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How to Pronounce the 50 United States of America


🎶"Fifty, nifty United States from thirteen original colonies; Fifty, nifty stars on the flag that billows so beautifully in the breeze!" 🎶

These are the first lines of a song I learned and LOVED way back in second grade. It's one of those that sticks with you. Even though I'm now 43, I can still belt this beauty with gusto! Do you have songs you remember like that from your childhood? (click here if you want to hear this lovely tune)

In the song, we got to sing the names of all 50 states. I remember feeling so accomplished memorizing this tune.

Because the 50 state names can be challenging- to remember and to pronounce.

In this lesson, we'll practice pronouncing the names of all 50 United States together.

Without a doubt, it's useful to be able to pronounce the state names correctly as we travel about the country and share our stories and experiences with others.

But even more than this, practicing the 50 state names gives us a fabulous opportunity to refine how we hear and speak the rhythm of English.

Almost every state name has more than one syllable, so practice with these names gives us a chance to practice hearing and pronouncing primary stressed syllables.

Primary stressed syllables are a little longer, they're stretched and emphasized more than others.

AND, almost every state name has at least one SCHWA syllable. These are super quick, reduced syllables.

The contrast between longer, primary stress syllables and shorter, reduced syllables is what creates the rhythm of English.

Learning to hear and pronounce these syllables is what allows you to achieve more natural sounding rhythm in your speech.

So spend a few minutes practicing stress and contrast with me today with the fifty, nifty United States!

Let's dive in!

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