Popenoe Method

The Art of Pronunciation

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Pronunciation is a physical act,
so every pronunciation problem has a physical solution.

Introduction to the Popenoe Method


Speech begins as breath flows through the larynx, making the voice, which is then shaped into language by the jaw, tongue, teeth, and lips as it passes through the mouth. We learn our first language easily and unconsciously when we are young, and usually have little awareness of the physical mechanics required to speak. Every language is pronounced with different mouth shapes and movements. When you speak English with the same unconscious mouth movements of your native language, you will have a foreign English accent.

If the shapes, movements, and sounds of a new language are similar to your own, you can often improve your pronunciation by ear alone. If the pronunciation of your language is physically and linguistically quite different from English, however, this can be difficult. To speak English well, you have to consciously learn how to change the way you move your mouth as you speak.

The Popenoe Method is a practical and effective American-English pronunciation course designed for foreign-language speakers. We first train the muscles in and around your mouth to make the specific shapes and movements required for good English pronunciation, and then teach you the fundamental principles and rules of pronunciation in a system that's easy to grasp and apply for yourself. The goal of the Popenoe Method is not to give you an "American accent," but to enhance your ability to communicate by making your pronunciation clear and easy to understand.

To accomplish this, we divide the study of pronunciation into four elements, focusing first on each element separately, then combining them into an integrated whole.
These four elements are:
X1. Vowels X2. ConsonantsX 3. RhythmX 4. Connection

Learn more about the Popenoe Method and the four elements of pronunciation.