Many students make a lot of progress in terms of their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary, and can get ready good at reading as they practise lots on their own. However, one area that can be hard to improve is pronunciation. Here are some top tips for generally getting to grips with English pronunciation:
- Record yourself! This sounds awful, but is very effective. Most people hate listening to themselves, even in their first language, so doing it in a foreign language can be just cringeworthy! However, it helps a lot to identify the areas you have problems with and to notice the difference between how you pronounce words and more proficient speakers do.
- Try acting like a parrot! Repetition is key to mastering a skill like good diction, but it helps to have a model. Find someone whose speech you like and is known to be intelligible (actors or TV personalities work well) and record them. Then listen to how they speak and copy them! This will help you develop your fluency and increase your knowledge of pronunciation.
- Get an app! The “Sounds Right” app from the British Council or Macmillan’s “Sound Pronunciation” re ideal ways to constantly learn a little bit every day, and help unlock the mysteries of the phonological system! Good for learning phonemic script.
The phonemic script is a method of writing down the sounds in a language. You don’t need to learn it to master English, but it can help you a lot when analysing spoken English or looking up words in a dictionary