How to Improve Pronunciation Skills?
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Good pronunciation is the ability to show your listener that you can be understood. It’s also an important skill for anyone who wants to learn more about the English language, whether it’s in school or at work. In this guide, we’ll explain how to improve your pronunciation skills so that they become second nature!
What are Good Pronunciation Skills?
Good pronunciation is important in any industry. It’s important to be able to communicate effectively with your colleagues and customers. The ability to communicate clearly, quickly, and efficiently will ensure that you get the job done right.
There is more to pronunciation than “listen and repeat.” Language (vocabulary and grammar) and skill aspects of pronunciation (speaking and listening). We learn to pronounce words by seeing and comprehending the underlying principles and patterns that underlie grammar and vocabulary. For instance, the first syllable of an English word with two syllables is often stressed for nouns and adjectives, and the second syllable for verbs.
Pronunciation is physical since it is a component of speaking. We need to retrain the speaking muscles to correctly enunciate a new language. Additionally, listening to how the language sounds helps with pronunciation. By concentrating on related speech while playing audio clips from speech recordings, we can improve.
What part in pronunciation do the tongue, lips, and jaw play?
Our vocal articulators—tongue, lips, and jaw—physically mold our pronunciation. When we acquire our first language, we form speech patterns that we may not be aware of doing so. We carry over our first language’s speech patterns while learning a new language, which is why pronunciation in a new language is so challenging.
Why Improve Pronunciation Skills
Good pronunciation skills help you be understood, confident and credible. They also help you be well received and liked by others. You can improve your pronunciation skills by participating in group projects or taking classes that focus on this area of communication. You may also want to consider enrolling in an online English course that provides additional practice with audio files of native speakers speaking the same words as you do. Here are a few reasons why you need good pronunciation skills.
- To Prevent Miscommunication
When an English term is pronounced incorrectly, communication breakdowns due to miscommunication are a regular issue. For instance, if someone pronounces the very unrelated words fog instead of a fox, saw instead of she, or ill instead of six. These errors may cause misunderstandings since they have entirely distinct meanings. These circumstances may cause a misunderstanding between you and the other person.
- To Prevent Developing a Bad Impression
An incorrect pronunciation might give the other person a bad image of you. We are aware that a book should never be judged just by its cover. However, we don’t have enough time in today’s culture to continue after they have justified their acts. As a consequence, we evaluate people based on how well they communicate. Additionally, if someone hears a mispronunciation during a verbal conversation, they will quickly judge you negatively.
- To Prevent Being Overlooked
The pronunciation of many persons who are learning and using the English language is often ignored. Some of them disregard it and undervalue it. For this reason, when they speak to someone, they often mispronounce words. After a time, they begin to be disregarded since no one wants to occasionally say, “Sorry, can you repeat that?”
- To Engage in Appropriate Interpersonal Interactions
Verbal language is the primary means of communication for people. English is the language that is most commonly spoken worldwide. Therefore, being able to pronounce words correctly makes it much simpler to communicate effectively in both personal and professional settings.
- You’ll be More Easily Understood by Others
You will undoubtedly be able to speak English fluently after you are aware of the correct pronunciation of each word. This implies that you will be able to speak without having to repeat yourself. This will enhance your communication abilities and make it easier for others to comprehend you.
- Develop your Networking Abilities
This is akin to a “buy one, get one” promotion. Good pronunciation abilities are necessary for effective communication. Your talks will be more fluid as you grow better at them. This will motivate you to continue a discussion and motivate other people to do the same. Additionally, it is a wonderful method to demonstrate your command of the English language and build helpful networks in the workplace.
- To Prevent Hiccups While Speaking
You can talk fluently if you have good pronunciation abilities. Since you won’t have any concerns about your pronunciation then. As a result, you will be able to speak without any interruptions. However, remember to drink water if you have hiccups.
- Avoid Having Your Pronunciation Scrutinized
We often criticize others during communication for the way they pronounce a certain word. Human nature is obviously what it is. Therefore, knowing how to pronounce words correctly is essential if you want to prevent encountering situations like these.
- The Ability to be Relied Upon
To conduct professional talks at work, it is often sought after to find someone with excellent pronunciation. They are required to give presentations or maybe even run a meeting. As a result, they have a competitive edge over their coworkers.
- Boost your Confidence
Sincerely, this is the first difference you will notice as soon as your ability to pronounce words correctly begins to improve. When speaking in front of a large audience, having good pronunciation abilities may boost your confidence. You’ll naturally approach any work with a positive attitude if you feel good about yourself. And this self-assurance will enable you to do that assignment flawlessly.
Steps to Improve Pronunciation Skills
- Reduce Complex Words to Syllables
Syllables make up every word in the English language. A syllable is a phonetic unit that consists of a vowel and maybe a consonant as well. If you forget, a vowel is an A, E, I, O, or U sound. Any sound you create that is not a vowel sound is a consonant.
Mascot is a nice illustration of a two-syllable word. Mascot would be stated in this way. Three syllables make up the word “attention”: “at-tent-tion.”
The majority of English words have two to three syllables. These words are commonplace and simple to read and utter. Remember that you can always make complicated words simpler by dividing them into syllables when you come across longer terms that are difficult for you to understand.
Let’s imagine you have trouble understanding the term “incomprehensible.” This large term refers to anything that is beyond comprehension. Additionally, “in-com-pre-hen-si-ble” has six syllables.
Try saying the syllables of the word 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 be its complete word.
- Recognize When to Emphasize Words and Sounds
When speaking genuine English, it’s important to stress or emphasis words in many ways in addition to how you pronounce them.
