How to Improve English Pronunciation

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How to Improve English Pronunciation

Learning to pronounce words correctly is crucial to learning any language, but it's much more crucial when learning English. People's perceptions of you and their ability to grasp what you are saying can be significantly influenced by how you speak. 

The challenging aspect of pronunciation requires physical skills that require frequent practice and knowledge acquisition.

There are a few strategies to practice more efficiently and advance your skills more quickly, but there are no shortcuts to perfect pronunciation. 

Follow these best practices, start working on your pronunciation immediately, and you'll be one step closer to achieving flawless English pronunciation.

Why Improve English Pronunciation?

People might not have a positive initial impression of you if they can't understand you due to poor pronunciation, especially at work. Who enjoys listening to someone who only a select handful can understand? 

Speaking and hearing, talking and listening, encoding and conveying your message, and receiving and decoding others' messages, are all interactive aspects of communication. When you mispronounce English words, others around you feel uncomfortable because they can't comprehend the majority of what you say. 

Your psychological state may be significantly affected if you cannot pronounce English Correctly. You could feel uneasy and ashamed. You might even question your ability to communicate in English. 

All motivational evil stems from self-doubt and dread. Once you lose interest in working on your English communication abilities. You descend into a pit of self-punishment, uncertainty, and timidity. 

And to get out of it and rebound, you'll need a lot of guts (or the expert assistance of an English-speaking coach). You now understand why studying and practicing proper English word pronunciation is crucial.

Here are the tips and techniques on how to Improve pronunciation and this can help you a lot to make your English better:

Listen to yourself and other speeches

Because you are focused on speaking and not on the sound you are generating, it might be challenging to recognize pronunciation problems in your speech. Correcting your pronunciation issues is difficult if you can't hear them. Try recording your voice on your computer or smartphone and note the areas you need to work on most.

The most obvious technique to enhance your pronunciation is to listen to instances of natural speech. There are several methods to accomplish this, like watching a movie in its original version, listening to English podcasts on a subject that interests you or even just listening to music. You may use the British Council's English podcasts app. 

Try to pay attention to how others employ intonation. This can be improved by "shadowing." Shadowing entails hearing a brief sentence or phrase spoken, then repeating it while attempting to mimic the sounds, intonation, and word stress. You should also consider how your mouth and tongue move when speaking.

Record yourself

Once you've gotten some practice shadowing, you might want to videotape yourself speaking. You could do this by repeating a brief phrase you've heard or performing a more significant speaking assignment from a coursebook, such as describing a picture. 

Re-record yourself after practicing any problematic words or noises you heard when you listened to the recording. Can you see a difference?

Get familiar with the phonetic charts

The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is a system for representing sounds visually. Although it may seem unusual and feel like you are learning a different language, it can improve your pronunciation. 

To help you pronounce words, all dictionaries offer a phonetic transcription of each word. Since English spelling doesn't often match its pronunciation, as we've already seen, this is especially beneficial with English. Consider the letters "ough" found in the phrases "thought," "through," "difficult," and "ought." Without assistance, it would be hard to guess how to pronounce such words.

Read aloud to yourself every day to strengthen your jaw muscles

English and your native tongue are probably somewhat different. Your jaw and mouth may feel sore the day following a particularly rigorous English practice session. Although this is normal, it can seriously hinder your capacity to learn. 

Your jaw muscles are similar to those in other sections of your body. Your muscles will become more assertive with enough practice, allowing you to speak pain-free for extended periods. You must exercise and build up your facial muscles, just like you would with any other gym routine. 

Reading aloud for at least five minutes each day is a great practice habit. You might only be able to read one or two paragraphs of a book or a brief article before the discomfort sets in. Although you should be able to read and speak for a lot longer without any pain or discomfort as you continue to exercise your muscles.

Choose one accent and stick to it

Choosing one accent to use going forward is another step in perfecting your English pronunciation. Everywhere in the world, there are many accents. You probably talk with an accent from your own country, but you're attempting to do so when you speak in English. 

