We often want to sound sophisticated with a British accent or articulate glamorously with an American accent when learning English, but the most important thing for non-native speakers is a clear pronunciation of the word regardless of your accent. Pronouncing a word correctly has a significant impact on whether people understand you or not and their first impression of you. Adult learners believe that it is hard to get rid of their native accent when speaking in English, however, that is not true. Put some consistency in your effort and keep an open mind for experimentation with new strategies, and you will be talking clearly with your favourite accent in no time. Here are four tips to practice your pronunciation and increase your English speaking capability:
Listen Closely to YouTube Videos and Podcasts
YouTube is the best medium to learn a language online. There are a lot of well-done channels that help English learners on how to pronounce words correctly. Certain channels specifically focus on British pronunciation such as English Jade and you can learn American pronunciation on channels such as Learning English with Steve Ford. Additionally, podcasts also serve well for English learners to practice with.
Speak Up and Speak Slow
If people keep asking you to repeat what you’ve said and slow down, chances are that you mumble when you talk to them. Sometimes we talk too fast and couldn’t utter the words clearly. Non-native speakers are likely to pronounce certain words incorrectly by removing or adding unnecessary stress and using different rhythms from the native speakers. Make sure to speak loud and clear with a normal pace.
Being aware of your pronunciation is crucial for attaining a native-like accent. Recording your speech and comparing it with the pronunciation of the native speaker helps particularly in synchronising the stress and rhythms.
Listen and Watch Others Closely
If you are living in an English-speaking country, listen to the sound and watch carefully the native speaker’s mouth and try to imitate them. However, for those who live in a country where the native language isn’t English, you can find a role model to imitate. Whether it’s your teacher or your proficient English-speaking friend, listen to ‘how’ they say the words – the intonation, stress, and rhythms. Be sure to utilise these four tips for a better and more native-like pronunciation in the English language.
About the Author
Haziq Rozhan is a native Malay translator and a budding professional writer at e-Rezeki Centre in University of Science, Malaysia (USM). With a degree in Applied Language Studies (Hons.), he translates English – Malay language pair and has passion in writing in both creative and academic fields with more than 2 years of experience. Please note that the above content has been lightly edited for clarity and flow.
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