Most of us have learned English as a second or third language and never really paid attention to basic sounds. As young learners we mainly learned English for writing our exams and never really used English as a language for communication. But it’s high time we do that in order to neutralise our pronunciation.
Learn Basic English Sounds- English has 48 key sounds including 44 phonemes and 4 blends. You can watch this simple video here on YouTube for all 48 sounds.
Listen to Native/Neutral Speakers- Listening to native or neutral speakers will help you improve pronunciation of words you already know but pronounce incorrect. You will also learn correct pronunciation of new words.
Tongue Twisters- Tongue twisters are funny sequence of words or sounds, that are typically difficult to pronounce quickly and correctly. For example, Upper roller lower roller. Practising tongue twisters is particularly helpful when you have a mother tongue influence (MTI) in your English. Practice speaking a sound and follow it up with a tongue twister.
Listen for Pronunciation- Whenever you listen, pay special attention to the pronunciation of words.
Listen & Repeat- Listen to speeches by native or neutral speakers and repeat with them (not after it). You can pause and repeat until you re confident. Use YouTube to find speeches of your interest, download and keep repeating with the speaker until you are confident. Download another video and do the same.
If possible, Learn Phonetic Symbols- English is a phonetic language, which means that it is written differently and spoken differently. English has 26 letters whereas 48 sounds, so the 48 sounds are denoted through 48 symbols which are called Phonetic Symbols. If possible, learn phonetic symbols, because when you look for a word in a dictionary, it shows its phonetics next to the word. If you know them its easier for you to learn exact pronunciation.
Check Pronunciation Before You Start Using a New Word- Whenever you come across a new word, along with its meaning; check out its correct pronunciation, before you starting using it.
If you follow above mentioned tips regularly, over a period of time you will see significant improvement in your pronunciation ad in long run you will end up neutralising your pronunciation and accent. Happy Learning!
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