The contrasts between British and American accents are pronounced. Even within North America, there are regional variations in how words are pronounced. How do you pick a particular accent? It is advised to become accustomed to that accent if you intend to relocate to a particular area of the US or the UK that you know has a strong accent and dialect. 

You'll adjust more readily and feel more at ease conversing with others. Make sure you're prepared to stick with it for the long term, no matter whatever accent or dialect you decide suits you best. After speaking with one accent for years, suddenly switching accents can feel like starting over with English.

Visualize

Well, this is difficult yet useful. If you've researched the proper pronunciation of a term you find challenging, try visualizing it. Close your eyes and imagine where your tongue and lips should be placed to produce the sound. 

You need to make your lips round and project them somewhat forward if you've observed how native English speakers pronounce the challenging phoneme "sh," as in the word "English." then make the motions while uttering the word. Keep in mind that building up your muscles is the key to success. 

It is advised to perform this exercise frequently while closing your eyes. It's crucial to pay attention to the motions and activities occurring inside your mouth. Doing it while your eyes are open might be more challenging since you are more susceptible to distraction from outside visual stimuli.

Understand when to stress words and sounds

When speaking conversational English, it's important to stress or emphasis words in many ways in addition to how you pronounce them. When speaking, the rise and fall of your voice tone are known as intonation. 

For instance, you should raise your tone slightly towards the end of a "yes" or "no" question. Sometimes stressing a particular syllable inside a word can have a significant impact on how it is pronounced. I'll use the word "present" to demonstrate how words are stressed. You're talking about a gift you bought for someone if you emphasize the first letter of the present, "PRE sent." 

When you emphasize the second letter of "pre-SENT," you're giving or letting someone know about something, like presenting a report to your coworkers. Not just with syllables, but also with complete words, stress is crucial. In English, some words in a sentence are stressed while others are not.

Reduce long words to syllables

In English, syllables make up every word. Syllables are pronunciation units that begin with a vowel and may contain consonants. A vowel is an A, E, I, O, or U if you need a refresher. 

Anything you utter that isn't a vowel sound is a consonant. The mascot is a good illustration of a word with two syllables. The mascot is how you would pronounce it. The three-syllable word "attention" is "at-tent-ion." Most English words have two or maybe three syllables. These are standard terms that are simple to read and pronounce. 

Remember that you can always simplify complicated words by dividing them into syllables when you come across longer terms that are difficult to understand. Let's imagine you have trouble understanding the word "incomprehensible." This significant word refers to anything that is beyond comprehension. 

Additionally, "in-com-pre-hen-si-ble" has six syllables. Try saying the word's syllables first rather than attempting to pronounce it as a whole. Like "com," "pre," and other similar words, "in" is fairly simple to utter. 

Once you've grouped the word's six syllables, keep saying it. As you pronounce it syllable by syllable, it will transition from sounding choppy and artificial to being its complete word.

Sing along

You like music, right? Which band or musician has your favorite appeal? Pick the most incredible songs, and sing along while listening to them on your laptop or phone. Knowing the lyrics makes it simple for you to perform. 

If you can't recall the specific lyrics, you can probably locate them on Google. Singing may be enjoyable, soothing, and entertaining while improving your English (even if your voice is terrible like mine). It's a win-win scenario. 

It functions well because it relieves the pressure of developing appropriate words and building phrases. This allows you to concentrate simply on the words and their pronunciation. Sing louder while paying close attention to how you pronounce the words. Similar to how the vocalist performs! 

It combines shadowing with reading aloud from texts. The pressure or fear you experience when speaking English can be removed by this two-in-one enjoyable activity, allowing you to practice without worrying about self-doubt, shyness, or lack of confidence because you merit it and possess the necessary English communication skills!

Try each of these suggestions the next time you have a chance to see which one works best for you. Keep in mind that none of these is a quick fix, but with regular practice, they will all assist you in achieving your objectives.

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