The correct pronunciation is an important part of learning English or any other language per se. The manner in which you pronounce a word can be impactful and also, it plays an important role to make a good impression. It is necessary that you speak a word correctly so that the other person can understand what you are trying to say and convey through your speech.
Good pronunciation doesn’t focus much on the spelling of a word but the way it is pronounced. It is a physical skill that can be learned with regular practice. For instance,
“He was being honest when he said that he hadn’t bought that blue suit.”
Please pay attention to the words in bold letters. Their pronunciation is different from the sounds of the letters of the word. Do you know how to pronounce these words correctly? The biggest challenge for an English learner is to learn to pronounce a word despite having different sounds of the letters of a word. Here are a few tips that can help you refine your pronunciation skills while you learn English.
When you start learning English, you must listen to people talking in English fluently, especially native English speakers. It will help you improve your pronunciation skills as well as listening skills. You can listen to podcasts on different topics that interest you. You can also listen to music or audiobooks of different genres of your choice, or watch Hollywood movies that you like with subtitles. Focus on the sounds, intonations, and word stress and try to imitate the same and repeat the sentences and phrases you listen to while you learn Spoken English and observe how your mouth and tongue move when you speak English.
Record your voice and listen to it
Once you start listening to native English speakers and practising Spoken English, the next step should be to record yourself repeating the sentences that you have listened to and observing how you sound; whether the sound and intonations are correct or not. When you start recording yourself, you can easily assess your progress. However, you also have the option of opting for a Spoken English course to improve your pronunciation skills and English speaking skills.
Learn about Phonetics and intonations
Learning about Phonetics and intonations will be extremely helpful in your journey of learning English and correct pronunciation. You can take the help of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). It shows a visual representation of various sounds. As said above, English spellings do not always correspond to their pronunciation, so it will be really helpful to you to listen to different sounds and learn how to pronounce them correctly. For instance, the word “ough” is pronounced differently in the words like “dough”, “Cough”, “Though”, “Drought”. It is impossible to learn the correct pronunciation of these words without any help.
Keep a dictionary with you
You can either keep an online dictionary or a printed one; the important thing is that you have it to learn about the phonetic transcript of a word. With the help of online dictionaries, you can also listen to the sounds of the words and learn Spoken English with the correct pronunciation.
Practice, practice, and practice
Just like any learning other activities such as dancing, singing, writing etc, learning pronunciation needs practise too. You need to train your mouth to learn how to speak a word, what sound you should make. A few sounds are not easy to make, but with regular practice, you will be able to pronounce such difficult words, for instance, “PULCHRITUDINOUS”. One exercise that works wonders is to stand in front of a mirror and see how your tongue moves, what shape your mouth makes when you make different sounds. Make notes of your progress and keep practising until you completely hone your pronunciation skills while learning English.
Sing a lot!
Yes, you heard it right. Sing a song because it will help with learning the rhythm and intonation. Learn the lyrics of any English song that you like and sing your heart out!
Choose one accent and stick to it
An accent plays a significant role while learning English which includes improving pronunciation skills. For example, if you are from India, practice in an Indian accent. You don’t need to have a British, American, or Spanish accent to learn English or enhance your pronunciation skills. Sticking to one accent will help you be confident and comfortable while speaking English.
In the end, I would like to say that speaking English with correct pronunciation can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. So, follow these tips and you will definitely be better at speaking English.