Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Today we’ll talk about long ‘e’ spelling and pronunciation rules for improved IELTS scores.

On the IELTS Speaking Exam, the category of ‘pronunciation’ is the easiest one in which to raise your score to that magic 7 and higher.

This is because you do not need to have a ‘perfect’ English accent. You can still retain some of your first language accent and get an 8 for pronunciation.

The two most important factors in impressing the examiner for this category are stress and intonation (how expressive you are) and how clear your pronunciation is.

So, the way you say individual sounds does matter. For some words, in fact, if you mispronounce a vowel or consonant sound, you will end up saying an entirely different word than the one you mean.

For example, sink and think are often mixed up due to the difficulty of the ‘th’ sound.

So, mimic the way I pronounce today’s list of words.

Then, underline the spellings shown today in a short text. Finally, read the text out loud, concentrating on saying the long ‘e’ sound correctly.

The long ‘e’ sound is also known as the smile sound, because you smile when you say this. That’s why a photographer asks you to say ‘cheese’ before they snap the picture.

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Spellings of long ‘e’ sound:

-y: technology

ee– cheese, free

ea– meat, each, leave

ie + consonant + e– piece, achieve, believe

ie– field, belief (note- some words with ie are exceptions, such as ‘tie’ and ‘quiet’)

-e– me, he, she, we

Now it’s your turn to practice!

Underline these spellings in a text, and read it out loud. Exaggerate the sound to help change your pronunciation.

What English sounds cause you trouble?

Share your experience in the comments section below!

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