Listening to connected speech in English conversations: The Birthday Surprise

Helen’s Language Home is launching its own English soap opera,    The Birthday Surprise    tells the story of Julie and her husband Paul, who she has been married to for 15 years,  they have two wonderful children who take up a lot of their time and attention.   Julie would love a bit more excitement and romance in her life and feels quite jealous of her friend Jane who is not married, has a lively social life  and goes on weekends away to Paris and other European cities with her new boyfriend.   Paul loves Julie and their children but also loves football and a night out with his mates.  In episode 1 we hear how they both have very different dreams about what Paul could do on his birthday weekend.

Each episode will provide you with listening practice, listening to natural conversational speed English.  This is English as it is really spoken in homes, bars, and workplaces up and down the country.  You will have the sound file to download and listen to numerous times, and  each line of dialogue is available as a separate sound file and is analysed in the unit of lessons that accompanies each episode.

Who is this course for?

This listening course is for intermediate to advanced students who want to improve their listening skills and their knowledge of British popular culture.  If you find it hard to hear all the words when British native speakers chat to you and if you have ever wished native speakers come with pause and rewind buttons so you can listen again and again, then this course is for you.  Through the soap opera style audio drama,  you will learn how to understand our fast spoken English and learn the everyday expressions that we really use to talk about our life.   If at the moment you understand about 70% of what you hear but feel unable to fully join in conversations, this course will train you to hear those missing little words.  And once you understand these difficult little words and are much more confident in your listening skills you will be able to join in with the chat at coffee breaks, go along to after works drinks, socialise in conference break times and finally enjoy the best of British social life.

How does it work?

Each episode is released as a stand-alone unit.    You can purchase one episode or all of them. So each episode has over 10 lessons to work through which analyse every line of the dialogue, line by line.  The lessons look at sentence stress, contractions, weak words, and connected speech as well as discussing features of spoken English such as colloquial expressions, and intonation.

The soap opera will also provide you with lots of cultural information about everyday life in the UK.

Episode 1 will be released very soon at a bargain price of £20 for the first  beta testers.   After beta testing, the price will be much higher.   I am offering a further discount for members of my mailing list.   Check your email for details of that offer.

I want beta testers who will give me feedback on how the technology used works ie  the audio files, the video files, the quizzes, the worksheets and other materials provided in the lessons.     To be a beta tester you must be able to work through the lessons in the first two weeks of July.

For £20 (or cheaper if you are on my mailing list) you will get :

  • a 3-minute phone call using natural English.   This is available to download and listen to offline.
  • quizzes to check your understanding.
  • over 10 lessons which look at the dialogue line by line.  -Every phrase is available as a sound file to listen to and analyse the weak words, contractions, sentence stress, intonation.
  • a list and explanation of all the new vocabulary and colloquial expressions so you can use them in your own speaking.
  • a private facebook group to discuss the episode and the language used with me and with other people studying the unit.
  • a group chat with me to give me your feedback and ask for clarification and help on anything you did not understand in the course.

If you would like to be a beta tester at the £15 price then please message me, if you are on my mailing list and want to buy at the lower price detailed in the email then get in touch soon.

The price will go up once the beta testing has finished.

Buy now to get the reduced price.







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