Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Melinda Croft speech language pathologist

You have worked hard on your vocabulary and grammar for years but now pronunciation is your final challenge.

If people can’t understand your pronunciation then you cannot communicate. It’s that simple.

Today we have Melinda on the show! She is a speech language pathologist and she knows how to help you with your toughest pronunciation challenges.

She’ll help us get on the right track so that you can focus in on the sounds that are preventing people from understanding you and finally be able to connect with people in English.


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3 Native American English sounds you must be able to pronounce:

  • The “R” sound: This sound is pronounced differently in other languages. In English the “R” sound is made way in the back of the mouth, almost into the throat. When you work with Melinda she shows you a model of the human mouth and you can identify what the tongue does when you make the sound. People make this sound in a few different ways in American English. Listen to Melinda describe the two ways to make the sound in the episode.


  • The “TH” sound: There are two sounds that happen with this spelling. They are: 1) voiced: The, that, this and 2) voiceless: Three, think, thirty. Most languages do not contain this sound. The tongue has to be between the teeth to make this sound successfully. You have to stick your tongue out when you make the sound.


  • “i”: This is a relaxed vowel sound. This is contrasted with the tense vowel of “ee” where the tongue is higher and tenser. For the ‘i” sound the tongue is lower. It is used in: it, rib, sing, relax. Be careful when you pronounce “cheap” versus “chip” and “leave” versus “live.”


Don’t forget!

You have more skills than you think you do!

Be confident and try not to be too hard on yourself.

Find a native teacher like Melinda and get focused.

Soon you will see quick improvement and changes.


Melinda’s Bio:

Accent Coach Melinda (Melinda Croft) is a certified and licensed Speech-Language Pathologist based in Oregon, USA who works with students from all over the world to improve their pronunciation.

After working with children and adults in traditional speech therapy settings, she realized that adult learners of English could benefit from techniques that she had been using clinically.

Melinda has worked with English language learners for the past twelve years, most recently on italki, delivering high quality, individualized speech instruction. Her students learn a new way of approaching pronunciation, and are able to apply new skills almost immediately within the first session, working towards making their communication clearer and more effective.


How to work with Melinda

Step 1: Register here to get $10 off your second lesson

Step 2: Go and book a lesson with Melinda at



What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Let us know in the comments below.

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