Pronunciation is really important for communication and making sure people understand your message. Pronunciation is also helpful for your listening skills. When you know what words sound like in a sentence, you’ll understand much more of what you hear.
There are no shortcuts to perfect pronunciation, however there are some ways you can practise more effectively and improve your skills faster. Follow these Tips To Improve English Pronunciation
1. Focus on confusing sounds
We suggest focusing on sounds that can cause confusion for listeners if they are pronounced incorrectly. Here are some examples.
- Long and short vowels, e.g. I want to leave here (long /i:/ sound) vs I want to live here (short /ɪ/ sound)
- /r/ and /l/, e.g. Can you correct the file? vs Can you collect the file?
- Consonant clusters, e.g. clothes – some people say it like close or closes.
When you practise English, make a note of any confusions like these and practise pronouncing them clearly.
2. Get physical!
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.
3. Search YouTube for tips from fellow learners
There are some difficult sounds that are pretty unique to English, and pronouncing them will be difficult for non-native speakers. As Bob the Canadian mentioned, your native language might not have helped you develop the muscles necessary to make these different sounds. The good news is that you aren’t alone in this!
Whichever letter combinations, phrases or words you are struggling with, other language learners with your native language have struggled with them too!
4. Try some tongue twisters
If you can’t make the sounds you need to in order to pronounce English words, then you might need to give your mouth and tongue muscles a workout. One great way to improve your English skills is with pronunciation exercises like “tongue twisters” — silly sentences that are extremely hard to pronounce on the first try.
5. Find a language buddy
Finally by 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.
Give each of these tips a try next time you have a chance and find out which of them works best for you. Remember, none of them is an instant fix but they will all help you reach your goals as part of regular practice. Go and try out some of the ideas. Good luck!
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