10 Tips on How to Improve English Pronunciation
How to improve your English pronunciation
Article and podcast by Link School of English
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Pronunciation is a tricky subject. People have different opinions about it, specially English learners. Unfortunately, many learners decide to work on pronunciation later on, once they have gained some fluency in the English language. This makes some sense, but it can mean that you can’t change your English pronunciation easily afterwards. Your mistakes could become permanent. There are many people who have learned English and can speak very well but their pronunciation is not at the same high level. These people are sometimes the hardest to teach because their mispronunciation has become a habit. You can correct them ten times and ten minutes later they will still say it in the same way as before. Changing mental habits and brain connections is not easy at all. Of course it is a combination of factors.
The student thinks “most people understand me why should I bother?” or “I said it well, the teacher is wrong.”- yes, some students can’t actually hear the difference and can feel like the teacher is picking on them. It is very important to listen carefully.
Our 10 useful tips on how to improve English pronunciation are:
1. Watch the teacher’s mouth and tongue and try to copy it exactly. Don’t worry about looking silly by sticking out your tongue. There are sounds in English that are impossible to make without unless you stick your tongue out a little bit e.g: ‘Ɵ’ the “ th “sound: thumb, etc.
2. Listen closely. Find a recording of the text and turn up the volume. Get someone to say aloud the words over and over again.
3. Record yourself, listen to how you say it and compare it to an English native speaker.
4. Go somewhere appropriate and shout the words. This helps to train the vocal muscles and the tongue.
5. Take good notes when a native speaker helps you. They can hear things that you can’t.
6. Learn the phonetic alphabet if you can. This can seem like extra work in the beginning but it is a good way to learn how to pronounce a word without having a native speaker say it. Most dictionaries give the phonetic spelling next to the ordinary spelling.
7. Listen to songs in English which have a clear loud voice. This helps because we tend to listen more closely to voices and words when it is in song.
8. Practise English pronunciation regularly for at least 30 minutes daily. This really helps to reprogram your brain and mouth to produce the correct sounds.
9. Make a list of problem sounds and words. Keep checking that you are saying them correctly.
10. Listen to chat radio in English and talk shows at a high volume. Try to repeat what they say.
More tips and hints on improving English:
If you would like to improve your English speaking skills you can join Conversation Classes at Link School of English in London:
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