Mouth muscle pronunciation exercises.
Duolingo is amazing.
The one area where it is weakest is teaching pronunciation/speaking. One little tip/trick/hack for improving pronunciation is learning about the muscles/tongue positions/parts of the mouth that we use to make sounds.....and a great way to do this is to watch other peoples mouths as they pronounce words:
This really interesting video explains what I'm on about, from 11.10 https://youtu.be/d0yGdNEWdn0?t=11m12s
I've just spent a week of lessons with my teacher here in Vietnam* working on the difference between the pronunciation of:
uô and ươ
wow was that tricky! What really helped me was when she made me watch her mouth and copy the shapes her tongue and lips were making.
Sooo....are there any exercises that anyone can point to/make up that would help us learn and practice the unique Vietnamese sounds? (minimal pairs / tongue twisters / kids songs etc)
*Yes, I had a beautiful Vietnamese lady in my room shouting out: "ooooh....uuuuuh.....uuuuuh....aaaah......NO! ooooooh!" I think the neighbours almost called the cops! (using a mirror to watch my own mouth really helped!)
Arizona State University has a site with a few audio samples that might fit the bill:
I also picked out a nicely pronounced tongue twister from someone with a northern accent:
If you don't mind spending some money, I recently picked this up on Amazon and have used it a bit:
Sing 'n Learn Vietnamese Book with Audio CD (English and Vietnamese Edition)
(some reviewers mention bad audio; I found it perfectly clear so maybe some cd's have issues)
For an even steeper price, I'm a big fan of Glossika; the audio is clear and the sentences are both practical and organized in a coherent way:
A final free resource is the DLI course, particularly the pronunciation section (scroll to the bottom):
As an aside, I had started a list on minimal pairs, though I'm not sure how to make use of it outside Anki (I don't really want to use Anki as I can't fit it into my current routine). If anyone has other ideas on how to make use of such a list please share.
I got a lot of tips from Learn Vietnamese with Annie. Here's the playlist all about pronunciation. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnVIHsBDulRN3E80QO4stFUWIBON1i4DQ