a link called “Vowels Phonetics” to choose the vowel you want. I just separated them because this section was created to study more in depth. The “English Phonetics” is a quick reference page that will be beneficial to you. The Audio page (that will continue to grow), I did for people who are at a much more advanced level; they have already studied English extensively and believe that they know a lot of English, but then discover that no one can understand them. This section is dedicated to them and we will continue with it as soon as we finish with the sounds. The tools section, which I wanted to introduce to you, is a new section I’m working on. Many of you have asked me to recommend courses or some material to help you. I have already been giving hints and tips in the episodes and will continue to do so, In every episode I will dedicate a big portion of the time to help you discover the sounds, but on this page I will recommend any courses that I believe are good. If you ask me to recommend a course, I can do that to the extent that time permits me. I can look at a course, and if it allows evaluation (because many of them cannot be assessed, you pay for being able to do) I will gladly give you a review and my recommendation. I would like to clarify something, if those of you who have already asked me for recommendations haven’t noticed, I do not tend to give bad recommendations. As I have told you already, I published a series of videos on how to choose an English course and explained what I believe an English course should have. I’ll tell only the positive aspects of each course you ask me to recommend and let you evaluate what is not so positive. Why do I do this? I understand you are looking for my personal opinion about anything that may be negative, but, all that is negative destroys, and is only based on my opinión. I have seen people invest ten million dollars or more for online courses, or instruction in institutions. These organizations design their programs with a desire to give good instruction and have positive student success. For example, if a course has very good grammar and vocabulary, I will only say that it has good grammar and much vocabulary. But if you ask me if it will teach you to speak English, or if you should buy it, I tend to answer only that the course has grammar and vocabulary. You already know that a course that offers to teach English is a course that has a teacher whose native language is English, that is a guarantee. I have had many teachers who I greatly appreciate, who taught my classes and were excellent teachers, and I do not want you think I’m speaking ill of them, but these teachers, however good they are, did not have the sounds of English. If you do not have these sounds, it is very difficult to teach. Knowing these sounds enable you to learn a lot of grammar and vocabulary. I am not telling you not to take those courses, I am just telling you what you can learn from each course that may be recommended. The way to study is to learn English phonetics, not only to recognize the sounds, but to hear the sounds. Go to “English Phonetics” to study the vowels, diphthongs and consonants. Be aware of the links and do not despair, this is the first level. Study the symbols and sounds, repeat them, and do not stress! I will be publishing materials for the next level. Remember too that the tools page will be a guide. I’m going to release audio, and I will also recommend courses that I believe are good. Once you study English phonetics you can look at the courses I have recommended, or if you do not like the courses that I recommend, you can get an idea of my opinión of how good an English course is. I sincerely hope that all this material can help you. I’m doing it with pleasure and I am happy developing it all to reach the final level that results in speaking English without an accent. I’m working hard not only to be able to teach you how to speak so that people can understand you, but also how to speak without an accent. There are many myths that you have shared with me, such as adults cannot learn to speak English. That is not true. Adults can learn to speak English, but it is important to understand why it is so difficult. Once we understand this and make an effort to find the correct material, then we can learn. Another myth is that it is impossible to learn English in a country where nobody speaks English. I know people who have studied English in their home country where Spanish only is spoken and although they have an accent, they speak well and I can understand them. One example is my nephew Sebastian (by the way I am very proud of him), who speaks very good English. He has an accent, of course, but he learned at home, without taking courses, and taught himself. So both are myths, the truth is that you can, I know you can, speak English, You can speak fluent English without an accent. It is important to know why it is so difficult speak English and then continue with a good methodology. That’s it, I hope this material can serve you and help you learn to speak English well
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