Do you have difficulty with your English pronunciation? Do people find it difficult to understand you, and because of this – do you avoid speaking English?
Sometimes people with poor pronunciation can be judged as lacking in knowledge, incompetent or even uneducated, when in fact this is simply not the case. For these people, it can be very frustrating to experience social isolation or difficulty obtaining employment, because of the way they speak.
Good English pronunciation can be a difficult skill to gain, but with focused practice you can learn to pronounce English clearly.
Tips to help you practice English pronunciation
- Listen to other native English speakers, try to repeat the speech you hear. Pay attention to the way English speakers pronounce words, listen to the tone and the rhythm of the English language.
- Slow down your speech. If you speak too quickly, it can make it more difficult for native English speakers to understand you.
- Practice speaking English with native English speakers and record yourself when you speak. This will help you to become more aware of the common mistakes you are making.
- Practice reading aloud in English every day.
- Take care when you pronounce the endings of words. Often these can be left out by some speakers of other languages.
Why is it difficult to improve my English pronunciation? Am I too old?
Although adults may not learn as easily as children seem to, they certainly can improve their pronunciation. As an adult you have a good understanding of the sound system of your first language, so with specific instruction it is possible to extend your awareness to help you understand the differences of particular sounds in English.
The first language of an adult learner is one factor that strongly influences their pronunciation ability in English. It is important then to identify this influence, and follow a program of instruction that addresses the pronunciation needs of each individual.
Difficulties experienced by learners attempting to teach themselves English pronunciation may occur because often they may be unable to hear the differences between their first language and English. Listening to spoken English and being able to hear the different features of the language is an important part of learning to pronounce English more clearly.
Improving your English pronunciation takes time. It takes a lot of practice to make changes, particularly in spontaneous speech. It is important that any program of instruction include extensive homework activities that focus on particular problem issues, providing opportunities for the learner to practice and improve their pronunciation over time.
English pronunciation training can provide adult learners with specific instruction that focuses on their particular pronunciation problem areas. With continual practice and support, learners can work towards making significant improvements in their ability to speak English more clearly.
To achieve your goal of speaking English clearly, it can be very useful to commence an individually designed English pronunciation skills training program.