We may know a language when we read it on paper, but being able to speak it is what really counts. In order to speak well and effectively, we need to have good pronunciation.
Improve your English pronunciation with these helpful tips.:
1) Listen a lot
How can I speak English well if I don’t know how the words are pronounced? Listening to English is very important, because it gives us the chance to hear how the language is supposed to be spoken.
We can listen to the radio, to the news, to native speakers when we are having a conversation with them…there are many opportunities to practice listening.
2) Imitate native speakers
How did you learn your native language? You listened to your parents and copied what they said, knowing that it was correct. You imitated the sounds they made in order to form words, expressions, and sentences.
Native speakers know how to pronounce words perfectly, why wouldn’t we imitate their pronunciation?
3) Watch movies and TV shows in English
Remember what we said before about listening to others speak English and how much that helps our pronunciation? Watching TV shows and movies in English is an excellent way to do that.
Generally the actors are native speakers, and come from different places, meaning we get to practice listening to a range of accents.
Be very patient when watching movies and TV shows in English! The characters often use colloquial language and slang, and they talk fast, which can make it difficult to understand them at times. It’s a good challenge!
4) Careful with words that are similar in your language
Why? Because sometimes, without being aware that we do it, we pronounce the word like we would in our native language.
Our brains see the word on the page, and they say, I know that word! And before we can stop ourselves, we pronounce it like we would in our own language. It’s important to know how to pronounce these words properly in English to avoid this happening.
Some examples of English words that are similar in Spanish: communicate, idea, in general, chocolate, explosion, and many, many others.
5) Careful with stress and intonation
Intonation changes from language to language, and it’s something we need to keep in mind if we want to have a good pronunciation in English. An Italian speaker can be recognized in any foreign language they speak, their intonation is so distinctive!
One example with Spanish speakers: they often have a rising intonation on the last word of a question, as if the sentence were going uphill on a graph! We don’t pronounce questions like this in English; they are pronounced more like a normal sentence.
If there’s one thing to take away from these tips, it’s that the best thing we can do to improve our English pronunciation is listen and lot and speak a lot! Practice makes perfect, and we must practice a lot to get better.
Our courses will have you speaking English in no time!
1. Clavell, O. 2018 ‘La forma más divertida de ejercitar el listening en inglés’ Callan School of English.
2. Rodmo, C. 2019 ‘La pronunciación en inglés’ Enero 2019. Callan School of English.
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