Every day our teachers receive dozens of messages from students concerned with how to improve their pronunciation. “I want to pronounce English well” is one of the main concerns for someone who is starting to learn a language.
English is quite an easy language to learn. However, it’s true that its pronunciation isn’t the easiest. It can have over 20 vowel sounds according to the dialect! You can read more about English vowels in this post.
However, there’s no need to despair because we are here to help you achieve your dream of speaking English fluently.
1. You Don’t Need to Have an Accent which is 100% Perfect
There are hundreds of different accents and dialects in the English language. Yours, wherever it’s from, will just be another one, even if it’s foreign. Having an accent is normal. Don’t be obsessed with getting rid of it.
2. Phonetics Will Help You
Phonetics is very useful as it will help you understand how a word is pronounced just by looking in the dictionary.
Phonetic transcription of the word “phonetics”.
You might find it a bit difficult to learn the symbols of the phonetic alphabet as we’re sure you won’t have seen a lot of them before, but this alphabet has the advantage of being international and universal, and it will let you know how any word is pronounced in any language. You can find several exercises and free resources on the internet to learn phonetics if you are interested.
3. Speak to Yourself
It’s a good idea to record yourself speaking English and then listen to the recording to find possible mistakes or things to work on. The best thing is to listen to a sentence pronounced by a native speaker and then try to repeat it by imitating their pronunciation as best you can. This is exactly what happens in the “Speak” section of our online English course: you listen to the dialogue, repeat and record the sentences and then you listen and compare your pronunciation. If you are not satisfied, you can repeat this as many times as you need.
4. Pronunciation Isn’t Everything
Remember that your intonation is also important and that every language, dialect or register has its own intonation patterns. Moreover, using correct intonation will make your English sound a lot more natural even if your pronunciation isn’t perfect. Pay attention to the intonation of questions, exclamations, statements, etc., in English. You might find it’s very different to the intonation in your mother tongue.
5. Start Imitating People
This may sound like a joke, but we’ll explain what we mean. We’re sure you’ve imitated a foreign accent in your own language before, for example, that of someone from England or the US. This time you’ll have to imitate their accent but while speaking their language, that it to say, you’ll have to speak English while imitating their British or American accent. You’ll see how your pronunciation sounds lot more authentic in this way.
6. Slow Down!
It’s better to pronounce well and speak slowly than to do so badly and gabble. Remember that the important thing is that you are understood. The rest will come with practice.
7. Music to Your Ears
It’s a trick which always works. Download the lyrics of your favourite songs and read them as you listen to them. Pay close attention to how each sound is pronounced and rewind if necessary to listen to a part again.
8. Films and Series Will Be Your Friends
We don’t get tired of repeating it: the best way to get used to an accent is by exposing yourself to it by watching films and series, listening to the radio, podcasts, etc. Nowadays, with the internet, we have access to a very wide range of audiovisual content in English. There’s a lot to choose from.
In the ABA English course you have 144 ABA Films, cinema-quality short films with subtitles in English and your language. Each unit starts with one of these videos which will be the basis for the rest of the exercises.
If you want to improve your English pronunciation once and for all, our course is a safe bet. Do you want to see for yourself?