Tips to improve your pronunciation (consejos para mejorar tu pronunciación)

Adrián

Publicado por Adrián

Pronunciation is difficult as hell! 

This is what you may think when it comes to English, but it is not true. Pronunciation is a hard task to tackle, but it is not impossible. However, you have to find the proper information so that you can know how to correctly utter sounds.

Not only does pronunciation help you speak better, but also to understand what you are listening to! 

But the most important thing to bear in mind: No angel or fairy is going to come down to us and touch us with a magic wand. Even spending some time abroad, in any Anglophone country, this is not magical and it is not going to be so. 

How many people do you know around you who have spent some time abroad and still keep a strong foreign accent? How many people do you know who are foreigners and still do not pronounce Spanish properly?

Here I give some tips which have helped me a lot regarding this task, but I am honest, this is hard. I say that it is hard because it requires time, the most valuable thing you possess, TIME. Time, spending time talking to yourself, repeating a word over and over again just to grasp the stress and the sounds, looking up every single word you read or write (even if you know it already) just to have a look at the phonetics, etc.

So, read this document and prepare yourself to work out, harder than normal, harder than ever. 

P.S. : As I said, magic does not exist, and no matter how long  you attend to classes, talking to/with natives, all depends on you. If you are willing to learn, if you want to make an effort, an effort that is worth it, then you are IMPROVING your pronunciation for sure.

 

(some parts of the following tips have been taken from the next web site: http://englishlive.ef.com/blog/10-tips-perfect-english-pronunciation/)

 

TIPS

Get to know the English phonetics

This is crucial and is also the first step you may take when going into phonetics. You have to know the sounds which exist in the English language, the differences among them and our sounds in Spanish, how to realize them, how to identify them and when they can be uttered in any speech event.

 

 

Listen to yourself

It’s often difficult to hear pronunciation errors in your own speech because you are concentrating actually communicating rather than the sound you are making. If you can’t hear your pronunciation problems, it’s tough to correct them. Try recording your speech with your smartphone or PC and making a note of specific areas you need to improve on.

Slow down!!!

Many English learners think that speaking fluently means they need to speak fast. This is wrong. Speaking too fast reinforces bad habits and makes the speaker sound nervous and indecisive. Speaking slowly will give you time to breathe properly and think about what you want to say next. Because it gives you time to think while you are speaking, you’ll feel more relaxed and be able to concentrate on making your English sound fantastic.

Picture it…

Close your eyes and think about how to make a sound before saying it. Visualize the positioning of your mouth and face. If you have studied with the phonemic chart, think about the sound you are making and how it relates to other English phonemes. If you have used diagrams of the mouth and tongue, think about the shape you need to make inside your mouth if you want to make the sound correctly.

Get physical!

Pronunciation is a physical skill. You’re teaching your mouth a new way to move and using different muscles. Focus on difficult sounds each day. If you do not have any muscular pain in your mouth when speaking English, then it means you are doing something wrong.

You are not used to speak such a language, so you should feel such pains, in the same way you feel those pains the first time you go running. Your mouth contains muscles, and those muscles have to be trained.

Watch yourself

Stand in front of a mirror to see the placement of your tongue, lips, and shape of your mouth when you make certain sounds. Compare what you see with a video of a native-speaker saying the same thing.

Copy the experts

There’s no replacement for learning pronunciation from the experts-speakers. So listen! Listen to English radio programs and watch television and movies in English. Imitate what you’re hearing – even if you’re not sure what they’re saying yet.

This is a good tip, however, you have to be guided by someone who really knows the English phonetics and who can also help you throughout this process.

 

Practice English alone

Pronunciation problems persist because we’re afraid to make mistakes. Create scenarios – meeting someone for the first time, ordering at a restaurant, asking for directions – then act out the dialogue by yourself. Don’t be shy

PRACTICE ENGLISH ALONE also means practice at home. Indeed, if you do not spend 15 minutes, at least, per day speaking English, you are not going to improve neither your pronunciation nor your fluency

Find a language buddy

Getting feedback from an outside observer is crucial. Find a friend who’s also interested in improving their English. Try exchanging recorded messages so you can listen closely to each other’s pronunciation.

Pay attention to intonation and stress

Good pronunciation is more than just mastering individual sounds. It’s also understanding intonation (the rise and fall of the voice) and stress (some sounds in words and some words in sentences are louder or clearer than others). Read poems, speeches and songs aloud, concentrating on the word stress and intonation. While reading, provide yourself a good dictionary and look up every single word to see the phonetics, even if you think you know te word already.

Remember the video about Shakespeare and the iambic pentameter (If I have not told you about this video, please, check this link out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5lsuyUNu_4) 

 

BE TANACIOUS AND YOU’LL SUCCESS!!!

 

 

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