The rise and fall of your voice tone while speaking is known as intonation. For instance, you should increase your tone a little bit towards the conclusion of a “yes” or “no” inquiry. If you emphasize a particular syllable of a word as you pronounce it, it may sometimes make a difference. To demonstrate how emphasizing words works, I’ll use the word “present.”
When you emphasize the first letter of the word present, “PRE sent,” you’re talking about a gift you purchased for someone. You may provide or make anything known when you emphasize the second syllable of “pre SENT,” such as when you present a report to your coworkers. With full words as well as syllables, stress is crucial. English sentences in which certain words are emphasized and others are not.
How then can you be certain which words to emphasize? You must understand the distinction between content and function terms. The words you use in daily grammar are called function words. They include auxiliary verbs like have, be, and do, conjunctions, articles, prepositions, and pronouns.
Adverbs, adjectives, verbs, and nouns are considered content words. Adjectives are used to describe the thing, place, person, or object, whereas adverbs are used to describe the when, where, and how of anything. A noun is a thing, place, or person, while a verb is a condition or an action.
- Select one Accent and Use it Consistently
Choosing one accent to use going forward is another step in perfecting your English Pronunciation. Everywhere in the globe, 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 considerable. Even within North America, there are regional variations in how words are pronounced.
How do you choose a certain accent? I concentrate on mainstream North American English, which is less dialect-driven when I teach English. Having said that, I advise becoming used to that accent if you want to relocate to a certain area of the US or the UK that you are aware has a strong accent and dialect. You’ll adjust more readily and feel more at ease conversing with people.
Make sure you’re prepared to stay with it for the long term, no matter whatever accent or dialect you decide fits you best. After speaking with one accent for years, suddenly switching dialects might seem something like starting over with English.
- Participate in Conversation with the Speakers of English Audiobooks
You search for a recipe if you don’t know how to prepare anything. You watch a guide in a video game if you’re unsure how to complete a level. Why is English language instruction any different?
Write down any words that you have trouble pronouncing as they come up. You may have a few of such terms that you are unsure of how to pronounce. Keep a list of all these challenging terms.
To find out how to pronounce a word, check it up in a dictionary like WordReference.com. Every phrase has a symbol next to it that, when clicked, allows you to hear the word said in several accents. However, bear in mind that you also need to understand how it is spoken in sentences. Additionally, practice and exposure to real information are necessary for this.
By exposing oneself to real information and listening to native English speakers, you can achieve this. There are various methods to do this, many of which are cost-free. Turn on the subtitles as you watch a TED talk or instructive video on YouTube. You might also listen to a podcast, and I particularly like NPR since the transcripts are available so you can read them while you listen. View any of my other free English worksheets. For this reason alone, we offer transcripts in our workbooks.
It’s crucial to listen to any tape or video without the transcript at least once. But it’s also important to listen to it again with subtitles or transcripts in view since sometimes you won’t be able to make out a word. This is particularly true if you don’t already know some of the terminologies. Keep an eye out for the tone and emphasis that each English speaker employs as you listen and follow along. If you want a fun added challenge, try to identify their accent. Are they Canadians? The UK? or Australia?
After listening for a while, follow along with the speaker by utilizing the text to prepare your remarks. Did you accurately pronounce each word? Did you emphasize a function word rather than a term with content?
- Use Voice Recording to Identify your Pronunciation Flaws
Few individuals like the sound of their voice being recorded and replayed, but that is what I advise you to do next. You should make recording yourself speaking a regular habit since it is a very useful tool for improving your English pronunciation.
Many of my pupils have done this. Although none of them first thought they sounded well, after getting past that, they realized how important this practice is and how much of a difference it can make.
Whatever you want to record yourself saying, just make sure you talk for at least a minute. Perhaps you and a buddy are discussing in English, and you ask their permission to record it (never record someone else without their permission!). You may read aloud a chapter from a book you’re reading and record it. Even better, you may videotape yourself just responding to a question such as, “What did you do last weekend?” or “What is your favorite city and why?”
Instead of spending the money on an expensive audio recorder, simply use your smartphone. After you’ve finished recording, pay attention to the words while you listen to yourself. Was a term used incorrectly? Say it incorrectly? Do you overstress it? These things will happen, as I have said, and that’s alright. You may ask your friends and relatives to correct your pronunciation when you talk to them in English. You’ll identify such errors more quickly if you listen to your recordings. Note down any mistakes you may have made.
- Read Aloud to Yourself Everyday to Strengthen your Jaw Muscles
English and your native tongue are probably rather different. Your jaw and mouth may feel painful the day following a particularly rigorous English practice session. Although this is normal, it may seriously hinder your capacity to learn.
Your jaw muscles are similar to those in other sections of your body. Your muscles will get stronger with enough practice, allowing you to speak for longer periods pain-free. You must exercise and build up your facial muscles, just as you would with any other gym routine. Reading aloud for at least five minutes each day is a fantastic practice habit.
You may first 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 talk for a lot longer without any pain or discomfort as you continue to exercise your muscles.
The ability to communicate effectively is an essential skill. You can use it in your personal life, at work, and also in your social life. It will help you build more confidence in yourself, which will make others listen to what you have to say and respect you for it.
Pronunciation is a vital skill that every learner should master, but it can be difficult to reach perfection when you’re just starting. It’s important to remember that pronunciation is more than just the sounds you make—it also includes your intonation and rhythm as well. If you want to improve your pronunciation skills, then keep practicing those words until they become second nature!