What can you do to improve your English pronunciation?
There are no shortcuts to perfect pronunciation, but there are a few things you can do to enhance your skills faster by practising more effectively. Take a step closer to excellent English pronunciation by following our ten best suggestions and beginning to improve your pronunciation today.
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Listen to yourself
It’s often difficult to hear pronunciation errors in your own speech because you are concentrating actually communicating rather than the sound you are making. If you can’t hear your pronunciation problems, it’s tough to correct them.
Source: Safalta.comTry recording your speech with your smartphone or PC and making a note of specific areas you need to improve on.
Many English learners think that speaking fluently means they need to speak fast. This is wrong. Speaking too fast reinforces bad habits and makes the speaker sound nervous and indecisive.
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Close your eyes and think about how to make a sound before saying it. Visualize the positioning of your mouth and face. If you have studied with the phonemic chart, think about the sound you are making and how it relates to other English phonemes.
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Pronunciation is a physical skill. You’re teaching your mouth a new way to move and using different muscles. Focus on difficult sounds each day. Having trouble with ‘th’? Put your tongue between your teeth (don’t bite down) and blow air out of your mouth. Feel the air move over the top of your tongue.
Stand in front of a mirror to see the placement of your tongue, lips, and shape of your mouth when you make certain sounds. Compare what you see with a video of a native-speaker saying the same thing.
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Copy the experts
There’s no replacement for learning pronunciation from the experts – native-speakers. So listen! Listen to English radio programs and watch television and movies in English. Imitate what you’re hearing – even if you’re not sure what they’re saying yet.
Practice English alone
Pronunciation problems persist because we’re afraid to make mistakes. Create scenarios – meeting someone for the first time, ordering at a restaurant, asking for directions – then act out the dialogue by yourself. Don’t be shy.
Find a language buddy
Getting feedback from an outside observer is crucial. Find a friend who’s also interested in improving their English. Try exchanging recorded messages so you can listen closely to each other’s pronunciation.
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Pay attention to intonation and stress
Good pronunciation is more than just mastering individual sounds. It’s also understanding intonation (the rise and fall of the voice) and stress (some sounds in words and some words in sentences are louder or clearer than others). Read poems, speeches and songs aloud, concentrating on the word stress and intonation.
Sing a song!
Learn the words to popular English songs and sing along. Singing helps you relax and just get those words out, as well as helping your rhythm and intonation. Because you don’t need to concentrate on constructing sentences for yourself, you can concentrate on making your pronunciation sound great!
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When you have an opportunity, try each of these suggestions and see which one works best for you. Remember that none of them are quick fixes, but they will all assist you in achieving your objectives if you use them on a regular basis. Are you willing to work on your English pronounciation?
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