Awesome! The schwa sound can do wonders for your English fluency

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Well, I am convinced … The schwa sound (pronounced 'uh') is just so underrated by English language teachers. 

I've always maintained that a large part of spoken fluency and competence revolves around the schwa sound. Besides, the schwa sound is the most common vowel sound in English.

Yes, one single sound could help you to unlock the door to English fluency! Check this out this video on the schwa sound.

A great text to practise schwa

Analyse and listen to this text to see what schwa can do for you:

Well, David took a flight to Warsaw last week. He said that it waa last minute decision, but that’s pretty common for David.

Anyway, he arrived at the airport in Warsaw aaround two pm. He seemed to be a bit disorganised because he’d forgotten his diary which had the address of his hotel in the city centre. It wasn’t the only thing. He forgot his law books, which was rather stupid because he was meant to give a lecture at the university, so, yes, organisation has always been his problem.

Why is "David in Warsaw" a useful text to practise schwa?

One of the main reasons learners have problems with understanding the English spoken by native speakers is because they do not catch the reduced schwa sound in FUNCTION WORDS.

Function words, such as prepositions and auxiliary verbs, do not have a specific meaning and assume a grammatical function. In “David in Warsaw”, I don’t pronounce the function words (to, for, a, has, and at) in their full forms. This is because native speakers strive to put emphasis on CONTENT WORDS (nouns, adjectives and verbs). Content words carry the meaning or sense of an utterance. 

Listen carefully to how I link words together.  There are no pauses between words. For instance, “...organisation has” sounds more like organisatios. There is no pause after the last 'n' of organisation, the 'h' of has is dropped, and the 'a' belonging to 'has' becomes a schwa sound.


Overall, you will begin to sound more fluent if you can begin to “reduce” function words and use schwa.